Lower Madawaska River: Palmer’s Rapids to Griffith (4 days / 38 km)

Nestled in the Saint Lawrence River basin, the Madawaska River provides paddlers with one of Ontario’s greatest natural playgrounds. Highlights of this river include towering white pines, good fishing for pike and bass, and well established campsites; most sites are spacious enough for 4-5 tents. We can effectively split the river into three sections: the upper, middle and lower. The latter two offer a great opportunity to introduce new paddlers to white water when water levels are lower. This usually takes place during late spring and summer.

It’s important to note that middle and lower sections of the river are banked by both private land and park land. The Lower Madawaska Provincial Park runs from Aumond Bay, southeast of Quadeville, to just above the take-out at Griffith. Regardless of whether you choose to put in at Palmer’s Rapids or further down at Latchford Bridge, this river trip is a guaranteed good time! 

Trip Completed: July 2023

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Palmer’s Rapids

Ending Point: Griffith 

Total Distance: 38 km

Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Beginner 

Location: Lower Madawaska Provincial Park

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territories of the Omàmiwininiwak (Algonquin) and Anishinaabe people. More specifically, the Madawaska River was home to a familial Algonquin tribe known as the Omàmiwininiwak Madaoueskarini or “the people of the shallows”.

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: Madawaska & Opeongo River Whitewater Guide, published by Friends of Algonquin Park

Map: 031F05, 031F06, 031F03

There's also an online paddling here you can access here.

Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservations: No reservations required. Campsites are first come first serve.

Permits: No permits are required as this is a non-operating park. 

Know Before You Go

Season: Anytime between June to August is a great time to do this trip.

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