Feeling the Saint-Maurice River
By Tourisme Shawi‘s team
With the scorching temperatures of summer, nothing’s better than having your feet in the water to enjoy it! If you agree, then read on to discover an escape on the Saint-Maurice River that’s accessible, inexpensive, and oh so refreshing!
You don’t own a boat? Go to Parc de l’île Melville, an oasis of greenery just a stone’s throw from downtown! You can practice many activities (Arbraska, rock climbing, hiking) and there are also several accommodation options (camping, cabins, ready-to-camp and hostel).
Then choose your boat and determine your level! Parc de l’Île Melville rents paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, pedalos, rabaskas, rowboats and even a pontoon! If you want to test the paddle board that is gaining in popularity, good news! SUP Shawi can give you an initiation before your getaway (12 years old and over). It even offers SUP ride evenings and SUP Yoga lessons if you feel like it (reservation needed)!
Do you own your own boat? Go to the boat ramp on chemin de la Berge in the Shawinigan-Sud sector. There’s a parking lot in front to leave your vehicle there.
Important safety tips: Nearby is a major dam. It’s therefore always necessary to ensure that the spillway valves are properly closed before embarking on the water. When open, the light flashes. A siren will sound 30 minutes before the valves open and Hydro-Québec then asks users to leave the area. Know that it’s always safer to navigate near the shore so that you can reach it quickly and avoid crossing the path of motorized boats. When the winds are blowing over 20km/hour, you should be even more careful. Also pay attention to the currents, the river is full of surprises!
Voila! The safety aspects covered, let’s get back to our trip on the water. Different routes are available to you depending on your level!
Route 1: about 3 km round trip for beginners.
Departing from Parc de l’Île Melville, navigate the calm waters between l’Île Melville and l’Île Banane. Why is it called l’Île Banane (‘Banana’)? From the top of the Cité de l’énergie observation tower, you’ll easily understand. Its shape explains everything! As you pass, greet the ducks and friendly campers. At the very end, take a tour of Île Chapdelaine, which is nicknamed Île Ronde (‘Round’) (You can imagine why…. We’re super creative, huh!). Pssst! At low tide, a small beach forms, ideal for a well-deserved break! Even at high tide the water is still shallow. Take out your cooler, enjoy an energy bar or a savory muffin with a refreshing lemonade from Tous les jours dimanche.
Route 2: approximately 6 km round trip for intermediates.
Whether you leave from the Parc de l’Île Melville or from the docks on Avenue du Capitaine-Veilleux, adapt the route to your starting point! From the park, go around l’Île Melville and cross the river to get to the dock on Avenue du Capitaine-Veilleux. Beware of swimmers with colored helmets who could train in the competition lane. Continue on your way along the shore to Baie à Giguère. If you’re lucky, you may see great blue herons there! Retrace your steps (or your paddle strokes hihi) and cross the river again at l’Île Chapdelaine. Walk around it, take a break, if necessary, observe the breathtaking view of downtown before returning to your starting point.
- Incredible sunsets
Simply spectacular! Its various shades of orange and pink always leave us speechless.
- The panoramic view of downtown
When we say that Shawi is a city in nature, well, it makes sense when you’re on the river with a panoramic view of the urban heart of the city.
- The Saint-Maurice, an important river in our history
The idea of navigating on a river of such a capital importance for the region’s development and imagining it several years ago filled with ”pitounes” (logs ready to be floated to the mill) and raftsmen, makes the experience all the more special in our eyes.
Extend your outing on the water! Want to enjoy nature longer? Hiking, Arbraska. Want to rediscover the urban effervescence? Take advantage of one of the downtown terraces! If you still have energy, discover, on foot, our downtown area surrounded by nature.
For the route map, click here.
Do you have a question about this “Bulle” or do you want suggestions to extend your getaway? Contact us! It will be our pleasure to help you.