CANOE CAMPING ON THE AIGLE RIVER
Canoe camping on the Aigle and Désert Rivers
It is 43 km of calm water (24 km on the Aigle and 19 km on the Désert) with many sandy beaches.
Perfect for a stay of 2 days 1 night, or 2 days and a half and 2 nights.
Quality of the environment
On the Aigle River, the environment is pretty and wild, with few traces of civilization (roads, cottages) here and there. It is the freedom of the great natural spaces, while being very accessible.
On the Désert River, we alternate between wild sections and some more civilized sections, in a very pleasant environment. The most civilized areas are around the confluence of the two rivers and in the last three kilometres before reaching Maniwaki.
The water of the Aigle River is perfectly clear until kilometre 4.5. Downstream from this point, the banks are clayey in places, and the water becomes less clear, but still pleasant to swim in. Further down the Désert River, one would think that it is the agricultural environment that makes the water cloudy, when in fact the cause is quite natural.
The portion upstream of kilometre 52 (cascade de l’Aigle) may be navigable in the summer, but it is recommended that it be navigated in the spring. Below kilometre 52, the river is navigable at all times. During periods of high water, some beaches may be drowned, and it may be more difficult to find campsites.
The Centre d’expertise hydrique du Québec operates a flow measurement station (040841) on the Désert River: www.cehq.gouv.qc.ca/suivihydro/graphique.asp?NoStation=040841
During the spring period, from mid-May to mid-June, it is necessary to provide insect repellents in quantity as well as nets, because black flies are abundant. The fact of being in the middle of the forest explains the cause.
From mid-June to mid-July, there are black flies and mosquitoes at sunset, but it remains tolerable (depending on your tolerance level, of course).
Shuttle between $175 and $250 depending on the number of people and boats
Since 2018, CarpeDiem Adventures located in Gracefield has been offering the shuttle service for Canoe Camping on these rivers.
Usually, it is the 43 km portion that clients will do in 2 ½ days and 2 nights. CarpeDiem welcomes people at their office at 95 St. Joseph in Gracefield. The recommended departure time for the shuttle is before 10:00 a.m. Adventurers will be dropped off at kilometre 24 of the Aigle River. This is about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive on mostly paved roads. The final stretch on the Kitigan Zibi Reserve in the Aigle Forest is more chaotic.
A shuttle is also available to the old Black Rollway Inn, if people want to do levels 2 to 3 rapids depending on the water level. For this drop-off point, it’s about a 1-hour drive, but the road to get there can be rough.
Adventurers will be expected in the heart of the city of Maniwaki, at the boat launch, located in front of the Gino-Odjick Centre.
For clients who do not want to do the Désert River, it is possible to exit at the red bridge at the mouth of the river. A fee of $5 per person is added as this is private property.
Starting at $43.50 per day per canoe. Discount available for a group.
River map and warning
This map (https://www.myccr.com/sites/default/files/aigledesertleduc2009.pdf—in French) was produced voluntarily by paddlers who do not claim to be sufficiently reliable and experienced. The authors are not responsible for any harm, damage or accident that may result from the use of this map. Omissions or errors are always possible, and we would be grateful for any corrections you may have noticed.
Charles Leduc, Angela Guzzo, May 19–20, 2004
Charles Leduc, August 14–18, 2006 9.5 m3/s at flow station 040841
Charles Leduc, August 6–10, 2007 Mapping/Layout Charles Leduc, September 2007, March 2009
Topographic Base Maps
Copyright © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.
Department of Natural Resources.