Pembroke to New Liskeard Ontario on Ottawa River Sea Doo Tour…
In 1613, Samuel de Champlain made his way up the Ottawa River in a birch bark canoe. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of this historic journey, 14 riders on 11 personal watercraft (PWC) made our own four-day voyage of discovery last summer. We travelled faster and likely had more fun than Champlain, but we shared the spirit of mystique, magic and wonder that the Ottawa River Waterway still invokes for all who adventure there.
Looking to expand France’s fur trade, little did Champlain know that he was also opening a major gateway for logging, mining and other commerce. It would make the Ottawa River one of Canada’s premier waterways – and a popular, unique playground for recreational boating. So read on – we did our self guided Sea Doo tour on Sea Doo, Jet Ski or Waverunner personal watercraft, but it’s also a remarkable adventure for anyone with a runabout or small cruiser.
With Ontario on one side and Quebec on the other, the upper Ottawa River through to Lake Temiskaming can best be described as “God’s Country” (Temiskaming appears to be the accepted English spelling; Témiscaming in Quebec). We were certainly in awe cruising by majestic shores, largely uninhabited and bounded by breathtaking hills, imposing rock faces and dense forests right down to the waterline. This navigable river is deep and wide, sweeping in gentle curves through the same beautiful wilderness that Champlain experienced four centuries ago. I swear the ghosts of voyageurs were paddling along beside us!
View Pembroke to Mattawa in a larger map
Riders should reconfirm the routes and services mentioned in this article as they may have changed since publication. Any map is for reference only and any marked lines or locations are not intended as an exact or accurate depiction of positions.