Custom Magpie River Trips

Gather your group for an amazing experience

Whether you'd like a private 6-day Magpie Raft & Kayak Expedition for your group of 9 or more people or you want to create a custom itinerary, your planning process will be simple and the results incredible. Your experienced trip planners and professional guides will make sure your group members have the trip of a lifetime. 

Most trips are 5 to 8 days. Your group will explore untouched wilderness and paddle fun whitewater. Add on extra time for fishing or learning specialty skills. Enjoy time together on a truly spectacular and memorable river journey.

Who are custom Magpie trips for?

​Find out more about groups and organizations that we work with

Planning and Booking

  1. Contact us so that we can discuss your goals, answer questions, and plan your trip.

  2. We'll send you a trip proposal with itinerary, costs, details, and a Trip Agreement form.

  3. Once we receive your Trip Agreement and deposit, your dates are confirmed. We'll send you packing lists and registration forms for your group members and we'll be ready to answer questions and help with planning as your trip approaches.

 

Pricing

6-day Magpie Raft & Kayak Expedition

If you'd like to charter a 6-day Magpie Raft & Kayak Expedition for your private group, you can see the detailed trip description as well as the itinerary, highlights, and what's included on the Magpie River Adventure page. Private group pricing for that itinerary is as follows:

3,199 CAD / person for 9 people
2,9
99 CAD / person for 11 people
2,699 CAD / person for 15 people

Custom trip options

For custom trips, our team will help you plan a trip just for your group. We can adjust the itinerary, change or add activities, or include add-ons before or after the river expedition. 

  • Lengthen or shorten the trip length (most Magpie trips are in the 5 to 8 day range)
  • Add transport from Sept Iles as well as lodging options
  • Adjust the amount of whitewater rafting, inflatable kayaking, standup paddleboarding (SUP)
  • Take more time for angling, kayak fishing, or fly fishing
  • Add specialty training in wilderness / primitive skills, raft guiding, whitewater rescue, or wilderness first aid
  • Plan other activities in the region like a sea kayak tour or multi-day expedition in the Mingan Archipelago or a boat trip to see whales and the national park.
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A 25% deposit for each group member is required to hold your dates and the full balance is due 90 days before the trip start date. Once the deposit has been made, we will start booking guides, reserving flights, planning menus, and assigning equipment and resources to your trip.

We will also be turning away other groups for those dates. As such, there are expenses that cannot be recouped and the deposit is non-refundable. We highly recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance.

If you cancel the trip 30 to 89 days from your trip start date, we will refund you 50% of the total balance.

If you cancel the trip less then 30 days from your trip start date, there is no refund.

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The River

National Geographic ranks the Magpie amongst the best rivers worldwide for multi-day whitewater trips and it is widely considered one of the top 3 trips for rafting expeditions in North America.

Magpie River Adventure Multi-day rafting expeditions

There are a number of factors that contribute to this:

- Truly untouched nature (only accessible by float plane) and breathtaking scenery of cliffs, steep hills, and never-ending boreal forest.

- Fun and exciting whitewater. Great class III & IV rapids for rafting and inflatable kayaking with little flatwater in between.

- Awesome stretches for standup paddleboarding (SUP) on calm sections in between rapids and near the camping spots.

- A spectacular start to the trip with a 30 minute float plane flight to gorgeous Lake Magpie.

- Great trout fishing for experienced anglers, fly fishing, and beginners alike.

- The awe-inspiring rugged beauty and power of Magpie Gorge and Magpie Falls near the end of the trip.

-  Quebec's 'Cote-Nord' (North Shore of the St. Lawrence Gulf) region - a mix of seaside villages, expansive wilderness, island chains and coastline - houses the river; the area's friendly people foster a relaxed vibe and the landscape of endless wilderness inspires adventure.

The Region and People

Geography and ecology
The ‘Cote-Nord’ region of Quebec follows the St-Lawrence from the Saguenay Fjord to Labrador. Along the rugged coastline, river after river - all wild Atlantic Salmon runs - bring freshwater to sea. These rich estuaries are feeding grounds for whales, seals, dolphins, and colonies of puffins. Inland, on the glaciated rock shield, vast stretches of Boreal forest extend into Quebec’s central mountains and to the tundra. 

This is one of the three biggest areas of intact forest in the world. It is home to common Canadian animals -- black bear, moose, beaver, loons -- and rare and endangered ones like lynx and woodland caribou.

The people
The earliest human inhabitants of this area arrived eight thousand years ago. For the last two thousand years it has been the home of the Innu or Montagnaise people, who used to live as nomadic hunters. The first Europeans appeared on Viking and Basque fishing fleets. Then, the French settled in fishing villages along the coast.

