Algonquin Provincial Park - Lake Travers - Campsite

Petawawa River

Lake Travers to Lake McManus

June 17 - 20, 2005

Algonquin Provincial Park - Sand Lake Gate

Canoe Trip Reports

Petawawa River

Trip Preparation
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
What worked well
Lessons Learned
Photo Gallery

Trip Preparation

Packs and Paddles on the Rollway portage - Petawawa RiverI started recruiting for this whitewater canoe trip in the fall of 2004. While most folks in Ontario have paddled a canoe at some point, there is a much smaller population that is actually interested in a canoe trip, what with all that portaging, and sleeping on the ground, and bugs, and ... At the same time, it's amazing how fast you start finding fellow paddlers as soon as you start asking around. The challenge in recruiting for this trip was finding folks who were willing to take a couple of days off work, were moderately experienced canoe trippers, and were open to some long portages. In the end there were 5 of us in the group for this trip.

As I started researching the trip the key questions I was asking were:

  1. How long would the trip take. Both time on the water and getting there aRollway Rapids - Petawawa River - Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontariond back.
  2. Since we would be renting whitewater canoes, where were the nearest recommended outfitters.
  3. What was the actual whitewater on the river like? My wife and I had done a weekend whitewater canoe course at Madawaska Kanu Centre the year before. Now I wanted a trip that would offer lots of Class I and II rapids, with some easier Class III rapids to practice our skills.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to know the portage conditions. The Petawawa is a "drop and pool" river which means that the rapids tend to coincide with rocky areas which also make for challenging portages. I wanted to make sure that the take outs for the portages would be well marked with plenty of time, and safety, to get off the river before the rapids. I also wanted an indication of just how much work the portages would be.

Portaging along the Petawawa River in Algonquin Provincial ParkWhen researching any trip to Algonquin, a good place to start asking questions is in the forum on Algonquin Adventures. Another good source, and in this case the more useful for me, was Canadian Canoe Routes which has a broader group of whitewater and river tripping folks. From Canadian Canoe Routes I got pointPetawawa River Whitewater Guideed to the Petawawa River Whitewater Guide which is published by the Friends of Algonquin. This is a great guide which covers all of the rapids from Cedar Lake, down through Lake Travers and on to Lake McManus. For each rapid, the guide gives a rating at high, medium, and low water levels and provides a description of the recommended routes for each water level.

One other source of info I found was a video by Eran Andrechek, which is now available on You Tube.




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