You don’t need to be an extreme sports athlete or an adrenaline junkie to come and enjoy the thrills and freedom that white-water paddling through the heart of Quebec’s wilderness can provide. Our certified guides, top-notch logistics and tip-top gear will ensure you have the ideal conditions to reconnect with nature, focus on the simpler things and rediscover a means of exploration that is so deeply etched into the history of this country. To really honor this unique way of traveling we’ll use pretty unique way of getting there. We board the train in Montréal and meander our way some 350km north, through the boreal forest, to reach our put in on the Bazin River just south of the town of Parent. The Bazin River stretches, 124 km from its headwaters on white-bear lake down to its mainstem, the Gatineau river and we will make sure you have the best possible time exploring every single one of them. A unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, be fully immersed in nature, master something new and just go with the flow.
- 10 Days of living at the river’s pace, completely immersed and at one with nature
- Certified guides that live to share their passion and knowledge about a sport and an environment that they love
- The gradually increasing level of difficulty of the river that allows you to progress, learn and master new skills
- An eco-responsible tour using public transportation and a non-motorized means of exploration
- A truly Canadian experience
Not included (optional)
Prior to day one, all participants must be present for a pre-trip meeting where you will be fitted for life jackets and helmets and given a 60L water-tight barrel in which to put your gear and some group equipment. During this meeting, your guide will be able to answer all your questions about what to bring and what not to bring and how to pack it. It will also be the time to make sure that you have everything you need to make your trip a success.
Meet up with your crew at Montreal’s Central Station to board the train taking you to Parent, a small community founded 1910, 400km north of Montreal. This will be where we put-in and trade the train for our canoes. During the train journey, your main luggage (your barrel) will be stored away in the luggage cart, but you are allowed a carry-on to keep a book, a change of clothes or a snack handy. Arriving in Parent at the end of the day we’ll unload our boats and the rest of our gear on the side of the tracks and make our way to our first night’s campground. If time allows it, your guide will start going over the basic rules that apply to your new means of transportation. After getting to know each other around a delicious campfire dinner, we tuck-in early saving our energy for the adventures to come. Meal: B, L
Today, your guide will take the time to teach you all the basic paddling strokes you’ll need to master in order to conquer the many white-water sections of the Bazin River. After a full day of practice and instructions, you will be racer ready and confident to start making your way down river. Meals: B, L, D
Approx 15 km per day, 5h
The next 8 days will be set to nature’s, and the river’s, pace. Assessing the group’s strength, your guide will decide the number of km per day according to river difficulties. Some days will be longer than others as we will need to reach designated campgrounds along our descent. Some days will be filled with heart-pounding excitement as you conquer the roaring waters of the Bazin river and learn to maneuver your canoe down class II and III rapids. And, some days will lazily pass by as we drift downriver on the lookout for local wildlife and fishing for our dinner. We are hoping that each day of your trip will have its own unique feel and great memories, but we want you to know that every day will require your contribution and collaboration for this to be a success. You will need to help in the setting up and setting down of each night’s campground and will be asked to help with the preparations of meals. Make no mistake about it, this is participatory camping, but the collegiality we’ll develop during the trip will be well worth it. A typical day will see us covering anywhere from 10 to 15km and will always start with a briefing from your guide letting you know what to expect in the KMs to come. Throughout the trip, your guide will help you hone your camping skills and let you in on all the best practices to be at one and commune with your environment. Meals: B, L, D
Today will be our last day on the river. After reaching our final night’s campground we’ll need to clean up all our gear and get ourselves ready for tomorrow’s pick-up and transfer back to the big city. We’ll enjoy one last group dinner in the wilderness reminiscing about our incredible adventure. Meals: B, L, D
Not included (optional)
300 km, 4,5h drive
Our ride back to Montreal should pick us up around mid-morning and have us back in Montréal just before dinner time. We’ll stop along the way to stretch our legs and grab a bite to eat. Once back in Montréal we invite you to enjoy the city and a last meal with your fellow travelers and guide. Meals: B
Dates & pricesPrivatize this trip write to us
- 11 nights wilderness camping, double occupancy (tent)
- 11 breakfasts, lunchs and dinners along the river
- Transfer by train from Montreal
- Transfer by minibus back to Montreal
- Certified and experience canoe & camping Guide (1 guide for 7 participants, second guide from 8 participants)
- Camping equipments (tents, mattresses, kitchen equipments, barels for personal equipments...)
