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Noire River

On a warm summer afternoon, few places on the planet are as perfect as paddling down the Noire River. Gentle currents pull you over crystal clear waters, past sandy beaches, alongside rugged forests as the sunlight illuminates the mist and sets the cliffs glistening. The Noire River is one of the larger tertiary rivers in the valley, having the greatest length of runnable white water. It is a beautiful Quebec white water river flowing from its headwaters at Lac Coughlin to the Ottawa River.

Although not as heavily travelled as the Dumoine it offers ample opportunity for white water paddling and the best prospect for viewing wildlife. It is regarded as on of the finest beginner level rivers in Canada. Easy white water combined with a swift current makes the Noire perfect for a first time white water paddling experience

Fly-in Starting Points

You fly by floatplane with your canoes tied down to your destination, watching the pines tower over the river from above.

Drop Off LocationsAverage Flight TimeTrip Length (Days)
Lac Coughlin40 minutes10-12
Dorian Crossing35 minutes10-11
Lac St. Patrice30 minutes6-7
Lac Farant30 minutes5-6
Lac Raymond30 minutes4-5

Portages

The Noire offers lots of Class I, II and a few optional Class III rapids. Portages are marked with few being difficult the majority are short.

Campsites

There are few campsites along the way, one every 5 km, but some of the small cove beaches can be used to pitch your tent. If sandy beaches do not suit your taste you can always makeshift a campsite on a soft carpet of pine needles. The Laurentian landscape surrounding the area also makes a great resting spot for lunch and a swim or enjoys a day of rest and explore. Warm summer nights around the campfire are often filled with stories of the day's triumphs and the triumphs of tomorrow.

Shuttle Service

Vehicles may be left at our air base in Rapids des Joachims (Swisha) or shuttle service is available from our base to Waltham Station. This is located at the mouth of the Noire River. Cost for this service is $150.00 per vehicle ; arrangements must to be made prior to your flight. Pick up service from Waltham Station to our base can be arranged.

Words From Hap

Quebec's "Triple Play" is quickly becoming a legendary threesome for today's adventure seekers. Almost everyone has heard of the Dumoine, but ten years ago, who had heard of the Noire or Coulonge Rivers.

The actions and intentions of Hydro Quebec clearly indicate that the Dumoine may still be dammed and the water diverted down the Kipawa to maintain a stable flow for the power plants. It's not likely to happen if the Dumoine, and hopefully - the Noire and Coulonge - attain some level of protected status in the near future. We can only hope that common sense prevails.

I am often asked how the three rivers compare with each other, in scenic value, difficulty of terrain, length of portages, but all I can tell people is that they have to try each one for themselves. Every river has its own inherent characteristics that makes it special, soulful, entertaining and alluring; triple play is unique because of the fact that they align themselves within the same beautiful landscape, yet bequeath entirely independent experiences.

Note: Hap Wilson's new book, "The Cabin", is now available through your local bookstore, or by ordering direct from Natural Heritage Publishers or sunriseadventures.com