Each paddling season we welcome the warming temperatures and the regularly scheduled Palmerfest on the Victoria Day long weekend. Held on the Madawaska River at a river section known as Palmer Rapids, the event welcomes paddlers of all experience. An awesome place to learn, shake off the off-season rust or work on new skills for the more advanced, this gem of a river has it all. Riverside group camping at Jessop’s farm nails it for one of the best locations in Ontario to paddle and relax.

Another early season staple for KWP is the Ottawa River Weekend. River level hovered about the 10.5 to 11.5 mark on the Ottawa scale which meant that the Middle Channel would be the route of choice for the most part. A small group of us however sought out the often elusive and not commonly paddled Lost Channel. Before you reach Iron Ring and/or Little Trickle, you bear river right and, after a short paddle, you’ll come across an intimidating looking pour over. It looks as if it would be a holder but its not. Wonderful. The next feature is a small, but scary looking falls. Again, not nearly as difficult as one would imagine. Hit the line and you’re gold. The Lost Channel joins the Main Channel above Norman’s and Coliseum. Be prepared for some beefy big water here and a massive hole afterwards as the river pours over what makes up Centre Slot and Dog’s Leg.

A trend has revealed itself amongst KWP members… new personal challenges. Lots of folks ran Elevator Shaft. Awesome. What a year it’s going to be.