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Do you love waterfalls that are low stress? Do you love the feeling of falling through the air? If you enjoy the weightlessness of falling and low stress drops, I have the perfect destination river for you!

The Rouge, or Rivière Rouge in French, is located just outside of Hawkesbury, in Southern Quebec and is a quick drive from the Ottowa River or the New England States.


The start of the run is mostly flat class II, some play waves give you a quick warm up and let you take in the scenery. We were not as fortunate as others, but Moose, Otter, and Beavers are frequently seen in the area.

As you progress down the run the gradient starts to pick up, the canyon wall start to form and some fun class III rapids come into play. This section has a lot of fun eddy moves and surf waves to keep you busy and get your muscles loose for the drops downstream. 


The first of the major drops is a double drop sequence where you enter the first ledge on the left side of the river. One move here is to boof into the eddy on river left, then peel out to run the river right side of the second ledge. If you go direct, make sure to avoid the very sticky pourover at the bottom of the second drop, it is very steep and almost snagged a couple in our group.


Around the corner you will come to a sloping, delayed boof. This rapid pillows all of the flow up on the right hand side of the river, but then cuts back to left. And mandatory delayed boof stroke is crucial here, I failed to get my bow very high here and proceeded to fight out of  a aggressive stern squirt.

The next few drops are easily scoutable, and very enjoyable. We hiked up and ran these drops multiple times, almost every single drop had some sort of trail or method of carrying back to the top if you were not pleased with your line.


And if you enjoyed flying through the air the first time, it is just as fun on lap 2 and 3!

All the action dies down with a "Ramp to pourover" rapid before you dump in the larger body of water near Hawkesbury. This rapid is easily scoutable as well, and is very close to the popular campsite up the hill.

Overall, this run was one of my top favorites! It is not the craziest whitewater, however the scenery and mental ease in which you paddle this section is unbeatable.


Having a relaxing day of running small waterfalls with terrific scenery is very high on my list.

So make sure to put the Rivière Rouge on your list. It is worth the drive for any mission within a 4 to 5 hour radius!