Canada rafting holiday on the Magpie river
Description of Canada rafting holiday on the Magpie river
The first sense you get of the vast scale of Quebec’s boreal forest comes as you soar above it aboard a float plane, headed for the southern tip of Lake Magpie. Astonishing views of steep cliffs, forested valleys and foaming rivers will bring home the fact that you’re heading into a true wilderness – an outdoor playground perfectly suited to an adventurous week of fun on the river.
On landing, you’ll be taught the basics of manoeuvring safely on the river, before ploughing through a few sets of rapids as a warm-up. What follows is seven days of exhilarating action on the magnificent Magpie River, camping on the banks overnight with a fully equipped kitchen. You’ll be led by experienced guides that know this landscape well, able to point out any of the local wildlife that may appear on the riverbanks, including wolves, bears and lynx.
Your small group will come together as a team to steer the raft, but on calmer stretches of water you’ll also be separated to venture out in kayaks or on stand-up paddleboards. In the afternoons, as the guides prepare wholesome meals over open fires, you can help out by gathering driftwood, or just relax fishing, taking photographs or swimming in the river. All in all, 100% glorious.
Another aspect of this Quebec rafting holiday to recommend it is that the excitement is accompanied by an in-depth look at this region’s culture and environment. You’ll hear stories from an Indigenous guide, learn about the ecosystems at play here and perhaps even help with a research project. When it comes to meals, as much food is sourced from local suppliers as possible.
By the end of the week you’ll be ready to tackle the toughest section of the river, with big but fun rapids to negotiate in the raft, and absolutely stunning views of the falls and gorge through which the river surges. Camping overnight overlooking the gorge you’ll fall asleep to the sound of thundering water, and return to the airport the following day refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready for anything.
PlanetThe Magpie River flows through one of the largest tracts of untouched Boreal Forest in the world. This pristine environment is a wildlife corridor, a carbon sink, a repository of fresh water, and a wilderness area where people can explore and experience nature. But the Magpie River and this forest remain unprotected and threatened.
We are actively involved with the movement to protect the Magpie. We provide opportunities for both international tourists and local people to experience the spectacular Magpie River and learn about the surrounding ecosystem. Our groups tread lightly through the landscape and at the same time support the local community and small businesses as much as possible.
SUPPORTING RIVER PRESERVATION
We support environmental NGO's such as the Canadian Wildlife and Parks Society (CPAWS) known as SNAP in Quebec as well as the local group on the region called Association Eaux Vives de la Minganie (AEVM).
Since SNAP took up the cause of the Magpie, we've been directly involved with them in the following ways:
- In the summer of 2015, we were thrilled to donate our time, logistical experience, river guides and equipment run a VIP trip on the Magpie. SNAP organised the trip for political leaders and important stakeholders from the Indigenous communities, provincial and federal government, and the local tourism board. The trip was a big success and we were honored to introuduce everybody to the Spectacular Magpie.
- In the fall of 2017, we contributed resources to help SNAP Quebec organise a flash mob in Montreal in front of the Hydro-Quebec headquarters.
- In the summer of 2018, we are a sponsor of the first annual river preservation forum being organised by SNAP in Sept-Iles. We are contributing financially as well as our guiding expertise by facilitating a trip to the river for forum presenters, journalists and important stakeholders
- Almost all the photos and videos that SNAP uses in their awareness campaigns are images taken on our trips that we are happy to contribute to the cause.
We buy all our fresh food in Sept-Iles from markets and a vegetarian farm stand. The berries we eat come from a local cooperative (when we don't pick them ourselves on the riverbank). We source fresh seafood directly from local fisherman. Because the Magpie is fairly far north and the growing season i short, some of our trip food comes from southern climes but we put a lot of attention into sourcing and sustainability as we care deeply about the food we eat, where it comes from, and the impacts of our trips on the environment.
MINIMISING OUR IMPACT
Minimal impact camping techniques (sometimes called "Leave No Trace" differ across the world depending on the type of environment and the amount of people travelling through. Our guide team works with the local conservation group to establish norms for the Magpie.
On every trip, we do everything we can with our camp set-up, cooking, washing and bathroom procedures to minimise the effects on the surrounding plants, animals and ecosystem.
We care deeply about protecting the natural world and preserving wilderness. By treading carefully through the pristine Boreal Forest, exposing people to local wildlife, history and culture of the are and being involved with the river preservation, movement, our programs can have a net positive impact on the environment.
PeoplePROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE LOCAL PEOPLE
We have worked extensively with local Innu groups. The Magpie is part of the Innu people's ancestral homeland -their Nistassinan (Nistassinan means 'our land' in the Innu language). One of the biggest thrills for us is taking groups of Innu youth on the Magpie who would otherwise not have had the chance to visit these places these places that were so important as travel routes and hunting grounds to their families just a couple of generations back.
Besides our trips with indigenous youth, we also work with the Association Eau Vives Mingaie to help support their annual 'river maintenance trip' - an opportunity for locals from the coastal villages to both experience the river and help create tails around rapids and scenic side hikes. We have contributed both guides and equipment, such as rafts and dry bags. So much more than just a great time - this trip has been crucial in building awareness and passion for teh river amongst local. The Magpie will only be protected if locals are.
OUR TRIPS SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY
We believe in involving local businesses and groups as much as possible and work with many to supply and provide services for our Magpie trips. Not just hotels and transport services, but also other outfitters and the Innu community.
Every Magpie River Adventure has an Innu guide. In 2018 Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis will join the Magpie River Adventure trips and share her culture and history with you. Lydia is a curator and interpreter at the Innu Cultural Centre in her community of Mingan and she is also a fun loving river runner. She's greatly looking forward to meeting guests and imparting traditional knowledge, skills and understanding of the history. This will improve your trip - but it also provides a neat employment opportunity for a local person to share their passion.
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