Before there were railways and roads, history was made using rivers as highways…

Tales from the Madawaska Watershed: When River’s Were Highways – Historical Paddles.

The Madawaska River Watershed has long been utilized for trade and travel, fishing and trapping and gathering. Her watershed rich with an abundance of fish, furs and wild foraging bounties, archeological findings date human occupancy in the Madawaska Valley as long as 10,000 years ago, following the recession of the last ice sheet. 

In early settlement times, at a time when rivers were highways,  the Madawaska River was the centre for the ‘Boom’ of the Madawaska Valley, where birchbark canoes then logs and raftsmen passed downstream to the Ottawa River, corundum and railway ties were tugged upstream to the railway line at Barry’s Bay, supplies and people moved in all directions.

Madawaska River Rentals will be serving up some passion for local history, with tales for the river. We invite you to explore our river history and beautiful natural scenery, from the perch of your canoe. Tickle your imagination with a time not so long ago, but an era long since passed, “When Rivers Were Highways”…

Private 'Interpretative Guided' group bookings available, please inquire; or join us for one of our scheduled historical paddles:

 June 29th, 2017 -

July 20th, 2017 -

August 30th 2017 - Slate Falls

We provide complete canoe and gear outfitting, on-site at an area water access point, where we will embark on a 3-4 hour excursion, exploring local history from our canoes.

Please call ahead for info and/or seat reservations.


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