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21 July 2023

Immersive Experiences On The Route Champlain

As it meanders alongside rivers and waterways, Ontario’s Champlain Tourism Route (or Route touristique Champlain de l’Ontario) offers travellers an excellent entry into the province’s rich culture and natural beauty. The route follows the travel path created by Indigenous people over millennia — a path they introduced to Samuel de Champlain when he arrived on their shores in the 1600s.

Travellers along the route can interact with the environment and distinct Indigenous and French cultures in a variety of ways, from stops at restaurants using locally sourced ingredients to visits to historical sites such as the Petroglyphs Provincial Park where they can see the largest collection of Indigenous rock carvings.

Below are four ways to immerse yourself in the Route Champlain during our 6-day wilderness and nature experience. If you’d like to extend your trip to capture even more of the scenic route, reach out to us for a custom itinerary.

Please note that experiences along the route are available in both English and French.

Mādahòki Farm

Located in the Ottawa Greenbelt, Mādahòki Farm is a 164-acre year-round agri-tourism farm that hosts seasonal Indigenous festivals and celebrations. It also housing a marketplace where more than 40 Indigenous artists and makers sell their craft, a barn with Ojibwe Spirit Horses and a farm-to-table Indigenous catering company.

Mādahòki means ‘share the land’ in the Anishinaabe language and the farm is designed to connect with the land and showcase the rich and diverse culture of the many Indigenous peoples that live in the region. Visitors participate in workshops, go on guided nature walks, take in traditional performances and taste farm fresh Indigenous food.

Rocher Fendu Rapids

The Rocher Fendu Rapids are a 12 km stretch of the Ottawa River that flow over two billion year old rocks of the Canadian Shield to form natural whitewater rapids. The section is a popular destination for thrill seekers.

Experience nature’s rollercoaster for yourself on a fully guided rafting trip down the famous rapids. This incredible 4-6 hour experience culminates with a leisurely pontoon boat cruise and meal as you enjoy the views along the river and have a chance to spot wildlife.

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

Located on historic Mattawa River fur trade route in the scenic Mattawa Valley, Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park is known for its scenic hiking and paddling routes.

The route along the Mattawa River, with its famously difficult portages, was a popular trade route for Indigenous people for millennia (archaeological evidence shows Indigenous settlements dating back 9,600 years) and it became a vital route for European settlers during the fur trade.

Through the park’s Discovery Program, visitors can paddle a replica Voyageur canoe to gain a sense of what life was like back in the 1700s when European demand for fur had paddlers portaging heavy canoes up to 36 feet long.

Waaseyaa Cultural Tours

Walk along the Madaoueskasibi — the original name for what is now known as the Madawaska River — with an experienced Indigenous guide from Waaseyaa Cultural Tours to learn about the craftsmanship of the birch bark canoe and its significance to the living history of the Algonquin people.

The experience takes place at the Madawaska Kanu Centre and is followed by an excursion on the water.

Read our post about canoeing on the Madawaska River 



Category: Ontario