All the waterways around Lac Saint Jean are large. Even the Petite Peribonka River.
You can easily access the Peribonka River and the Petite Peribonka River, from . . . guess where? The town of Peribonka, located on the north shore of Lac St-Jean at the mouth of the Peribonka River.
The Peribonka River (French: Rivière Péribonka) is a river in the Lac-Saint-Jean area in Quebec, Canada. It is about 450 kilometres (280 miles) long. It flows into Lac Saint-Jean at Pointe-Taillon National Park and is the largest tributary of this lake.
There is a public boat launch in the town of Peribonka and parking nearby. Just stay on Hwy 169 to Peribonka. The launch is right next to the road at Rue Edouard Niquet. You'll see the docks. A company at the launch also rents kayaks for day paddles along with a small plastified map of the area. If the captain isn't there, just pick up the VHF radio on the door and call him. The instructions on how to reach him are posted. He's usually nearby. There is a public restroom in the small blue and white building on the dock where you rent the kayaks.
To access the Petite Peribonka, you can head out on the Peribonka River from the public boat launch and track along the shore until you come to the opening of the the Petite Peribonka.
As you paddle, look out longingly across the open water (on your left) to Point Taillon National Park. If the open water crossing and weather report looks good to you, a visit to Point Taillon may be of interest. If the wind is up and motorboat activity makes you think twice about crossing, you might prefer an easier little cruise up and down the 12 kilometre stretch of the more protected waters of the Petite Peribonka.
The Petite Peribonka has a sandy bottom, some cottage development, marshes and lots of wilderness along the way.
We didn't see any rocky shoals along our route. No islands and very few places to stop for a break.
You can paddle about 12 kilometres of this winding river to a waterfall where your route ends. Then, you'll have to turn around and slog back the same route. I call it a slog because, on a hot day with little or no wind, it is a slog with few beaches to stop for a swim or places to picnic. We never did make it to the waterfall. The day was just too hot for a long paddle without any wind.
Current was negligible in August, which means, we didn't feel it in either direction.
The high speed boats and SeaDoos scream through the Petite Peribonka like bats out of hell so be careful if you cross from one side of the river to the other. You can usually hear them coming from a distance. There is plenty of room for kayaks to paddle on the sidelines and for the speed boats to tear through the middle. You'll have some boat wakes to ride.
If you're looking for a larger trip than a day paddle, Equinox Adventure offers multi-day guided kayak tours on the larger Peribonka River.
I found this paddle on the Petite Peribonka River so BORING! Head to Saint Gedeon on Lac Saint Jean to paddle the bigger water, interesting craggy bays and islands!