Madawaska : Ontario, Canada


Madawaska River

The Madawaska River is a river in Ontario, Canada. The river is 230 km (143 mi) long and drains an area of 8,470 km² (3,270 sq mi).

It originates at Source Lake in the highlands of Algonquin Park at an elevation of 450 m (1,476 ft) and flows east, dropping 380 m (1,247 ft) before emptying into the Ottawa River at Arnprior.

The river's name comes from an Algonquin band of the region known as "Matouweskarini", meaning "people of the shallows". In the late 1800s, the river was used to transport lumber from the forested areas surrounding the river. Beginning in the 1960s, the river was used to generate hydroelectric power. Undammed sections of the river are also used for canoeing, kayaking and recreational fishing.


Kayaking on the Madawaska

The Madawaska River is justly celebrated as one of the best places in North America to learn whitewater skills. 

Flowing past the front door of the chalet, through a forest of pines and hardwoods, the river's supply of dam-controlled water is warm, clean, and dependable all summer long.

MKC has been paddling here for more than 30 years and know every sluice and eddy.  The river is a series of rapids and pools, alternating places to play and rest.  Rapids like Staircase, Chalet, Gravelpit, Cottage, and Claudia's Roller range from an easy Class I to a manageable Class IV.

During class hours, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) releases a generous flow over the top of the dam upstream, filling the riverbed with warm water from the surface of the lake.  In mid summer the river temperature is 20 degrees (70 F).

Within an hours drive are five other excellent whitewater runs, including the Ottawa River with it's two channels, the Petawawa River, Upper, Lower and Palmer sections of the Madawaska River, which we will visit depending on flow, season and skill levels.


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."    — Robert A. Heinlein

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