Madawaska River (Saint John River)

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This article is about the Madawaska River in Quebec/New Brunswick. For other rivers named Madawaska, see Madawaska River (disambiguation).

The Madawaska River flows from Lake Témiscouata in Quebec, through Degelis Quebec, to join the Saint John River at Edmundston, New Brunswick.

Various theories exist over the etymology of the word Madawaska. One is that the river's name comes from the Algonquian word "Madoueskak", which means "land of the porcupine". In Maliseet, the word "Matawaskiyak" translates to "at the place where water flows out over grass", there is also speculation that it refers to the 'meeting of two rivers where there is grass'. The Madawaska river is a large drainage basin for Lake Temiscouata and other waterways from the north. Before the city of Edmundston changed the natural course of the river, the spring freshet would cause several branches of the river to flood the land resulting in various waterfalls.

The river formed part of the Témiscouata Portage, a canoe and land route from the Bay of Fundy to the Saint Lawrence River dating from the late 17th century. A road, now Route 185 and part of the Trans-Canada Highway, was built along this route in 1862. The Témiscouata Railway was built along the same route in 1886. In the early 20th century, timber and logs were floated down the river to New Brunswick.

The Petit Témis Interprovincial Linear Park is a rail trail running from Edmundston, NB to Cabano, QC in the abandoned CN rail corridor that was originally built by the Temiscouata Railway.

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Coordinates: 47°23′21.1″N 68°20′57.8″W / 47.389194°N 68.349389°W / 47.389194; -68.349389