According to the National Geographic, the Magpie River is ranked among the ten best rivers in the world for white-water activities and is a real playground for adventure enthusiasts. With its length of 280 km, it is also one of the last great wild rivers of Quebec.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 2013
Getting there will take us several steps! First, the team will meet in Quebec City where we board a bus to Sept-Îles on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Once there, we will have a day to get to know each other and to prepare our equipment before departure. Once every one is outfitted and ready to go, we will take a seaplane to Lake Magpie.
Once on the river, we will spend 7 days and 6 nights there, during which we will paddle, shoot rapids and make portages, but during which we will have fun, catch fish, get to know each other and enjoy an extraordinary natural environment. Even more than the distance we will cover, this expedition is intended as an extraordinary group experience. To reach our destination and to enjoy a rewarding and positive experience, we will have to form a small community where the contribution of each participant will be essential.
Members of the expedition
We will be accompanied by a professional medical team – comprised of a physician, an oncology nurse and a social worker – that oversees the health of all participants in the expedition. Seasoned “On the Tip of the Toes” facilitators ensure the smooth functioning of the expedition along with experienced adventure guides who are thoroughly familiar with the territory to be explored.
Geography and History
The Magpie River is located in the Côte-Nord region of the province of Quebec, between the towns of Sept-Îles and Havre St-Pierre.
“Along the St. Lawrence River from Tadoussac to the Labrador border, along the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in the West, the Côte-Nord region reaches deeply into northern Québec. [It is a region of contrasts where centuries-old traditions exist side by side with modern practices].
The settlement of the coast is relatively new: before the nineteenth century, the fact that economic activities were limited to the fur trade and seasonal fishing meant that it was difficult to make a living there. After 1820, waves of immigrants from diverse backgrounds settled from Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon, existing mainly from fishing and hunting, especially seals.
Agriculture and forestry developed slowly on the Upper Côte-Nord during the twentieth century. In the 1950s large hydroelectric dams, iron and titanium mining and, more recently, the extension of Route 138 to Natashquan, transformed a society that had been largely isolated. Ecotourism is now part of the range of activities sustaining the economy of this part of the province, particularly whale-watching cruises in Manicouagan and Duplessis, or discovering Anticosti Islands and the Mingan Archipelago”.
Ministre des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire, 2010
Schedule and itinerary
- Meeting in Quebec City, team presentation
- Travel by bus to Sept-Îles
- Team supper and evening in the hotel (in Sept-Îles)
- Travel by bus to Mingan
- Visit the Innu cultural center
- Supper and evening in a hostel or camping (in Mingan)
- Travel by floatplane or helicopter to Magpie Lake
- First night camping on the Magpie River
- Paddling down the Magpie River (on rafts, kayaks and stand up paddle boards)
- Leave the Magpie River
- Travel to Sept-Îles by bus
- Final feast together and evening at the hotel (in Sept-Îles)
- Return by bus to Quebec City
- Transport back home