Riviere au Tonnerre church

Today, coastal highway 138 connects the villages and few roads extend inland. Though the road ends at Kegasksa (276 km/171 miles east of the Magpie), a small population inhabits the area further east, known as the Basse Cote Nord (Lower North Shore) where tiny villages, some French, some Innu, some English, are currently only accessible by a weekly supply boat or snowmobile in the winter.

Economy
The region's industries include fishing for crab, lobster, scallops, bourgot, and halibut (though the fishery is less significant than it once was when cod 'filled the bays'), tourism to Mingan Archipelago National Park, and mining in the interior. 

The biggest towns of Sept Iles and Baie Comeau have mineral processing plants and shipping ports. Construction of the Romaine River hydroelectric dams began in the summer of 2009. The over $8 billion development is currently one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Canada. Other projects in the future include the extension of the 138 eastward and new hydroelectric dams.

Protecting the river
The Magpie River is unprotected and therefore can be dammed by Hydro Quebec. Learn more about the movement to protect the river and what you can do to help here.

Things to do on the Cote Nord

  • A road trip to Kegaska, the end of the Highway, only connected to the rest of Quebec since 2013. Jumping off point for marine travel to the Lower North Shore.
  • Sea kayaking or boat trips to the islands of Mingan Archipelago National Park to see monoliths (rock statues carved by the tides) and marine wildlife.
  • Slow down and absorb the relaxed seaside charm of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Riviere-Au-Tonnerre, and Magpie.
  • Whale watching or hiking near Tadoussac, the historic town at the confluence of the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • Visit Anticosti island for spectacular canyons, cliffs, and salmon fishing.

Magpie River_Cote Nord aerial_2014.JPG

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Where is Quebec's Magpie River Map

Travelling by car

Driving to Quebec’s North Shore makes for a great road trip. We highly recommend allowing ample time to rest and enjoy the many sights en route. Expect about 10 hours of driving time from Quebec City to Sept Iles or 12 hours from Quebec City to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. From Quebec City there are two route options:

Route Option 1: Via Tadoussac - This is the more scenic route and is fastest, but does include lots of hills, bends, and undivided highway. 

Follow Hwy 40 East to St. Anne-de-Beaupre. Continue on Hwy 138 East all the way to our rendezvous point. There is a short free ferry that crosses the Saguenay River from Baie-St-Catherine to Tadoussac. It runs hourly 24 hours a day. The historic village of Tadoussac, perched on the Saguenay fjord, is an excellent choice for an overnight stay. From Tadoussac it is 5 to 6 hours of driving time to Sept Iles or 7 to 8 hours of driving time to Longue-Pointe-De-Mingan

Route Option 2: Via Rimouski or Matane - This route includes a ferry crossing that has to be timed and reserved in advance, but involves bigger highways and less hills.

From Quebec City, follow Hwy 20 East and take either the Rimouski - Forestville, Matane - Godbout, or Matane - Baie-Comeau ferry. Once you have crossed the St. Lawrence, follow Hwy 138 East to Sept Iles or Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, depending on your trip meeting location. 

Rimouski Ferry Reservations: Website, phone: 1-800-973-2725, 418-725-2725

Matane Ferry Reservations: Website, phone: 1-877-562-6560

Traveling by air

Air Canada, Provincial Airlines, and Air Labrador offer daily flights to Sept-Iles connecting through Montreal and Quebec City. From Sept Iles, you can rent a car and drive 2 hours to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. Or contact us to organize a shuttle for your group.

Travelling by train/boat

For those with extra time available, an adventurous route is to take a passenger train to the town of Rimouski followed by the weekly boat Relais Nordik* to Havre-Saint-Pierre. Contact us to organize a shuttle from Havre Saint Pierre. Reservations for the boat must be made well in advance, as it is a weekly boat you will need to plan for extra days in the region before and after your trip.

*This ship then continues to the remote lower North Shore, for a six night round trip voyage, carrying supplies to some of the most isolated villages in Quebec as well as providing sleeping berths and meals for passengers.

Relais Nordik Boat - Website, Phone: 1-800-463-0680, (418) 723-8787

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"On behalf of my Dad (Paul) and I, we would like to thank you for the most incredible week. When we went home I think we both found it difficult to explain our experience to others. I used phrases like “the best week of my life” and “the trip of a lifetime” when anyone asked me how the trip went. Thank you!"

- Emily Lawler from Grey County, Ontario

Custom Group 7-day Trip
Magpie River, Quebec, 2014

Contact a Trip Planner