- Canoe rental with equipments (2 people per canoe)
- Group from 4 to 12 participants
- Pre and post nights in Montreal (if required)
- Meals in Montreal (breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 12), lunch on day 12
- Transportation to and from Montreal
- Travel and medical insurance
- Guide(s) tips
- Taxes : QST (9,975%) & GST (5%)
Our cancellation policy has been modified and no cancellation will be applied if when made at least 60 days before the trip. For obvious reasons linked to the COVID-19 pandemic 60 days and more before departure, Windigo Aventure reserves the right to modify all or part of the trip for similar or equivalent services at the destination (hotels, outfitters, lodges or hostels with the same inclusive activities on site or nearby).
Information about activities (canoe)
This river descent takes place in an isolated region and in complete autonomy. The group must therefore transport in the canoes all the food and camping equipment necessary for the proper functioning of the stay for the 10 days in the river. The guide has a means of communication used only in an emergency (sat Phone). No contact with family or friends is possible during days 2 to 12.
Physical level #
This tour is meant to allow you to discover life in the wild. It is important to be in good physical shape to take part in this trip as we will have to paddle for up to 5 hours per day (average of 15km per day). Knowing how to swim is mandatory. On certain sections of the river, we will force to portage our canoes. The advantage of this river is that it has little portage section. The weight of a 2-person canoe is 35kg. Is not necessary to know the paddling techniques as our guides will show them to you during the trip.
All meals will be prepared by the group under the guide’s help and supervision. The meals that are included are planned and prepared by the guides. Using fresh products for the most part of the trip, we will also be using non-perishable goods for the later parts of the trip. According to the period of the year, fresh fish will also be part of the menu.
All cooking equipment and cutlery are provided by us. Your help will be appreciated in the preparation of meals.
Wilderness Camping: camping on the river shore with only tent sites and fire pit. No running water or electricity so no showers. Your guides will have the necessary equipment to set up a dry toilet. D1 to D10 – Wilderness Camping on the shores of the Bazin and Gatineau rivers, in double occupancy. The guide has access to a satellite phone enabling him to communicate with the nearest help in case of emergency. No outside contact will be possible during those 10 days.
Pre & post nights
If you are not from the Montreal area you will need to book a pre-night stay in a hotel near downtown to attend the equipment fitting and be able to be at the train station early. We can organize the reservations of hotels at the beginning or the end of your trip.
You have many options from the airport to reach downtown. You can either take a taxi (50$) or the public transport bus 747 (10$/person). Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., terminus at Lionel-Groulx metro station. Stops located between Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM metro stations are not served. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, regular service, and route. We can also organize private transfers upon request.
One bilingual (French & English) certified canoe guide who knows the area well will lead the tour. On top of being excellent cooks, our guides are organized, dynamic and they just love sharing their knowledge and passions with the group. You may never want to leave them.
Ratio for this trip: One guide for groups of 4 to 7 participants, 2 guides for groups of 8 to 12 participants.
Expectations & Group philosophy
Groups are comprised of people from various part of the world, with different nationalities and backgrounds. The group size varies between 4 and 12 people. Please note that it is expected of you to actively participate in the daily chores, like the meals preparation, the loading and unloading of the canoes, the set-up of camp, and to participate in the activities.
To reach our put-in on the Bazin river we board a VIA rail train from Montreal to Parent. We paddle down the Bazin river using 15’ 2 men canoes, we use a 15-passenger minibus with a trailer for the return from the river to Montréal. The luggage will be transported inside the minibus or inside an enclosed cargo trailer, depending on the number of group members.
Major credit cards (Visa & Mastercard) are accepted almost everywhere. You can use these to pay for purchases or withdraw money from the many ATMs. You can also exchange your native currency (cash) into CAD dollars upon arrival.
In Canada, service is never included in the price. In bars, restaurants, and wherever service is provided, it is expected that you leave a gratuity between 15 and 20% of the total bill amount. Be aware that many employees within the service industry count on tips as their main remuneration and it is frowned upon to leave an insufficient amount or no tip at all. Even when paying by credit card, you can specify the amount of tip you want to leave. It is also customary to give a tip to the tour guide at the end of a trip. The recommended amount by the industry is around $6-10/person/day.