Top 8 Riviere Rouge Paddle Board and Kayak Spots

Top 8 Riviere Rouge Paddle Board and Kayak Spots

The Riviere Rouge is a dynamic waterway that flows over 200km north to the Ottawa River in Quebec, offering a rich paddling experience for both Riviere Rouge paddle board and kayak enthusiasts. This guide explores the top eight spots on the Riviere Rouge, highlighting the unique features and experiences each location provides.

These locations cater to a range of interests, from peaceful stretches ideal for leisurely paddling and picnicking to sections with exciting rapids for experienced kayakers. Let’s get started!

Can You Paddle on Riviere Rouge?

Yes, you can paddle board on the Riviere Rouge, but the ideal section depends on your experience level. For a leisurely paddle with stunning scenery, choose the calm stretches with shallow sandbars and expansive beaches. These are perfect for a scenic Riviere Rouge paddle board tour that can combine swimming and a picnic on the shore.

However, the upper Rouge, with its rapids and falls, is best left to experienced whitewater paddlers in kayaks or canoes. The last 10 km of the Riviere Rouge transform into a thrilling canyon run, with wild rapids and waterfalls that turn it into Quebec's top whitewater rafting destination. The strong currents and potential hazards there make paddle boards unsuitable.

8 Best Places to Paddle Board and Kayak on Riviere Rouge

Now, we'll explore the specific details and unique offerings of these eight exceptional paddling destinations along the Riviere Rouge.

1. The Riviere Rouge

Riviere Rouge paddle boarding offers a unique opportunity to explore the breathtaking scenery of the area. The river winds through a valley with lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and hidden coves, all waiting to be discovered from the perspective of your paddle board.

The Riviere Rouge

For the best experience, plan your paddle board trip during the summer months, from June to August. Early mornings or evenings offer calmer waters and stunning sunrises or sunsets.

The Riviere Rouge is sparsely populated, so you'll likely share the waterway with only a few kayakers or fellow paddle boarders. In addition to paddle boarding, the area offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing.

  • Time to get there: Varies depending on location. Montreal - 1.5 hours, Ottawa - 2 hours.
  • Water type: Calm flat water (Labelle and Lac Tremblant), slow-moving current (Lac Mercier).
  • Skills: Beginner to intermediate (calm sections), advanced (rapids).
  • Launch points: Parc de la Plage (Lac Saint-François) is suitable for all levels, while Plage municipale de Saint-Zotique is calm water, ideal for beginners.
  • Amenities: Varied depending on location. Some areas have public washrooms, picnic areas, and kayak/paddle board rentals.
  • Costs: Public access points are free. Kayak/Paddle board rentals typically range from $20 to $40 per hour.
  • Unique: The Riviere Rouge offers a chance to paddle through beautiful wilderness scenery, spot diverse wildlife, and even explore historical sites like the covered bridge at L'Assomption.

2. Labelle, QC

Riviere Rouge paddle boarding near Labelle offers a chance to explore the region's natural beauty. Paddle beneath towering limestone cliffs, past secluded beaches and lush forests teeming with wildlife.

For the most scenic and peaceful experience, plan your paddle board trip in Labelle between May and September during calm mornings or evenings. The area around Labelle attracts visitors year-round, so be sure to check for any park closures or events before you head out.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board Labelle, QC

In addition to paddle boarding, Rouge National Urban Park offers hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities.

  • Time to get there: 1.5 hours from Montreal.
  • Water type: Calm flat water.
  • Skills: The Riviere Rouge itself boasts a gentle current, making it ideal for paddlers of all experience levels.
  • Launch point: Lac Tremblant (public beach), Marina de la Baie, and Plage municipal de Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré.
  • Amenities: There are public washrooms, picnic areas, kayak/paddle board rentals, and restaurants nearby. SUP rentals have limited availability; check with local vendors.
  • Costs: Public beach access is free; about $50/day for paddle board rental, and about $75/day for kayak rental.
  • Unique: Riviere Rouge paddle board enthusiasts can enjoy a scenic paddle past sandy beaches, lush forests, and charming cottages.

