The Seven Sisters of the Rouge is the classic and most famous section. Depending upon water level the
character changes greatly. At low and medium levels the upper is class III. At medium-high and above
class IV. At very high levels it approaches class V in difficulty. The gorge section with the waterfalls
is class V at all times.
The name 'Seven Sisters' is a bit of a misnomer. The name dates from before the river was used for
whitewater rafting and boating. The 'sisters' refer to a number of rapids and waterfalls, some of which
are above the 'usual' whitewater section (Sister McNeil—Just below the gage), or in the middle (Sister
Elizabeth) of the run.
The name may refer to the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa (Les Soeurs de la Charité d'Ottawa), (also known
as the Gray Nuns), founded by Sister Élisabeth Bruyère in 1845.
A local legend says: "At the beginning of colonization, Amerindians [Native Americans] descending the
Red River in a canoe would have been caught in the rapids and were therefore doomed to drown. On
the bank there were seven nuns who by their prayers succeeded in raising the canoe and transporting
it to a safer place, which saved the lives of these men."
Put on above Propulsion Rafting near a bus-turnaround lot. Do *not* park in the bus turn-around area
or risk your car being towed. Park instead at Camping Vallée de la Rivière-Rouge (a few hundred yards
downstream of a river-wide waterfall). Or put-in further upstream where the road runs along the river.
The first difficult rapid in this section is a III+/IV rapid (Chute Elizabeth) and consists of two tight class IV
drops forming an S-turn. After that is 'Slice-N-Dice','The Mushroom', the 'Washing Machine' and 'Dryer'.
Finally towards the bottom is the gorge with the six waterfalls. Only extreme boaters run the falls (to the
enjoyment of all the other mere mortals).
Most paddlers incorrectly assume the seven sisters refer to the waterfalls near the bottom of this section. However there are only really four-to-six waterfalls (depending upon how you count—two of the waterfalls are double-drops). The waterfalls are considered the "main event" for advanced paddlers and are what give this section it's reputation.
There is a portage trail around the waterfalls on river-right. There is no takeout available here, if you paddle the river you must either run the waterfalls or portage. Half-way down the portage trail (just below Drops 4-5) you have the option of lowering your boat down the cliff and paddling a short distance to Drop 6 and portaging on river-left.
Take out on river-left at the mouth of the river where it runs into the Ottawa at one of two campgrounds [either upstream or downstream of] the Route 148 bridge. Do *not* take out along river-right. Downstream of the bridge on river-right is all private property; upstream of the bridge is public land, however river access or parking is not allowed. (Locals sometimes park or camp there, however anyone doing so risks a ticket and tow.)
Regional Map – Rivers of the Laurentides Area
Put in elevation........ '
Take out elevation...... '
Total drop.............. '
Average drop/mile....... '
Maximum drop/mile....... '
River profile type......
Distance................ 4.3 miles
Duration................ 2-3 hours
River width average..... '
River water quality.....
Drainage area........... 2110 sq miles
Distance from Quebec.... 216 miles
Distance from Montreal.. 67 miles
Eau Vive Rafting 800-567-6881 Rafting, Kayaking, Paintball.
1199, Chemin De La Rivière Rouge; Grenville Sur La Rouge, Québec; J0V 1B0
Camping Vallée de la Rivière-Rouge Rafting & Camping (see listing below).
Propulsion Rafting Rivière Rouge 800.461.3300, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raft outfitter directly across from gage rock on river.
New World Rafting 800.361.5033 email@example.com. Full-service adventure
resort with multiple activities. Note: New World controls only take-out
Camping Vallée de la Rivière-Rouge Paddlers' Favorite. Proprietor: Ms.
Esther Rosatii, 700, Chemin de la Rivière-Rouge, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge,
J0V 1B0; 819.242.1819; <esther.wright at sympatico dot ca>. Full service
campground located just above the put-in. Also has rafting.
Grenville Municipal Seven-Sisters Rest Area (Halte Des Sept Sœurs,
Town-owned public campground.
Small with limited facilities but paddler friendly.
River access or shuttle vehicle parking $5.00/carload. Located
on river-left immediately above the Route 148 bridge.
La Place Rouge 2265 Route 148, Grenville sur la Rouge, QC, J0V 1B0;
819-242-2883. Full-service campground. Sites with and with-out hookups;
boat ramp, beach, water slide. Located on river-left just below the
Route 148 bridge. River access $5.00/per person.
Propulsion Rafting Rivière Rouge Raft outfitter next to gage rock
on river. Limited camping space, restricted to raft guests only.
New World Rafting Full-service adventure resort; rafting, horseback
riding, etc. Camping restricted to persons participating in their
activites. Note: New World's take-out is above the Seven Sisters
MYOSIS.CA Web Site (Débit des rivières for gage levels.)La Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak (FQCK) (Info débit for gage levels.)Le club de canot-camping des Pays-d´en-Haut (CCCPH)
AccuWeather.com Canada, MétéoMédia Canada or Environment Canada forecast.
The gage rock across from Propulsion Rafting has an orange line at the 150 cms rafting cutoff level.
There is a paddler's high limit line painted on a rock across from the Propulsion Rafting facility downstream of the put-in. River levels above this line (150 cms) are class V. Paddlers on this section at this level or higher should exercise extreme caution.
The Suivi Hydro Gage (ID 040204) is located about 3 miles upstream of the put-in, just above Sister McNeil and a small bridge over the river. It is entirely electronic, the gage house is on the opposite side of the road from the river.
Gage levels are reported in Meters Per Second; multiply by 35.3 to convert to CFS.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Put on above Propulsion Rafting next to a bus-turnaround lot. Park only along the edge so not to block the buses. This is only a few hundred yards downstream of a river-wide waterfall.
Take out at the mouth of the Ottawa River on river-left in one of two campgrounds on either side of the road.
Rapides des tout nus (Bare Naked Rapid)
La Surprise (Surprise)
le Champignon (Mushroom)
le Seuil à Élizabeth (Sister Elizabeth)
Rapide Familial (le Rapide du Bas)
la Machine à laver (Washing Machine)
Seven Sisters Gorge Satellite View
Top of Drop 2
Gorge above Drop 6.
Looking downstream at drop 3
Skirting the Washing Machine
Rivers of the Laurentides Region
Marsh on the Rouge (drop #5)
Marsh on the Rouge (drop #3)
Brooks on the Rouge (drop #3)
Marsh on the Rouge (drop #2)
Paige on the Rouge (drop #2)
Brooks on the Rouge (drop #2)
Jason on the Rouge (Drop #1)
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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