Quebec’s Coulonge River has a great combination of lake and river paddling. It offers a mix of Canadian Shield bedrock and sandy esker meanders. The whitewater boasts ledge-type descents and deep-channel runs. The river is interesting in high and low water levels, with many scenic chutes and falls.
Among the small lakes and creeks high in the Laurentian Highlands - the worn remains of the world’s oldest mountains - our wild river begins. In La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, the route passes through a number of large lakes, before narrowing down after Lac Pomponne. We will begin our 200-km paddle at Lac Pomponne - the start of the whitewater stretch. Wildlife abounds, with moose, black bears, foxes, and minks on the shore, while the river supports abundant otters, turtles, and beavers.
With lots of campsites to choose from, our pace is flexible. Depending our our timing, we may take one day off to enjoy swimming, fishing, and practicing our skills in a nearby rapid. There are miles of swifts and fun Class 1 rapids, regularly interspersed with more challenging sections. For the more-experienced paddlers, some exciting Class 3 sets may be an option, while the rest of us portage. At the end of the week, we enjoy the great finishing run through kilometres of swifts before arriving at Grande Chute, our cars, and the trip homeward. Our Coulonge trip is designed to provide coaching in whitewater skills, while having an enjoyable holiday.
Beginners to advanced paddlers will enjoy this wilderness holiday, however a warm up paddling session at one of our springtime clinics is still highly recommended! If the Coulonge is a little too long for you or the timing isn't quite right, check out our Dumoine River and Noire River trips which take place throughout the summer season.
"The office was very helpful in answering all my questions, renting me a waterproof pack, and ensuring that I was well-prepared." Allan, England, UK
Recommended Skill Level And Dates
Guides 5:1 ratio
• all meals & snacks from Day 1 lunch to Day 9 lunch
• 17’ Prospector expedition canoes
• paddles, PFDs, throw bags, paddling helmets
• tents: free-standing expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
• "kitchen": tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc.
• containers for food and group equipment
• first aid, safety, river rescue, and repair kits
• communications equipment (satellite phone)
• transportation of guides, group gear, canoes, etc. to and from trip
• van shuttle to the start of the trip
Trip Rendezvous Point: Fort Coulonge, QC