3. Lac Tremblant

While Lac Tremblant is a popular destination for boating and water sports, it's also a hidden gem for Riviere Rouge paddle board enthusiasts. The surrounding geography is a paddler's paradise, offering stunning views of rolling hills, lush forests, and the iconic Laurentian Mountains.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board Lac Tremblant

For the most scenic beauty, aim for late spring (June) to early fall (September), when the vibrant foliage creates a breathtaking backdrop. Weekdays and early mornings offer the quietest experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings. Keep in mind that Lac Tremblant is a popular area, so expect some fellow paddlers, especially on weekends.

  • Time to get there: 1.5 hours north of Montreal.
  • Water Type: Calm and sheltered with designated swimming areas.
  • Skills: Beginner to intermediate. Some sections can be choppier depending on wind conditions.
  • Launch Points: Public beaches and outfitters around the lake offer rentals and launch points.
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, and various shops and restaurants are located around Lac Tremblant.
  • Costs: Access to public launch points is free. Rentals typically range from $20 to $40 per hour.
  • Unique: Enjoy panoramic views of the Laurentian mountains while paddling on the crystal-clear waters of Lac Tremblant. Take a break on the shore and explore the vibrant Tremblant resort area.

4. Lac Mercier

The calm waters and scenic beauty of Lac Mercier, nestled amidst rolling hills and lush forests, provide a tranquil escape for Riviere Rouge paddle boarding.

For the best conditions, plan your paddle board adventure between late spring (June) and early fall (September) when the weather is warm and sunny. Early mornings or evenings are ideal times to enjoy the glassy water and observe the abundant birdlife.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board Lac Mercier

The surrounding area boasts a small, friendly population, making for a peaceful paddling experience. Beyond paddle boarding, Riviere Rouge offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and camping. Note that motorized boats are not permitted on Lac Mercier, ensuring a serene paddling experience.

  • Time to get there: 1.5 hours north of Montreal.
  • Water Type: Calm and clear, ideal for a relaxing paddle.
  • Skills: Beginner-friendly. Great for those seeking a peaceful paddle surrounded by nature.
  • Launch Points: Public beaches and outfitters around the lake offer rentals and launch points.
  • Amenities: Restrooms and picnic areas are available at some launch points. Limited restaurants nearby. Free parking is available at Plage du Lac Mercier.
  • Costs: Free to access public launch points. Paddle board/Kayak rental typically starts around $20/hour.
  • Unique: Spot a variety of birdlife while paddling on this serene lake.

5. Kayak & Cabana

Paddle boarding on the Rivière Rouge offers a unique perspective of the Laurentian landscape. The calm waters wind through rolling hills and dense forests, providing a peaceful escape.

The area attracts a mix of families, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers. You can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting on the river.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board Kayak & Cabana
  • Time to get there: 1.5 hours from Mont Tremblant (south) or 2 hours from Ottawa (east).
  • Water type: Calm with shallow sections, ideal for beginners.
  • Skills: The calm, sheltered waters with minimal current make it perfect for beginners or a leisurely cruise.
  • Launch point: Kayak & Cabana dock and Lac Saint-Joseph (Lac Saint-Joseph Marina) provide launch points on the Riviere Rouge.
  • Amenities: Kayak and paddle board rentals, life jackets, picnic areas, and camping (with reservations) are available at the launch points but may vary by location. No on-site food service, consider bring your food.
  • Costs: about $50/half day for paddle board rental, about $70/half day for kayak rental (prices may vary).
  • Unique: Multi-day excursions (8, 12, or 23 kilometers), camping available, opportunity to explore the surrounding forests.

6. Pause Plein Air, an Outdoor Break

Paddle boarding on the Rivière Rouge with Pause Plein Air offers a chance to experience the Laurentides region's beauty firsthand. The calm waters, surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests, provide a scenic and tranquil escape.

For optimal conditions, plan your paddle board adventure between June and September, during the daytime when sunlight paints the landscape in vibrant hues.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board Pause Plein Air, an Outdoor Break

While enjoying the peacefulness of the river, keep an eye out for local wildlife and the charming towns that dot the shoreline. Pausing for a picnic on a secluded beach or exploring nearby hiking trails are perfect ways to extend your adventure.

