Kayaking Quebec’s Jacques-Cartier River [Video]

kayaking Jacques-Cartier river
Paddle Tales' Ken Whiting kayaks a misty Jacques-Cartier River


The goal of Paddle Tales is to explore new places to paddle and share them with viewers. This episode takes us to Quebec City. There’s so much to do near this World Heritage Site, including some great paddling.

Watch this episode of Paddle Tales below:

Jacques-Cartier National Park and River

Just outside of Quebec City is Jacques-Cartier National Park, home of one of the world’s most beautiful glacial valleys. It’s nestled in the Laurentian Mountains of southern Quebec.

Ken says:

“It’s one of those special places that’s surprisingly close to civilization but feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Since the middle of nowhere is one of my favorite places to be, I’m pretty excited about the adventure ahead!”

Photographer, Cath Simard, knows Jacques-Cartier well, but had never seen it from the seat of a kayak. She and Ken venture out on the Jacques Cartier River on a misty day with low clouds hanging among the mountains.

The Jacques-Cartier River runs almost 2,000 feet below the rounded ridge tops of the Laurentian mountains it flows through. The river starts from Jacques-Cartier Lake and, 100 miles later, spills into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

kayaking rapids on Jacques-Cartier River
Ken and Cath kayak a stretch of rapids on the Jacques-Cartier River


Paddling activities popular on the river are canoeing, kayaking and rafting. The river has both calm sections and whitewater, so can be suitable for all ages and skill levels. For more about paddling in Jacques-Cartier, visit the park’s website.

Quebec City: A World Heritage Site

Just 30 minutes from this beautiful wilderness is Quebec City, capital of the province of French-speaking Quebec. The well-preserved old city section of Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ken shares: “The cobblestone streets and historic buildings make it feel more like Europe than Canada.”

If you visit Quebec City, plan on a day trip to Jacques-Cartier National Park for it’s wilderness feel and super paddling opportunities. Rentals boats are available in the park.

kayaking Jacques-Cartier river Quebec
Quebec's beautiful Jacques-Cartier National Park is just 30 minutes from Quebec City

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