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The Mattawa River is a river in central Ontario, Canada. It flows east from Trout Lake east of North Bay and enters the Ottawa River at the town of Mattawa. Counting from the head of Trout Lake, it is 76 km in length. The river's name comes from the Algonquin word for "meeting of waterways".

Two provincial parks are located along it: the Mattawa River Provincial Park stretches along both sides of the river's banks for almost its full length; and Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, located about 10 km from the river's end.

Porte de l'Enfer or Hell's GateThere are plans to increase the park by 108.8 square kilometres (42.0 sq mi) of Crown Land along both shores, and extending it on the eastern side of Samuel de Champlain Park towards the town of Mattawa. It will include Rice Bay Delta marsh communities, silver maple swamp forests, and the Talon Lake Forest.[7]

The Mattawa River is a popular destination for weekend canoe camping trips. Because of well established portages, the river can be travelled in both directions. The route description below follows the river's flow from west to east.

Public access is on Trout Lake. Continue east on the river. Some older maps may still show the Tortue Rapids but these were blasted and no longer present. Turtle Lake follows.

From here the river goes north through several sets of small lakes (requiring a lift-over or short portage between each), before looping back and flowing into the north end of Lake Talon. But the historic canoe route bypasses this section by going to Lake Talon through Pine Lake, via Portage de la Mauvaise Musique and Portage Pin de Musique.

At the end of Lake Talon, portage around the dam. After Pimisi Lake, there are a few Class 1 rapids until the Paresseux Falls. Shortly after follows the Porte de l'Enfer (Hell's Gate) on the north bank.

There are two short whitewater sections inside Champlain Park but which become shallow and a rock garden in low water. The last portage befor

Public access is on Trout Lake. Continue east on the river. Some older maps may still show the Tortue Rapids but these were blasted and no longer present. Turtle Lake follows.

From here the river goes north through several sets of small lakes (requiring a lift-over or short portage between each), before looping back and flowing into the north end of Lake Talon. But the historic canoe route bypasses this section by going to Lake Talon through Pine Lake, via Portage de la Mauvaise Musique and Portage Pin de Musique.

At the end of Lake Talon, portage around the dam. After Pimisi Lake, there are a few Class 1 rapids until the Paresseux Falls. Shortly after follows the Porte de l'Enfer (Hell's Gate) on the north bank.

There are two short whitewater sections inside Champlain Park but which become shallow and a rock garden in low water. The last portage before Mattawa and the Ottawa River is around the Hurdman Dam.

The Mattawa River Canoe Race has been held each year since 1976, usually to coincide with the Mattawa Voyageur Days Festival in late July. The race runs from Olmsted Beach on Trout Lake in North Bay to Mattawa Island Conservation Area, some 64 kilometres (40 mi) long. This popular race is open to several classes of competition, including solo and tandem canoeing, recreational, "voyageur", and standup paddle boards. There is also a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) family/youth race which runs from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park to the finish link at the Mattawa Island Conservation Area. The race is organized by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority.

The race record was set in 1995 at 5 hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds.

See also