For the First Nations people who first traversed Canada’s extensive lake and river system, the canoe and the kayak were the best way to travel, hunt, trade and make war. Their importance in First Nations society was not overlooked by European colonists who also adopted the canoe and the kayak for their own similar purposes.
Paddling became especially prominent in Ontario thanks to the innumerable number of lakes and rivers found in the Canadian province - in modern times it’s not uncommon for Ontario kids to paddle before they know how to ride a bicycle.
The Muskoka River X is a celebration of Ontario’s millenia-long paddling culture, organizing experiences that range from fun family events, to hardcore races that also hark back to the voyageurs who transported fur and goods across the Canadian wilderness in the 18th and 19th century.
Starting September 16th, entrants will be challenged to successfully complete either the 7 portage, 58km Sprint or the 20 portage 132km Classic. In the latter’s Voyageur Class, entrants transport a handcrafted wooden box containing local supplies, either 2x1x1 ft in size for tandem teams, or 1x1x1 ft in size for solo paddlers. Entrants can compete either race in canoes, kayaks or stand-up-paddleboards.
Both races start off from Peninsula Lake in Huntsville. The Sprint takes up to 12 hours to complete, while the longer circular Classic course, also the world’s longest single day expedition paddling race, finishes back in Huntsville up to 27 hours later. Entrants of the Voyageur Class who are able to successfully deliver the crate of supplies within 24 hours will be awarded both the crate and its contents.
Each tandem team or solo paddler will receive the handheld, waterproof YB3 tracker to take with them on the race. Apart from keeping track of their progress along the course, the YB3s will give paddlers the welcome peace of mind they need in this challenging event.
There are still some open spaces left - but will close once the Muskoka X's stock of YB3s runs out!
We wish everyone in the Muskoka River X safe paddling - YB Tracking is with them every step of the way!
All Photos (c) Muskoka River X