Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
Spend a day paddling the Mattawa River with these routes

Today’s post comes from Jess Knowlton, Assistant Discovery Leader at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

People travel far and wide to paddle the historic Mattawa River.

For the full experience, it takes most people between 2 and 5 days to paddle the 40 miles from North Bay to Mattawa, which can be challenging even with proper research and preparation.

If you want to enjoy this beautiful river but don’t have time to commit to a multi-day canoe trip, don’t want to portage it, or are looking for a nice, easy day trip, you’ve come to the right place. place!

Below are four of the most popular and impressive day trips along the Mattawa River:

From Trout Lake to Turtle Lake

This day trip is a great option suitable for paddlers of all levels who want to experience all the beauty of the Mattawa River.

This day trip begins and ends in MacPherson unit in Corbeil.

After launching from the public jetty, you will see the Steps Formation at the mouth of the Mattawa River.

The Mattawa River has been used by indigenous peoples, including Algonquian and Métis communities, since pre-colonization. Stepping Stones is a culturally and spiritually significant place for the Algonquin Nation.

After Stepping Stones, you can continue downstream to Turtle Lake where you can see a dam and explore the islands that dot the lake.

After exploring, you will make the trip back to MacPherson unitnoting the remains of the blasting to widen the river on the bank near the submerged carrying the turtle.

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Claw Lake

Talon Lake is the largest lake through which the Mattawa River flows.

This beautiful lake has many bays and islands offering enough to see for days of exploring.

View of the tree reflecting in the water.

Pack a lunch and have a picnic at Camping at Grasswell Point. This site was once a rest stop for indigenous people and travelers on their journeys.

You can access Lake Talon from the public boat launch at Blanchard’s landing.

From Pimisi Bay to the Talon Pipelines

This is by far the most popular day trip along the Mattawa River.

You will launch into Pimisí Bay and paddle approximately 2 km up the Mattawa River to Heel drops.

A wide river winding through a tall, dense forest.

On the slides you can explore the transport, swim and take stunning photos.

Below the falls you will notice a rock sticking out of the river, it is known as The guard dog. This was a place where indigenous people and travelers left offerings to the river spirits to allow them safe passage.

Pimisi Bay to Campion Rapids

If you’re looking for that multi-day canoe trip feeling, with portages, long stretches of paddling, a waterfall, a sandy beach, dramatic cliffs, and breathtaking views, this is the day trip for you!

This is a linear pathmeaning you will end your trip at a different access point than where you started.

people paddling in rapids

There is seven short portages along this stretch of the river. More advanced paddlers may choose to avoid some of these carries and run the rapids that require technical rowing skills.

the mandatory Lazy Falls portage It is a great resting place with an impressive 6m waterfall.

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Other points of interest along this route include Hell’s doors either The gate of hell. Travelers thought it was the home of a man-eating demon, but it was actually one of the few indigenous red ocher mines in Ontario.

A canal leading to a small waterfall, surrounded by tall trees.

As you continue through Mattawa through a stunning gorge, you can stop for lunch on the sandy beach of Elms Point Campsite.

This day trip ends in Transport camp in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

A vehicle pass is required to park your vehicle during the day. At the end of your day trip, stop by the Mattawa River Visitor Center to learn more about the history of this canoe route.

Plan ahead!

Although these day trips may seem simple, it is always good practice to bring a map and communication device on your adventure.

If you plan on taking one of these day trips, plan ahead, make sure you pack your safety gear, and know where you’re going.

Purchase a Mattawa River map at the Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park store, Algonquin North Outfitters, or online.