TOP 8 TIPS for

All the signs of spring are here: the maple sap is starting to tail off, the buds are beginning to appear and the redwing blackbirds are repopulating the shorelines of our land of lakes and rivers. Usually all it takes is one of these signs to set paddlers digging out their pfds and paddles, hauling the boats of out of storage and calling a crazy friend or two to run the rivers swelling with a winter’s worth of thawed ice and snow. Here’s some tips to keep in mind as you head out for your first spring run.

8. Don’t forget your waterproof gear: high water means more water splashing around in the boat.  Also, spring is a time when many rivers are mostly navigable, like the Indian: even with high water, you’ll still find yourself hung up in a rock garden, or having to get out of the boat to walk for a stretch.  

7. Stuff an extra layer or two in your dry bag, it may be sunny, but it’s still chilly out there!

6. When out on the water, don’t forget to keep your ears tuned to the rush of surprise rapids around the twists and turns of the river you’re running

5. Badnews Bretton and Buzzkill Briagh are here to is here to say “don’t forget your pfd, extra paddle, safety kit: it’s the law.”

4. Live a little: learn how to use a throw bag!

3. Do your homework and check ice out conditions in your part of the world.  Sometimes this information can be tricky to find, but you can talk to marinas, and check online fishing groups in your region.  Friends of Algonquin Park have a great ice-out resource on their webpage:

2. You can be a great paddler and a great drinker, but not at the same time!  Paddle first, pub later!  Our favourite is The Canoe and Paddle because the patio is a stone’s throw from the pull out!


1. Everyone has their favourite paddling spots, but spring time is a chance to explore waters that aren’t navigable in other times of the year.  For example, try traversing Nogies Creek from Bass Lake south to Pigeon, or The Indian River from Warsaw Caves past 7, Hope Mill, Lang, and on down to Keene for some Muddy’s.  Mississauga River in the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park flows particularly well in the spring, as do many others in the region.  Get out and explore your beautiful backyard (and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like us to help!

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