The Jacques Cartier River takes its source in the Jacques Cartier Lake near “L’Étape” in the Laurentians Park. In 1829, it was named “Lahdaweoole” by the Huron People, meaning “the river that comes a long way”. It runs for 177 km all the way down to the St-Lawrence River near Donnacona. Four sections of this river are accessible on which New Wave Expeditions operate daily.
This rapid will work up your appetite for the adventure that awaits you. Safe and impressive, this rapid is ideally suited to practice paddling and steering before getting into more serious rapids.
This rapid is named in the honour of the Lefanconnier brothers (French speaking canoe champions at the time) who lost their boat at this point in 1973. This rapid forms a superb threshold at high water level or an impressive drop at low water level.
Two rough thresholds provide thrill and excitement, followed by a group of 3 rocks that look like a derby hat.
This rapid’s threshold looks like a wallet formed by two “V” shaped breaking waves. At high water it turns into a huge breaking wave bearing the width of the river.
Having gone through the « portefeuille », you may swim in it, water level permitting. This activity is optional, but usually well liked. Challenge yourself by taking part in this completely safe activity – you will definitely be proud of your achievement.
This rapid is the longest and most exciting to go through. No matter what the water level is, this rapid provides challenge and excitement, because of its drops and obstacles. It ends at the « Défilé des marmites », a majestic passage with vertical walls polished by centuries of erosion. After this rapid, the river widens to form a small lake, ideally suited to collect lost paddles.
At this site, we have our second water activity. The participants, if they wish, can jump off a 20 foot high cliff. A snack is also provided.
This rapid is the shortest. It will enable you to observe the power of a back-tow current and to recognize its characteristics in order to avoid this kind of water movement in your next recreational outing.
This is the last important rapid of the run. Depending on the water level, four different passages are possible: a slide, a waterfall, two cascades or a flight of stairs! Whatever passage your guide takes you through, it will certainly be a highlight of your adventure!
This last rapid will end your run smoothly. At high water level, it makes for a good playground for those who still have enough energy left over.
This section can be labelled as an introduction to white water rafting. One can learn to paddle and acquire basic steering techniques. Its few rapids will prepare you for a bigger challenge next time. Water level permitting, a class IV slide at Pageau Falls will enliven your run! No need to worry – if the water level is too high, it is easy to portage the boat around the falls to safely continue your journey.
When the water level is too high on the traditional Tewkesbury section, Pont-Rouge – Donnacona is a perfect alternate section. During the first half of the trip, the river flows amidst a beautiful gorge surrounded by vertical white limestone walls with cedars all around. Some of the cliffs overhanging the river are as high as 75 feet! At high water level, a series of waves come together to create thrills and excitement throughout the run.
Come experience our new Mini Rafting section with your younger kids in a perfectly safe environment. It is a great package to enjoy breathtaking landscapes, discover the beautiful town of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier and cool off during those hot summer days. The section run with our Mini Rafting package shifts according to different water levels.