Canoe Trip on the West Montreal River

Canoe trip on the West Montreal River in Ontario, Canada

GPS Coordinates are 48.004260, -80.743362.
Link on Google Maps

Our starting point for the canoe trip was about 13 km north-west of Matachewan off hwy 566. There was a big parking lot with a boat launch and washrooms.
Approximately 110 kilometers of the West Montreal River and Montreal River are part of a Provincial Park with the same name.

For all the city folks who believe that Ontario ends around North Bay, we disagree. Canoeing on the West Montreal River is a great example of a water body where no cottages line the shores, no cell tower competes with the tall trees and the only background noise is ... nature.

We didn't get up very early, like 5am, to meet some of the local wild life. The Nymphaeaceae, or Water Lilly Pad, are plentiful and we past them in all stages of blooming.
Hm, we never saw a power boater stop and enjoy the lillies, that must be a canoe thing. The canoe sits less than 5 inches in the water and paddling close to the shore line is not a problem. This is also where the action is. Birds, frogs and other creatures often react to our presence. A truly amazing water world.

Ok, Paddling on.
By the way, did you know that water Lillies are perennial plants that grow around the world? They are endangered in Switzerland and other European countries. The pollination is entomophilous, that means that insects do the pollination. More specific by flies that are attracted to the alcoholic scent. This is likely the one and only good reference we ever found in favour of the blackflies.

Part of the river is narrow and the shore line is all rock. We past a few nice spots that would be perfect for a picnic and a swim.
We met one powered boat that was piloted down the river most likely for fishing. A wave, a smile and it was quiet again.

Other parts are wider with open wetlands.
We were escorted by dragonflies for most of our journey. They are our friends, dragonflies eat mosquitoes.
We paddled about 5 kilometers before we turned around.

It was after 3 o'clock and the wind was picking up. From here on out it was all uphill, the Montreal River flows north, our Jeep was south. This is also one of the big mysteries, why do we always have head wind when we paddle home?
We should have come much earlier and spend more time on the river. Not just for fishing, but the water was clear and so tempting to jump in and go for a swim.


First published on July 16, 2020