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Madawaska river, Palmer rapids **

View Palmer rapids in a larger map.
  • Grade: 2(3)
  • Level: Best with some spring flow, but runs through the summer
  • Gauge: Online
  • Length: 600 m
  • Time: Good for a few hours of doing laps
  • Put In: Site of the original Palmer rapids settlement
  • Take Out: End of the rapid, river left
  • Shuttle: Walk back up through the trails
  • Character: Short section with two rapids - a good training ground for learner to intermediate paddlers

Palmer rapids is a popular spot for practising the basics of whitewater paddling. There are two sets of rapids, with a slow moving pool between. The upper set (Jessups) is the more technical of the two, and has a number of channels depending upon water levels. The right channel seems to be the most popular. The lower set (Railroad) is longer but easier with a left turn at the bottom.

To get there; from the township of Palmer rapids, drive north on Palmer road/County road 515. This will take you out of the modern-day Plamer rapids, and through Jewellville. About 1 km past the bridge over the Madawaska, turn left onto Dam road. There is a signposted turning on the left shortly afterwards that leads to the original site of the Palmer rapids settlement. This is right by the river, and has ample parking. Walking trails lead to numerous places to access the river above and below the rapids.