Morning Fogs and Sunset at ZEC Dumoine

We invite you to explore nature in early fall at the Dumoine River, the last wild river in Ottawa Valley. Early October is the time when it is still warm and sunny during the day; however, it is already cold at night, and in the morning a milky impenetrable fog covers all the surroundings. This is still a time of late songbird migration and other forest dwellers preparing for the long winter. This is also a period when moisture and morning fogs wake up the mycelium that has been sleeping all summer and many types of mushrooms appear on the surface, surprising forest visitors with various shapes, colors, and abundance.

We are organizing a trip for naturalists, photographers, and nature lovers to explore the magic of first fall colors, silent mornings, and a farewell variety of wildlife. We plan to organize guided hikes near the cabin, located close to the Lac Penniseault for mushroom lovers. It should be many mushroom varieties in this area in fall. We will visit the Grande Chute trail to Robinson Lake. We will have also a canoe trip on Robinson Lake to the Red Pine waterfall. We will stay in the morning on the shelter platform near Steven’s Pond expecting to see moose and other animals. We will have a campfire and we hope to have good company near the cabin in the evening. We have two canoes in the area, which we can share to explore the environment. We also provide simple food and utensils. If you plan to cook some specific things, you can bring them also.

We will have two options to come to the camping site: one by Friday evening (before 5:00 pm) to register at ZEC Dumoine and stay in the area for two nights, and another by early morning Saturday, October 08, to stay in the area for one night. Carpooling is welcomed. If you are interested in traveling to Dumoine with us, please, contact us, regarding preferred options and the time of your arrival so that we could meet you near the ZEC Dumoine office. The address for contact is

How to dress?

It is damp and cool in the forest now, so take care of clothes and shoes that are most comfortable for moving through ravines and inconveniences. Please, take your tents, sleeping bags, and matrasses in according to the weather forecast.

What else might be needed?

You will need lights for the evening, personal items, and light snacks for hikes. Do not forget small baskets and knives for picking mushrooms, as well as personal protection against insects. We have three safety vests in the area, but it is better to take your own safety vest if you plan to use a canoe. Please, let us know also if you have any food preferences.

Camping near Dumoine River

Join us for a journey to the Ottawa Valley’s last wild river – the Dumoine! A land of mature and old-growth forests, countless lakes, streams and wetlands – home to moose, bear, wolves, and over 160 species of birds. We are organizing a trip for naturalists, photographers and nature lovers to capture the beauty of this place on Canada Day.

The early summer is an amazing time in the taiga, full of cares and worries about the growing offspring of numerous forest inhabitants, the unique colors of flowering plants, the noise of running waves of a full-flowing river, piercing colorful sunsets and sunrises…

In summer, the taiga comes alive. It is filled with the voices of birds returned from distant wintering places and is colored with the variegation of flowering plants. We invite people open to the beauty or just nature lovers to share with us the unique moments of immersion in the wild nature of this amazing place. Birds returned to their breeding sites and occupied their personal “households”. In this time, they are most visible and heard. We’ll learn how to recognize birds by call and sight. At this time, amphibians are also very vocal; their chorus is more prominent at the dusk – early morning, and evening. We’ll learn how to identify various species of frogs and hope to see some of them during our trips to forests and along the river.

Our trip will take place on the Canada Day from July 1 to July 4. We will stop close to the cabin on the Lac Pinniseault and at a colorful place on the banks of the Dumoine River – close to Robinson Lake. Our team of three people organizes leisure activities and hikes for participants on the territory. We will observe the birds and animals that live in the area, as well as get up early to catch the unique morning light over the river and lake.

We invite a group of 10-15 people for this trip. We can provide transportation for people to the territory, and we also provide guidance on hikes to observe wildlife. We will stay close to John’s cabin, providing you with hot fragrant coffee, and tea at any time. We also will serve a small breakfast for everyone and dinner at the end of the day. We also have a special camouflage tent that can accommodate 4 people to watch birds and other inhabitants of the taiga. We have several equipped places for observation of nature in the Dumoine area, where photographers can stay to observe wildlife and take photos. We have several canoes for observation of nature from the water. We provide basic food, but we advise everyone to take additional food, whatever you like.

You need to bring a tent and camping essentials, flashlights, safety vests for canoe trips, your cameras, and protection against mosquitoes and other insects. Please, watch for the weather forecast and prepare your rain jackets and boots accordingly.

