Picanoc River

Picanoc River (pikanak or pakânâk) is tributary of Gatineau River, flowing in the administrative region of Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada.

Picanoc River
Covered bridge over the Picanoc River west of Gracefield
LocationGracefield, Quebec
Physical characteristics
Gatineau River
Length85 km (53 mi)
Basin sizeSaint Lawrence River

The Picanoc River first flows in the unorganized territory of Lac-Nilgaut, Quebec in Pontiac Regional County Municipality and through Gracefield, Quebec in the (RCM) of the La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau Regional County Municipality.


Its headwaters originate at 10 km southeast of Lake Usborne and north of Lac Dumont in Pontiac County. It generally flows eastward by making a large loop to the south, on a distance of 85 km. The Picanoc then widens forming Lac à la Loutre (Otter Lake) and discharges into Gatineau River at Wright (South of Gracefield municipality), in the MRC of La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau Regional County Municipality. It is part of Saint Lawrence River/Gulf of Saint Lawrence watershed.

Narrow and tumultuous, it is highly regarded for outdoor enthusiasts. It is 95 kilometer long class/grade II river, with some sections gaining class/grade III difficulty (rating based upon the International Scale of River Difficulty).

Historical and topographical landmarks

According to Eugène Rouillard (1906) quoting Father Georges Lemoine, "Pikanook" or "Picanock" is a variant of "pakanak", "walnut", of "Pakan", nuts, probably so named because of the nuts found there. Probably around this river were populated walnut, a wood prized by Native Americans for making their bows. The spelling and pronunciation of the Native American name underwent several consecutive changes to language contact. Thus do we find the form on a map Pikanook 1906 Wright Township, Pickanok on that of the Ministry of Mines and Fisheries of 1925 and on the Pickinock County Hull, also from 1925.

The current form "Picanoc" appears on a map of the Department of Lands and Forests in 1927. Picanoc also means a bridge, three lanes of communication and a small stream; the term was also used in the old name of the municipality of Gracefield[1]

The place name "River Picanoc" was formalized December 5, 1968 to the Commission de toponymie du Québec (Quebec Names Board).[2]

Notes and references

Media related to Category:Picanoc River at Wikimedia Commons

  1. Source: "Names and locations of Québec", the work of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (Quebec Geographic Names Board), published in 1994 and 1996 as illustrated a printed dictionary, and under that a CD-ROM produced by the Micro-Intel in 1997 from the dictionary.
  2. Commission de toponymie du Québec (Names Board of Quebec) - Bank of place names - Toponym: "River Picanoc"

See also

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