Published on May 23rd, 2024 | by Paddleworld

EVENT: Celebrate 50 Years of Whitewater Adventure at the Ottawa River Paddle Fest

Fifty years ago, adventure was the only thing on the minds of Hermann Kerckhoff and his daughter Claudia. They had heard stories of huge, thrilling rapids on the Ottawa River that were largely unknown and unexplored. After a long drive, they found themselves in the midst of the Ottawa Valley’s tranquil farmland, where they discovered a whitewater paradise. “At first, there were no signs of whitewater,” recalls Claudia Kerckhoff. “Just a calm, wide, meandering river.” But soon they found what they were looking for: massive waves and humongous hydraulics, including one now known as Bus-Eater, all set in a beautiful wilderness corridor in the heart of the Canadian Shield.

The news quickly spread. A river with warm water, big, powerful but friendly waves, and lots of playspots. From that father-daughter journey emerged a large whitewater industry. Rafting companies, including OWL Rafting, set up shop, offering thrilling whitewater experiences to the general public. Over the years, thousands of skilled paddlers have converged on the area, eager to run the river.

The Ottawa River Paddle Fest will celebrate this rich paddling heritage and provide a chance to reconnect with old paddling friends and make new ones. Events include:

  • Live music
  • Paddling Film Festival
  • Vendor Marketplace
  • Shuttles to and from the river
  • Rolling clinics
  • Ball Race
  • Flatwater Freestyle Clinic

> Check out more information on the Ottawa Paddle Festival here <

If you're looking for three days of paddling fun and adventure, where you can meet whitewater enthusiasts from around the world, check out the Ottawa River Paddle Fest. Hosted by OWL Rafting from June 21-23, this event celebrates 50 years of paddling on a world-class stretch of whitewater that has transformed a quiet section of the Ottawa Valley into an outdoor recreation mecca.

To ensure that this whitewater legacy continues, funds raised at this event will be donated towards increasing river access for paddlers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of a vibrant paddling community and enjoy one of the best whitewater experiences in the world.

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