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Celebrate Our Rivers

Dip Your Paddle and Celebrate Our Rivers and Canada’s 150th This Summer

Over the last five years, the Bonnechere River Watershed Project (BRWP) and the Ottawa River Institute (ORI) have partnered with businesses, other organizations and municipalities to provide about 1000 paddler trips on local waterways to residents and visitors through the Celebrate Our Rivers paddle series.  There will be even more opportunity to paddle in 2017, Canada’s 150th, with a few of the now 16 paddle events again featuring local food and music.  Some of the paddles require advance registration to help with logistics, while others do not. Any profits after expenses to organize and run the series will benefit the lead organizations. So bring your paddle craft (canoe, kayak, paddle board) and join others in Celebrating Canada’s 150th and Our Rivers!  

The paddle series will begin in May this year with four roundtrip weekday paddles. The first is slated for Thursday May 11th at 9:30am with a roundtrip on the Lower Barron River, putting in at the Rantz Road boat launch. The second of the four takes place on Wed. May 17th at 9:30am on the Indian River, putting in at the old Alice Ski Hill. The following week, on Wed. May 24th at 9:30am, join us for a tour of Constant Creek, putting in at Ferguson Lake on Campground Sideroad. The fourth May paddle is scheduled for Wed. May 31 at 9:30am on the Muskrat River and Mud Lake, putting in at the Meath Hill boat launch. There is a fee of $10 for each of these paddles, but pre-registration is not required.

Saturday June 3rd marks the 6th annual Wilber Lake to Eganville Celebrate Our River Paddle, a Bonnechere Valley Canada 150th event.  After the morning registration at the Eganville Arena at 9:00am, a shuttle will be provided to the put-in at Wilber Lake. For those less adventurous or experienced, a flat water paddle will leave the boat launch at the Eganville arena. The two hour Wilber Lake put-in paddle will end at the arena where Griffith Farm and Market will be offering delicious local food for lunch to paddlers - and anyone else looking for something different - while taking in some local hand drumming and musical entertainment at the open-mike session. Registration on-line at www.celebrateourriver.ca, $10 per person in advance, $15 on-site. Under 16 and unwaged free registration. To rent space in a canoe, you must book in advance. For a two-person canoe including gear, contact Don Adams at 613-333-2240 ($20 per person). For a place in a 6-person canoe see celebrateourriver.ca ($25 per person)

Sunday June 11th, will see the 5th annual Bonnechere River from Renfrew to the Ottawa River paddle, and First Chute Clean-up and an additional feature, a search for drift cards released in mid May from the crossing point of the TransCanada pipeline.  Start time is 9:30am at the wastewater treatment facility at the end of Mutual St. in Renfrew. Paddlers will also have an opportunity to see the site of the 2016 mudslide that dammed the river and flooded upstream to Renfrew (http://www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/6424415-horton-township-landslide-sends-debris-into-bonnechere-ottawa-rivers/).  Please bring your own lunch for a shoreline stop after portaging the First Chute and a few minutes of clean-up. The paddle will end around 1:00 p.m. at the Horton boat launch with a shuttle back to Renfrew provided. Cost $10/person.  To help with logistics planning, please register in advance via info@BonnechereRiver.ca

On Saturday June 17th, join the Muskrat Watershed Council for a paddle on Muskrat Lake, beginning at 7:30 a.m. This paddle is in support of “Swim for the Lake” and will be followed by a BBQ at the Cobden boat launch. For more information see: facebook.com/watershedmuskrat. Participant fee is by donation. Rain date is June 18.

On Saturday June 24 at 9:30am, join a round trip tour the beautiful Little Mississippi River, lead by the Ottawa River Institute. Put in will be at the Burnt Bridge in in Palmer Rapids.

There are six paddles in July to participate in! The first is on Sat. July 1 at 9:30am on the Bonnechere River from Deacon to Pikwakanagan. The put-in will be at the Deacon boat launch. Registration is required for this paddle to: info@bonnechereriver.ca, and cost is $10. The following Wednesday July 5 marks an evening roundtrip paddle on the Bonnechere River from the Renfrew boat launch to the former beach. Cost is $10 and will be lead by the Bonnechere River Watershed Project.

On Saturday July 15th, there is an extra special paddle with fiddlers and other musicians joining in for a very unique nature and musical experience, not to be missed. The 4rd annual Eganville to Fourth Chute paddle/fiddle will be followed by a BBQ (optional) and musical entertainment hosted by Valley Heritage Radio at the Bonnechere Caves.  Registration begins at 1:00 pm at the Bonnechere Caves and paddlers will be shuttled to the put-in below Eganville for a 2:30 start to a two hour paddle.  Cost is $15/person for paddle/music ($10 for music only).  Bring a lawn chair and cooler for the après music. Organized by the BRWP and the Bonnechere Caves. To help with logistics, please register in advance via info@BonnechereRiver.ca 

A mid week roundtrip paddle takes place Wed. July 19th at 9:30am on the Snake River Marsh. This relatively undiscovered river offers views of flora and fauna not often seen by paddlers. The put-in will be at the Snake River Line, 500m SE of Stoqua Creek Road. Cost is $10/person.

On Saturday July 22, paddle along a picturesque route on the Ottawa River from Portage-du-Fort to Grandview or the Horton boat launch at the mouth of the Bonnechere River. Rendezvous at the Portage-du-Fort boat launch at 9:30. A shuttle will be provided back to the launch site.  Cost $10/person. To help with logistics, please register in advance with info@BonnechereRiver.ca 

A brand new paddle this year features a picturesque section of the Little Bonnechere River from Lough Garvey to Couchain Lake. This paddle takes place on Wed. July 26 at 9:30am beginning at Lough Garvey on Paugh Lake Road, 100 m south of Basin Depot Road. Cost is $10 and registration is required to: info@bonnechereriver.ca. Shuttles will be available.

In August, be sure to take part in the Upper Ottawa River Heritage paddle, lead by the Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival, taking place on August 13 at 10am. The put-in is at the Petawawa Point Beach and the $20 cost includes lunch. Seats are available in Voyageur or Montreal canoes. Registration is required, see upperottawariverrace.ca.

The final paddle event of the season will be lead by the Township of McNab/Braeside and the BRWP on the Madawaska River as a roundtrip from the Burnstown Beach. Cost is $10.  No pre-registration required.  

Visit the Bonnechere River Watershed Project website events page (www.bonnechereriver.ca/brwp-events ) or the Ottawa River Institute’s website (www.ottawariverinstitute.ca) and both facebook pages for more information and updates.