Lower Madawaska River
Access/Parking: There are many access points along the Lower Madawaska River
Take HWY 28 E to HWY 514 to HWY 515 (Palmer Rd), access the river at Palmer Rapids Point, pass through Madawaska River Provincial Park, and take out at Griffith or west of Griffith (0.5 km), off HWY 41, a route of about 40 kilometres (25 miles).
Other access points can be found along the Madawaska River, for shorter trips, other access points are at Aumonds Bay, Buck Bay, and Highland Creek.
The Madawaska River is one of Ontario's premier whitewater rivers. Offering over 40 km of whitewater fun and beautiful scenery as it flows through farmlands, towns, forests and wetlands.
Along the river there are many interesting places to explore such as old ranger cabin, the Jameson Mountain Hiking Trail extends from the portage around the Crooked Rapids which is about 5 km past the rangers cabin. River travelers will see the legacy left by loggers in the last century. At Slate Falls the names of rivermen who lost their lives in fast water are chiseled into rock. Other features include eskers, kames, outwash plains, kettle lakes and sandbars, are just some of the topographic features associated with this river, formerly a major spillway for glacial meltwaters.
The Lower Madawaska Provincial Park surrounds most of this route stretching from the end of Homestead Rd to the town of Griffin. Many campsites are available along the river within the park along this part of the Lower Madawaska River and are user maintained.
The river above Griffith appeals to beginners and experienced paddlers because there's a mix of flat and white water. There are marked portages around rapids for the less skilled.
The overall grade is a level II with level III and IV during the summer when water levels go down. Portages are all marked and well traveled. Rapids should be scouted before running the river.