The cost of the trip – $ 150 per full day per person includes – registration, place in the camp, escort, breakfast, and dinner, as well as lessons in nature observation, identifying birds and mammals by voices and footprints.  In addition, we will provide you with transportation to our field camp from Swisha, ​​where you can leave your car, to the base camp, and back. We’ll charge half the price for the day of arrival and the day of departure.

Dumoine River 3-day Guided Tour Canada Day with Accommodations

Dumoine River 3-day Guided Tour Canada Day Long Weekend


Did you decide where to go on Canada Day? Do you like adventure? Would you like to explore the wilderness and rest from civilization in the charming corner of the boreal forest hidden in southwest Quebec? We invite you to join us for the Canada Day weekend in one of the most amazing places – on the Dumoine River.

Within a few days, you will have the opportunity to observe sunsets and dawn, both from the land and water, paddling in the canoe on Robinson Lake, watch beavers in the morning fog, look if first summer mushrooms started to grow, and listen for a variety of birds.

We may even see a moose!

… or kissing beavers …

We will start our visit by hiking along a newly restored education trail running along Grande Chute – a stunning series of waterfalls, rapids, canyons, and coves that extends for over 500 meters – you will have plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery from a series of look-out spots.

The trail then proceeds along through old pine and mixed forests before coming out to Robinson Lake. While the Grande Chute trail represents a hike of about 3 km (each way from our campsite), several other sections of the trail are available, including one taking us to the historic Red Pine Rapids where we will borrow a portage trail that has been in constant use for over 5000 years!

Immersed in the wilderness, we gather around the campfire at the end of the day to share stories and impressions.

We can also plan to talk about the past and future of our civilization (it would be good to discuss impression after reading “Sapience: a brief history of humankind” written by Yuval Noah Harari), thoughts about nature conservation in Canada and why it is so important now, in the challenging time of human development. We’ll talk also about “simple” and “complicated” natural things…

Please, be also advised that this is a real wilderness area. There is no cell signal, no electricity, no running water (no showers), and that we will be using an outhouse.


Robinson Lake site at ZEC Dumoine (approximately 2.5 hours from Ottawa)



Day 1:

  • Arrival in Swisha and registration at ZEC Dumoine – July 1, 9:30-10:00 am (time of driving from Ottawa to Swisha approximately 2 – 2.5 hours) – John MacDonnell, co-host of the event, will meet us there to help reach the destination place – the campsite on the Robinson Lake.
  • Cars can be left at the town hall in Swisha at 48, rue de l’Eglise. Please park away from the building and the mailboxes.
  • We’ll stop at the Grande Chute to look at the raging water streams and take several pictures of fascinating landscapes.
  • Establishment of camp at the Robinson Lake site (until lunchtime).
  • Lunch at the campsite – communication.
  • Hikes in the area around the camp, canoe tours.
  • Dinner around the campfire.

Day 2:

  • Morning hike to the Stevens Pond (beaver family observation in the morning fog).
  • Breakfast at the camp.
  • Hike on the education trail along Dumoine River: several lookouts with view on the picturesque rapids of the Dumoine River, landscape photography, observation of nature, we’ll talk about the history of the “Last of the wild rivers” (Wallace Schaber).
  • Lunch and communication.
  • Evening hikes, swimming, canoeing, fishing (you need to have the Quebec permit for fishing), picking mushrooms.
  • Dinner and stories around the fireplace.

Day 3:

  • Early morning breakfast.
  • Hike along the Red Pine trail (other picturesque rapids down of the river, new interesting trail for explorers).
  • Lunch at campsite, swimming, canoeing, fishing, picking mushrooms.
  • Return to Ottawa in the late afternoon (we plan to leave the area around 5:00 pm).

