Canoeing in La Mauricie National Park

Family fun canoeing and kayaking in La Mauricie National Park

Canada’s 23rd National Park – La Mauricie National Park protects a chunk of billion year old scenic Canadian Shield. It doesn’t have the wow factor of some of the other national parks in Canada but it’s accessible, family-friendly and the lakes and Laurentian foothills are very beautiful. Canoeing in La Mauricie National Park is a particularly good way to experience its beauty – either as a day or overnight trip.

The view down looking down Lac Edouard
The view down looking down Lac Edouard

A canoe or kayak trip in La Mauricie National Park

There are two main launch points for a canoeing trip in La Mauricie – Lac Wapizagonke and Lac Édouard.

Both offer easy paddling – at least if the winds don’t blow up and many campsites are within a short distance of the launch site – making it a great option for new paddlers and families. There are also opportunities for extended wilderness trips, starting on either one of these lakes as well – if you’re prepared to do some portaging.

Campsite 13 on a side lake connected to Lac Wapizagonke
Campsite 13 on a side lake connected to Lac Wapizagonke

A loop trip canoeing in La Mauricie

If you start on 17 km long Lac Wapizagonke, then you can do a circular canoeing trip in La Mauricie with either seven or nine portages, depending on how much time you have and how many lakes you want to visit. Portages range in length from 0.4 km to 2.4 km.

If you’re very energetic there is one more option in this part of the park – a 4.7 km one way portage to Lac Houle, but there’s no camping once you get there.

Paddling possibilities out of Lac Edouard are numerous as well. If you paddle north, you can explore some of the least visited and inaccessible areas of La Mauricie via a string of long, narrow lakes and a minimum of four portages. You can also paddle south and head for Lac à la Pêche though five portages in excess of a kilometre are required.

Don’t leave the park without seeing more of beautiful Lac Wapizagonke. It’s a long, narrow lake with beautiful outcroppings and plenty of bird life. In addition, it’s the site of 5,000 year old red ochre rock paintings that attest to the presence of native Algonquin people called Attikameks.

What La Mauricie lacks in grandeur, it makes up for by way of offering a peaceful, contemplative adventure that soothes the soul. And the swimming is sublime.

Beautiful aquatic plants in bloom
Beautiful aquatic plants in bloom
Exploring a section of Lac Wapizagonke
Exploring a section of Lac Wapizagonke
Looking down Lac Wapizagonke
Looking down the length of Lac Wapizagonke
Canoeing in La Mauricie
Kayaking and canoeing in La Mauricie on bluer than blue lakes

Where is La Mauricie National Park?

You’ll find La Mauricie National Park roughly halfway between Montreal and Quebec City in the Laurentian foothills. From both cities it’s about 165 kilometres away, close to the city of Shawinigan.

In the fall, the area is truly one of the most spectacular in Canada for its foliage display.

Canoes for rent in La Maurcie
Canoes for rent in La Maurcie National Park

Useful information for paddling in the park 

Costs are as follows: $8.50 per adult/day, $7.25 for seniors  and youth under 17 are free. It’s $16.75 canoe camping/night for 2 people, $26.00 canoe camping/night with firewood and a $19.00 daily fishing fee. (All prices are valid in 2023.)

You can rent a canoe or kayak from LocationCanot right beside the lakes.

Visit La Mauricie National Park for more information.

Further reading on things to do in Quebec in summer

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Family friendly canoeing in La Maurice National Park, Queec

  1. This is a great summary! I have never been to La Mauricie but planning on a short visit this summer. Upon doing a little research, Lac Edouard is supposed to be ideal for beginners and families…I am going to be 7.5 months pregnant…do you feel like this would be okay option for us? (by choosing to portage an easier route?) Up to this point, my pregnancy has been very positive and smooth sailing. I should also add that I’m pretty athletic/physical on the regular, so I’m not afraid to try this out…but am I being foolish?

    1. Ohhh haha I’ve been there! Both to la Mauricie and being pregnant lol. I don’t think I could handle doing that kind of camping 7.5 month pregnant to be honest, but everybody is different. Plus you say you’re athletic and stuff, so bonus for you! I went there last year and hiked waaaay further to my site then I thought. But as beautiful. This weekend in going back somewhere off lac edourd. Should be easier this fine around. I highly suggest going here at some point, pregnant or not looking.

  2. Those are some stunning photos and I am sure anyone will enjoy spending time in a place like that. Thinking about canoe trips the first thing came into my minds was my canoe trips at Algonquin park a few months back. The trip was arranged by the algonquin park lodge which also provided me great accommodation. It was so calm and relaxing feeling those lakes gave me that I want to visit the place more often if time helps. When I see articles like this about various canoe trip locations I love to spend each day of my life in such locations.

  3. Canoeing in a serene environment, surrounded by beautiful folliage and breathtaking views of lakes sounds like a great deal. I’m sure it’s also a great hiking place.
    Btw what’s the difference between kayaking and canoeing?

    1. @Rachel Canoes usually have an open cockpit – akin to a dugout boat. The paddle has one blade and you sit higher up from the water compared to a kayak. The modern kayak, is derived from the Inuit Eskimo craft. Usually it has a closed cockpit (at least for long trips) and you’re just a layer of fiberglass or plastic away from the water. The paddle has two blades so the stroke is very different.

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