The Gleaner

The Chateauguay River is now part of La Route Bleue

Sections of the Chateauguay River between Ormstown, Sainte-Martine, and Mercier have officially been added to the province-wide Route Bleue paddling network.

Representatives for the Société de conservation et d’aménagement du basin de la rivière Chateauguay (OBV SCABRIC) made the announcement during a press conference on June 21 in Sainte-Martine, in the presence of representatives from the watershed management organization, the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette, and Ormstown mayor Christine McAleer.

Formerly known as the St. Lawrence Water Trail, La Route Bleue guarantees the safety and standardization of paddling routes while facilitating access to waterways from the Haut-Saint-Laurent to Montreal, Gaspésie, and the Côte-Nord. Over the course of the 2024 season, dozens of new whitewater, calm, and faster-moving routes will be added, including those on the Chateauguay River.

There are now over 230 kilometres of certified paddling routes across the Montérégie region. The association with La Route Bleue offers water sport enthusiasts access to tools such as interactive mapping and fact sheets, including information on the level of difficulty of each route, the length and estimated duration, paddling period, and environmental conditions (weather, wind, water flow). Interpretation panels will also be installed near river access points in the municipalities of Sainte-Martine, Ormstown, and Mercier.

The initiative is funded through the Fonds d’action Saint-Laurent and its Affluents Maratime program, which is coordinated by the Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec (ROBVQ), and by the Quebec government through its Avantage Saint-Laurent program. The development of La Route Bleue is spearheaded by Canot Kayak Québec at the provincial level in collaboration with Eau Vivre Québec. Within the Montérégie, the network is coordinated by Loisir et Sport Montérégie and the Comité ZIP du Haut-Saint-Laurent.


The SCABRIC officially announced the addition of the Chateauguay River to the La Route Bleue paddling network on June 21 in Sainte Martine PHOTO SCABRIC


“I’m very pleased that we can improve access to the Chateauguay River thanks to La Route Bleue,” said SCABRIC director general Geneviève Audet. “This new feature fits in perfectly with our objective of introducing the public to this body of water using non-motorized watercraft,” she explained, before adding she hopes more people will discover the river.

Audet is also hoping the increased visibility on the online platform will attract more outside visitors to the region to take advantage of the SCABRIC’s kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and bicycle rental services.

Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette noted the significance of the Chateauguay River within her riding while congratulating the SCABRIC for its work to see the river added to the Route Bleue network. “This membership will increase the paddling surface in the Montérégie-Ouest region, allow users to discover new landscapes, enhance our prospects for sustainable tourism development, and enable economic development opportunities for neighbouring communities,” she enthused.

More information on the different routes on the Chateauguay River can be found on the La Route Bleue website. The SCABRIC’s rental services are open seven days a week, and equipment can be reserved online at (SR)

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