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5 Interesting Facts About The Noire River

This Canadian river gets its name from the dark colour of its waters. Its source is just South of the La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve in Western Quebec from there it flows down into the Ottawa River. Remote but notable, there are a number of reasons the Noire River is a well-loved paradise by Whitewater canoeists and wilderness enthusiasts.

One of ‘the three sisters’

The Noire River is often grouped together with the Dumoine and the Coulonge rivers because of their similarities. These three Whitewater rivers share the same watershed and common features. The Coulonge, which is the longest, was a popular logging and fur-trade route in earlier centuries. Although the Noire is the shortest of the trio, it has the greatest total length of rapids and the shortest total distance of portages. 

A (slightly) well-kept secret

The Rivière Noire, as it is called in French, has less boat traffic than its two sisters, making it a paddlers’ haven. An amazing fact to note is that even though travelling through gives one a sense of seclusion, there are an impressive number of access points for your convenience and safety.

Basic skills required

You do not need advanced skills to navigate the Noire River, as its 51 rapids are classified I-III. However, you would need some canoeing experience and basic outdoor skills. It is also highly recommended to have an experienced guide or instructor with you. MHO Adventures has trained and experienced guides who have been doing these Whitewater expeditions for years. We also offer courses and certification in paddling from beginner to professional/instructor level.

Beyond paddling

What makes The Noire River stand out is its breathtaking scenery, lovely wildlife and flora. This means that you would not spend all the time paddling in oblivion. The beautiful sandy beaches offer nice opportunities to swim and to bask in the sweet summer sun. You can spend time fishing as long as you have the right licensing.  In addition, there are 12 portages, a good number of camping sites and several rock jumping points. Whitewater rafting is also a great activity to do on the Ottawa River on either end of your trip with our friends at Esprit Rafting.

Beautiful geographic features


The river flows through the Canadian shield, in which some of the oldest rocks in the entire world are found. It meanders into lower stretches of embankments and sand valleys that make excellent beaches and campsites. The area has a boreal forest with coniferous trees like black spruce, red pine, white pine, and broad-leaved trees like birch and alder. As for the fauna, you are likely to see kingfishers, otters, deer, caribou, the occasional bear and different species of squirrel. 

Are you ready to see for yourself?

We at MHO Adventures just returned from a fabulous adventure on the Noire River.  Let us help you to experience this spectacular gift of nature! We have put together a pretty amazing 6-day trip that feature 2 nights at a local Airbnb right on the Ottawa River, shuttles to and from the river, 4 nights camping including interior permits, gourmet meals, all group gear, paddling and safety equipment as well as a half day rafting trip to culminate your adventure.  Our professional guides are there to share all the tips, tricks, and instructions that you need.