Lower Madawaska River: Paddler Co-op to Griffith (4 days / 38 km)

This trip is a quintessential canoe trip. The Madawaska River has easy access, fun whitewater, and beautiful sites. You can do this trip any time from spring through fall. In the spring the bugs can be heinous and look out for poison ivy in the summer. In the springtime, the water is much higher and better suited for more experienced paddlers. As flows drop in late spring/summer, this trip is really well suited for novice paddlers and children.

Trip Completed: July 2020

Trip Summary

Starting PointPaddler Co-opEnding PointGriffith Bridge/Picnic areaDuration4 days / 3 nightsDifficultyBeginner (whitewater)Total Distance39 kmPortaging Distance850 mNumber of Portages3Number of Rapids12

Location: This section of the Madawaska River flows through a non-operating provincial park called Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park. As such, it’s up to those passing through to keep sites and portages clean. There are no required permits and sites are first-come-first-served.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) and Anishinabewaki (source).

Note from Mikaela: Although part of the same river, don't confuse Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park with Upper Madawaska River Provincial Park. The Upper Madawaska is a challenging Class III river that should only be paddled by experienced canoeists. The Lower Madawaska is much easier and great for novice whitewater canoeists.

Maps & Resources

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

Maps: 31 F/5 18T (#1), 31 F/3 18T (#2), 31 F/6 18T (#3)

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

Permits & Reservations

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

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

Outfitters & Shuttles

We used our own gear and set our own shuttle,...

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