We are thinking of doing the lower madawaska river this coming weekend and I am looking for some information on it from people who have already done it. WE are a bunch of Queen’s University students so we want to do it as cheap as possible. We have done a number of rivers and are well experienced so we’re looking for a one or two day section that has the most white water. We were going to do the portion inside algonquin park but it appears it will be very costly due to parking fees for two vehicles and camping fees. Please advise which section is suggested and any other information on the lower madawaska. Also, if there is another river within 2 to 3 hours of kingston that is more thrilling and is feasible to do that information would be appreciated as well. Thanks.
If the upper mad is running I’d go there. That’s a treat. Lower mad is great – if you want to do one vehicle you can drive in and park at Hass Hole, paddle down river, then portage backup. There are 5-6 rapids that you run, and you can portage all of them back up easily. They are pool and drop, with some short bursts of flatwater in between.
Upper mad has some big drops, beefy rapids, if i recall, but you’d need two cars.
Opeongo, don’t know – never paddled it. From what I’ve heard it’s a continuous flow CII river with very little play.
You don’t have to go into Algonquin. It starts in Whitney. It was very high on Sunday. There are some serious rapids on this stretch that require scouting. Go with someone who knows the river.
Better yet, go run the Opeongo, it’s very user friendly at present levels.
It costs no more to do the Upper Mad than the Lower. If you have two cars to set shuttle, then you are good to go.
The Upper is definitly a step up from the Lower: probably considered a grade higher, with some definite class 5 drops. The Lower Mad is big water class 3 at this level. The Lower is also much friendlier in terms of potential swimmers – the swims won’t be as long and easier to rescue.
Both rivers should be doable this weekend, both in terms of shuttle and water levels.
How many are in your group? Are you open boating, or C1/Kayaking?
Any idea how palmers rapids would be at this time of year? I am thinking of heading up this weekend and am wondering if the flow will make it hard to get back to the put in. We are in tandem and solo canoes.