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Getting in a early season paddle before bug season.
Lac de l’Achigan is an easy drive (1.5 hours) from Montreal. There is boat launch at the Saint Hippolyte Beach with nearby parking.
For a location so close to the city I was pleasantly surprised with the lake. This time of year was perfect as there were few people or motorboats on the lake. I image summer is very busy here with all the cottages dotting the shore.
We “parked” our canoe and took a little walk to get a better view.
We will definitely come back here. Lots of water to explore.
We spent Saturday on the lake, exploring on our canoe and taking a break on a beautiful beach.
On Sunday we took our time driving back home through Gatineau and exploring that area a bit.
It was a real delight to discover this whole new world of outdoor opportunities open to us because we now have a canoe.
On Friday afternoon we loaded the car with camping gear and our canoe and left the city for 2 nights in the woods.
Destination: Reservoir du Poisson Blanc or Lac du Poisson Blanc
Since we got our canoe I started following canoeing in Quebec hashtags on IG and this place kept coming up. It was high on my must paddle destinations.
There is a regional park on part of the lake: Parc Regional Poisson Blanc and they manage 70 designated canoe camping sites available on the islands and shores of this lake.
Theoretically there is also dispersed camping available in non-designated sites but I imagine as this place gets more popular those will be harder to secure.
This is a large lake but very popular. And for good reason, it’s gorgeous!
We camped at the south end of the lake at the Air-Eau-Bois campground.
The camping sites there are nice but really close to each other and our first night we were next to a group of young guys who were headed out the next morning to canoe camp somewhere on the lake. They were loud and close enough you could hear them fart in their tent. IOW, too close.
Our second night at the campground was better with them gone.
A plus of the campground is a free bag of wood for every night. A $10 value which made the $40 site more reasonable. I balk at paying for a camp site when I’m more comfortable with dispersed camping and don’t need amenities.
Next time we come to the area we’d like to camp in the lake and ideally head out to the little lakes west of here to portage and paddle.#lacdupoissonblanc #outaouais #petitenation #lavalleedelagatineau
Family canoe day on the Rivière Rouge
Rented canoes at Kayak & Cabana and did a 12 km paddle on the Rivière Rouge with my whole family - brother & family, my parents and our family.
The Rivière Rouge is a very popular destination for leisurely paddling with several outfitters.
One of the highlights of paddling the Rivière Rouge are these sandy beaches along the way. Our chosen day was overcast and drizzly, not great for swimming. In the future a paddle down this river on a hot summer day would be divine.
The outfitters offer shuttles and rentals so you can start upstream and end downstream and get a ride back to your car. Which is ideal. This service is great for a group.
Our fourth canoe outing... the Lachine Canal.
We packed a supper picnic and went for an evening paddle.
Again, my heart is longing for something more natural but I appreciate that we can do this, at least.
Also, we’re very new to this and we’re still learning so much, which keeps it interesting, even if the location is less interesting.
As the evening darkened the lights were pretty.
Before I started canoeing around Montreal I didn’t differentiate between the different rivers that flow in this area. Technically it still feels like one river to me, the Saint Lawrence River, Fleuve Saint-Laurent, but where the water goes around the big islands of Montreal and Laval it takes on different names.
This is on a little island in the Riviere des Prairies.
Today we dropped off our daughter at a friends for a quarantine outdoor hang-out and took advantage of easy West Island access to the water.