West Wind Itinerary

The total distance via highway, Mattawa to Ottawa, is at minimum of 300 km. The paddling distance is clearly further. The river does not take a straight line.

West Wind    Mattawa to Ottawa       2017



Fri. 23rd:  Meet in Mattawa at Explorers Point at  he confluence of Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers. There is lots of parking spaces and camping allowed overnight, no open fires. And there is a bandstand where there can be a sendoff in the morning. A last chance to get provisions, “shakedown” camping equipment and have a “beverage” in the local tavern before setting off on Saturday morning.

I am trying to arrange for the senior interpreter of all things voyageur at Samuel de  Champlain Park to speak to us and maybe send us off with a special blessing.


Sat. 24th:  34 km. Send off by noon to finish in Deux Riviers, pitch tents.  Easy 35 km paddle to Deux Riviere. Camp on Crown land on an island nearby. Lots of firewood. Likely bugs to match. Road crew may camp a few hundred metres away at Antler’s Lodge. (There are only three campsites available: NOT enough room for paddlers.)


Sun. 25th: 48 km. Stopping at (Swisha) Rapides des Joachim, the first hydro dam. There are several options if our paddle falls short: stay at Driftwood Park, the park at Mackey. Swisha is preferable. A portage is necessary and trailers will be provided by local entrepreneurs (for a price to be determined.  The mayor -owner of the local resort will help negotiate this).

If our paddle goes short, group camping is possible at Driftwood Provincial Park. It’s a 450 metrewalk to the water from the group site, max of 60 people and it is cheap.

Portage around the Dam either in pm or the next morning.


Mon. 26th: 77 km  Swisha to Pembroke. Stopping at Riverside Park. Paddle to Pembroke if possible, passing Deep River and Petawawa. There is a wonderful opportunity here to re-enact a special ceremony at Pointe aux Bapteme. This is where new voyageurs were “baptised” on their first trip upriver on the way to Grand Portage. Apparently “strong wine” was the custom. We may have to do this “United Church of  Canada” style with Welch’s Grape Juice to stay within our safety policy)  Pembroke has an excellent camping facility at Riverside Park. If there is bad weather or other slow progress other possibilities are BlackBear Campground upstream of Pettawaa, Hotel Pontiac in Fort William Quebec. We should know after the first day how much daily progress this group is capable of.


Tues. 27th 54 km Pembroke to Wilderness Tours to stay in cabins of 6 +1,

two nights. ($37/person).

Rafting adventure can be booked for $105/person


Wed. 28th: Still at Wilderness Tours. A day to play.

Meeting in Pembroke for a community social.


Thurs. 29th: 52 km  Landing at Robert Simpson Park near Arnprior,

then joining the South Wind group in Black Rapids to eat and sleep.

Boat shuttle avoids the nearby dam.


Fri. 30th Arrive at Black Rapids on the Rideau , by vehicle in the evening to join South Wind Brigade.


Sat. July 1st: Send off at 8 am to arrive in Ottawa in full regalia. Gathering of Four Winds event at Victoria Island. at 3:00 PM. See itinerary for South Wind. Caming at gatineau booms, 4 km downstream.


July 2; pick up canoes at Jacques Cartier marina.