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Paddle the Arch Tours


Paddlers, local and visiting, novice and expert, can choose from a new selection of paddling tours this season within the region. The Frontenac Arch Paddling Trails committee has partnered with 1000 Islands Kayaking, in Gananoque, ON., to offer five premium paddling tours, starting with two this spring. Proceeds from the non-profit fully outfitted tours will help fund regional paddling infrastructure projects.

Common to each of the five tours offered this year is a day-long paddling experience along a regional waterway in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, and the chance to make new friends.  The cost of $85 for each tour includes a special guest speaker for uniquely themed tours, certified instructors and guides from 1000 Islands Kayaking, on-the-water professional interpretation, and  gourmet local flavours lunch. Bring your own kayak, canoe and gear or rent from 1000 Islands Kayaking for $25.

Unique to each tour is the route, theme, interpreter, food, participants, the weather, and the wildlife. This is an excellent opportunity to explore some of the best paddling routes within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. 

Tour Dates, Locations, and Themes:  

  • May 25th, Delta to Morton, Local Flavours
  • June 22, Seeley’s Bay to Jones Falls, Rideau Canal, Patron’s Choice
  • Sept 7, Navy Islands, Ivy Lea, 1000 Islands, International Bridge
  • Sept 21, Frontenac Provincial Park, Frontenac Arch Biosphere Geology and Ecosystems
  • Oct 5, Charleston Lake Provincial Park, Photography, Birding, Fall Colours

The first tour is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, launching from Delta. The route will literally take participants up a creek, with a paddle. The theme is Local Flavours. Participants will have an opportunity to tour Delta’s historic Old Stone Mill and even purchase flour ground there. Lunch will be provided at Wendy’s Country Market in Lyndhurst.  A hay wagon ride from the river to the farm will make this a genuine ‘farm to fork’ dining experience to promote awareness of our region’s Local Flavours program.

The second tour takes place on Saturday, June 22, during National Canoe Week. The theme is Patron’s Choice. The Frontenac Arch Paddling Trails committee is pleased to feature the honorary patron of the paddling trails initiative, renowned author and canoeist Dr. James Raffan. He will lead the group along one of his favourite routes, following the Rideau Canal National Historic Site from the Seeley’s Bay paddling station to Jones Falls. Lunch will be provided by Hotel Kenney with an option to explore the historic lock station and walking trails. 

The three remaining tours will take place in September and October, also on Saturdays. Prior registration is required for each tour as space is limited, through www.1000islandskayaking.com, or phone 1000 Islands Kayaking at 613-329-6265. Additional cheque donations to the cause can be made, payable to Frontenac Arch Paddling Trails. 

I am the chair  of the committee and we encourage past and new participants to pick a new trail segment to explore. If the wide variety offered makes it tough to choose, just register for June 22, leaving it all up to the Patron’s Choice during National Canoe Week! 

By Celia Medcalf

Celia Medcalf retired from a full career in software development and project management to volunteer for various non-profit organizations. Usually in leadership roles, she is currently a director of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network and lives in Brockville, Ontario. Current interests include sustainable community development in eastern Ontario. Twitter @CeliaMedcalf.

The Frontenac Arch Paddling Trails Committee

The Frontenac Arch Paddling Trails committee volunteers to improve information about, and access to, historic paddling routes around the UNESCO designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve for responsible recreational paddling. For more information see FrontenacArchBiosphere.ca or the committee’s Facebook page.

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