The Cascapedia River on Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula is an excellent example of a canoe trip on the pristine and clear waters of eastern Canada. Nestled deep in the Chic-Choc Mountains within the heart of the Gaspe, the Cascapedia features continuous and lively whitewater coupled with miles of stands of spruce and fir forest.
Called gesgapegiag, meaning “strong current” or “large river” in the Mi’kmaq language, our guided canoe trip on the Cascapedia River begins at Lac Huard, a small lake ringed by some beautiful, high peaks of the Chic-Choc Mountains. From Lac Huard, our trip continues for nearly a day through a small, meandering stream where untouched groves of spruce and pine extend directly to the riverbank, lending a smell of pine as we canoe downstream. We organize our trip schedule so that we have leisurely days on the water, and we can take ample time for photography, swimming, or to take the opportunity to spot a moose or bear.
As we approach the main branch of the beautiful Cascapedia River, this guided Canadian canoe trip begins to widen, and our canoe trip begins to see a bit more whitewater as the river becomes larger with differentiating currents. Our canoe guides, with many years of experience, always help with groups to learn paddle strokes, teach river reading, and cover safety protocols to ensure comfort and happiness while on the river.
Our canoe and camping trip on the Cascapedia River covers nearly 50 miles of pristine wilderness paddling. A strong, continuous current predominates nearly the entire length to Cascapedia Bay where the river enters saltwater. There are very few major rapids and the river is lively but not intimidating. Whitewater, up to Class II, mainly consist of large waves and at most water levels, the river is not as technical as some of its Canadian brethren. This is helpful in that the Cascapedia can be an excellent teaching river for those with some paddling experience, as its combination of enjoyable whitewater and strong currents make it a canoeists paradise.
The canoe trip, as it nears the ocean, begins to widen even more and flatten out somewhat as we approach our re-entry into civilization. Our trip culminates with a paddle into the brackish water where we can see the open ocean of the Baie de Chaleurs, a truly inspiring way to end a beautiful Canadian canoe trip, having the opportunity to see most of the river source-to-sea.
Far from the industrial centers of Canada, the Cascapedia sees almost no effect from pollution as it tumbles towards the ocean in Baie de Chaleur. Therefore, the water quality is some of the highest grades found in eastern Canada and it is not uncommon to spot sea-run salmon swimming in its deep, clear waters.
Seldom run by those on canoe and camping trips, the Cascapedia is a great introduction into the plethora of tremendous rivers in Eastern Canada. The high peaks of the Chic-Choc Mountains predominate the scenery and many small islands are nestled throughout the river valley. Evidence of the strong ice flows that occur annually are quite common on the river and give the canoeist a newfound sense of the power that occurs when winter releases its icy hold on the north country.
As on all of Smoking Rivers guided canoe trips, we pride ourselves on the cuisine offered and spare no expense to produce culinary masterpieces while on the river. Our Registered Maine Guides will select the optimal choice of a campsite for you and your party. Where there are no defined campsites, this wilderness and rustic camping style only adds to the adventure and the overall expedition experience. Rustic camping directly on the riverbank provides tremendous opportunities for bathing in the clear waters, photographing the scenic vistas of the mist rising from the mountains, or simply relaxing around the campfire. The Cascapedia has the feel of a river hundreds of miles north and its many long, sweeping bends provide excellent vantage points to see the great river valley our canoe trip traverses.
Situated on the Gaspe Peninsula, in Eastern Quebec, a true gem of Eastern Canada’s maritime region, the Cascapedia River is easily accessible to the metropolitan areas of New England and those of Montreal and Quebec, making it a tremendous opportunity for an extended length Canadian canoe and camping trip.
Along with the Bonaventure River, the Cascapedia is one of two of the premier rivers on the Gaspe Peninsula. A canoe trip with Smoking Rivers on the Cascapedia requires 4-days and 3-nights at a minimum from Lac Huard to New Richmond, QC. Longer itineraries can be arranged, as well as a trip that involves the entire length of both the Cascapedia and Bonaventure Rivers, creating an ultimate canoe trip vacation in stunning Eastern Quebec, where the mountains meet the sea.
This family friendly canoe trip on the Cascapedia River is generally best suited for the month of June. As the Cascapedia is an undammed and completely wild river, the river is very dependent on the snowmelt and rain that occurs during the months of April and May in Quebec. Therefore, we have a very narrow window of time to enjoy this canoe trip. June is a great time to enjoy the wilderness of the Chic-Choc Mountains, as it is generally before the mosquitos make their appearance in the north and the weather can be quite good with warm days and cool nights, perfect for sleeping.
The Cascapedia River is an excellent option for family canoe trips and for paddlers of most ability levels. As it is not an intensive whitewater river, it is a great choice to learn the proper paddling techniques that are a requisite for taking part in other river trips and expeditions with Smoking Rivers. With the beautiful scenery of the forests of Eastern Canada, deep and clear water, and a culmination in the open ocean of the Baie de Chaleur, the Cascapedia River is a great choice for a guided canoe trip with Smoking Rivers.
Cascapedia River Canoe Trips
Age Minimum: 12
Trips Available: June
Trip Length: 5 Days
Deposit: 50% Deposit required at time of reservation. Remainder due no later than (21) days prior to trip departure (non-refundable).
Group and Youth rates available. Rates are based off a 4 person trip subject to change depending on group size and duration.Contact Us For Pricing and Availability