Special conditions:

  1. We register all participants at the campsite at Robertson Lake for 3 days and pay the fees to stay on the campsite for all participants, but you need to pay the entrance fees at the first place ZEC-Dumoine – 10$ for the car for all time to stay in the area;
  2. We need the following data for registration at the campsite:  names of the participants, addresses, including postal code, and a telephone number.
  3. If you wish to drive yourself to the campsite, you will need a high clearance vehicle as the roads are rough. We encourage carpooling and we have access to one high clearance vehicle which can take 5 people and gear. If you have a high clearance vehicle and wish to offer to drive to the campsite with others, please let us know.
  4. We have a canoe at the site, but you can also bring your own canoe or kayak. If you are planning to paddle, please bring a lifejacket.
  5. We provide food and all supplies for cooking at the camp, but you need to have your own plastic / reusable mugs, dishes, spoons as well as any alcoholic beverage if you plan to take any, we will provide fresh water, coffee, and tea.
  6. Do not forget sunscreen and mosquito spray! The forecast is for wet weather, but it should be very warm in the area.
  7. You need to have sportswear for hiking, swimming, canoeing, especially good hiking shoes. Do not forget the warm pullovers, because evening and morning at the Dumoine may be fresh and chilly! A light rain jacket will be also needed due to the forecast.
  8. If you need tents or sleeping bags, please, inform us. We have some extra!
  9. Please bring a backpack for hikes, a camera, and binoculars if you have them.

Please, contact us regarding all conditions of this trip and your diet, especially, if you are vegetarian.

Event Registration:



If you Have any questions regarding this event, please feel free to contact us using the form below.

Dumoine River in Quebec, Canada: place to visit

Dumoine River in May

The Dumoine River is one of the nine main tributaries flowing into the Ottawa River, and the last remaining undammed river in southern Quebec. The Dumoine River flows south from Dumoine Lake into the Ottawa River, about 200 km upstream from Canada’s National Capital, Ottawa. It has a basin area of 5,380 km2 and is 129 km long. For most of its length, it acts as the boundary between the municipalities of Temiscamingue and Pontiac. It also happens to be home to the largest area of unfragmented boreal forest in southern Quebec. Not only is Dumoine River located close to the Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, but it serves as a very significant wildlife corridor linking La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve to Algonquin Park, further linking to Adirondacks in New York state, and then to the Appalachian Mountains.

Long ago, Wiskedjak, a prominent character of the Algonquian legends, came across Kiwegoam or the “turn-back lake” (Dumoine Lake). As he walked to the opposite side, he found a round, high, mountain that looked like a beaver lodge. Wiskedjak wanted to hunt the giant beaver that lived in this lodge, and decided to drain Kiwegoam (Dumoine Lake). While the water was draining, Wiskedjak took a nap. When he woke up, he couldn’t find the beaver, and thought that the beaver had followed the draining water and left the lake, so he followed the beaver. He went past the Coulonge River, past the Pembroke Lakes, and arrived at Calumet Chutes, but he found nothing. He turned around and began to follow his own tracks, thinking they belonged to the beaver. Finally, after several attempts Wiskedjak gave up. Nonetheless, his efforts made a significant contribution! His draining of the Dumoine Lake created the Dumoine River, while his trail established the Calumet portage, or simply the Wiskedjak tracks (Ottawa River Heritage Designation Committee, 2005; Schaber, 2015). This is an ancient legend, but confident beavers still inhabit the riverbanks…

Since that time and until now, the Dumoine River area is a great piece of intact nature still free of invasive species, and full of wilderness. Many natural habitats have been kept along the river providing healthy environment for settlements of boreal inhabitants. Fresh bear and moose footprints can be found in many places as well as animals themselves. Mostly wild animals are very cautious and try to avoid direct meetings with people. But they leave the evidence of their presence on the roads and in the woods. Other animals even pose for observers, because they are not scared by “bipedal aliens”, disturbing their realm.

The boreal forest is amazingly rich with many bird species, representing good northern species diversity. The birds are the most abundant and diverse group of vertebrate animals around Dumoine River, including many boreal specialists that inhabit the woods and make regular seasonal migrations. Some species are very abundant, others are more secretive and hidden in the woods and in the foliage of deciduous trees. It is hard to spot them in the crowns, but they can be recognized by calls and songs.

Morning light is something special on the river and time spent in the wilderness is very valuable for inspiration, and motivation of curious and artistic minds, as well as for enjoyment of life in all its fullness. The life is empty without such moments. Dumoine River still maintains wonderful landscapes, untouched wild nature and pieces of real wilderness that probably do not produce measurable goods and services, but fill the human sense by belonging to all living creatures and responsibility for the future of this virgin life. It is important to keep such “sacred” places for other people and future generations, because there is more to life than the fast paced urbanized society many of us live in.

Only small portion of photos taken by author was used for illustration. The Dumoine area always surprises the curious minds by unexpected observations of wildlife dynamics and picturesque sceneries.