  • Time to get there: 1.5 hours from Mont Tremblant (south) or 2 hours from Ottawa (east).
  • Water type: Calm with shallow sections. This outfitter caters to paddlers seeking a leisurely escape on the calm waters.
  • Skills: Basic paddling is recommended.
  • Launch point: Pause Plein Air dock on the Riviere Rouge or Lac Tremblant (beach area) provides a safe and easy spot to launch your paddle board.
  • Amenities: Board/kayak rentals, life jackets, on-site washrooms. Similar to Kayak & Cabana, they offer rentals and guided tours for various distances.
  • Costs: about $45/half day for paddle board rental and about $60/half day for kayak rental (prices may vary).
  • Unique: Offers various paddling routes (6, 12, and 24 kilometers) that take you past scenic landscapes and hidden coves, allowing you to tailor your adventure to your desired pace and distance.

7. La Rivière du Diable

La rivière du Diable (Farouche Tremblant) offers a unique adventure beyond the tranquil stretches of the Riviere Rouge. Head north to the Rivière du Diable (Devil's River) for an exhilarating whitewater experience. Navigate winding sections and conquer rapids on a specially designed stand-up paddle board. This excursion is for experienced paddlers only.

Riviere Rouge Paddle Board La Rivière du Diable

The best time to Riviere Rouge paddle boarding on La Rivière du Diable is during the summer months (June-August) when the water is calm and warm. While the area remains relatively unpopulated, you might encounter other paddlers, kayakers, or fishermen enjoying nature.

  • Time to get there: 1 hour 15 minutes from Mont Tremblant (north)
  • Water type: Flowing river with some rapids (suitable for experienced paddlers only)
  • Skills: Advanced paddlers only
  • Launch point: A designated launch site provided by Farouche Tremblant is available.
  • Amenities: Unique wooden paddle board rentals, life jackets, and guided tours are available. There are no restaurants or cafes directly at the launch points. Be sure to bring your own food, drinks, and any other supplies you might need.
  • Costs: Contact Farouche Tremblant for current rates (guided tours are typically more expensive).
  • Unique:
    • Exciting rapids, beautiful scenery, and unique wooden paddle boards.
    • You can consider exploring the nearby hiking trails or visiting the charming town of Rivière-Rouge.

8. Mont Tremblant Activity Centre

After your paddle board adventure, consider exploring the charming village of Mont Tremblant, located just a short distance away, which offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Mont Tremblant Activity Centre
  • Time to get there: 15 minutes from Mont Tremblant.
  • Water type: Calm, shallow in most areas.
  • Skills: Beginner to intermediate.
  • Launch point: Mont Tremblant Activity Centre (shuttle service provided to the starting point).
  • Amenities: The center offers paddle board/kayak rentals, a shuttle service, and a safety briefing. Restrooms and changing rooms are available for freshening up after your paddle. Lockers can be rented to secure your belongings while you're on the water.
  • Costs: Rentals are from $30/hour, and full-day tours are from $80/person.
  • Unique: Choose from a 6-kilometer, 12-kilometer, or a full-day 24-kilometer route. This is a convenient option for Mont Tremblant visitors, with transportation included. Explore the beauty of the Riviere Rouge without needing your own equipment.

Where Can I Go Camping in Riviere Rouge?

Riviere Rouge, nestled in Quebec's Laurentian mountains, offers a captivating escape for campers. Here, camping blends seamlessly with exploring the stunning Riviere Rouge.

Several campgrounds cater to different preferences, ranging from basic sites with fire pits to fully equipped campgrounds with amenities like washrooms and showers. Prices typically range from $20 to $50 per night, depending on the location and amenities offered. Be sure to research and book your campsite in advance, especially during peak season.

Once you've set up camp, take advantage of all Rivière-Rouge has to offer. Hike or bike along scenic trails, go for a refreshing dip in the river or cast a line and try your luck at fishing. For a unique perspective, consider exploring the river on a Riviere Rouge paddle board. Many outfitters rent paddle boards, making it easy to add this adventurous activity to your itinerary.

Paddle More, Explore Further: Your Riviere Rouge SUP Journey Starts Here

With its diverse sections and stunning scenery, the Riviere Rouge is a paddler's paradise. This guide has equipped you with the knowledge to find the perfect stretch for your skill level and paddling desires.

Paddle More, Explore Further: Your Riviere Rouge SUP Journey Starts Here

To streamline your exploration and maximize your enjoyment, consider the Blue Adventures app by iROCKER SUP. This app puts Riviere Rouge paddle board locations at your fingertips, along with valuable user reviews. Don't forget to share your discoveries and contribute to the vibrant SUP community!

Download the Blue Adventures app, grab your paddle board from iROCKER, and chart your course for unforgettable adventures on the Riviere Rouge!

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