After winter’s deep freeze, the early spring sun seems to feel extra warm as it shines down on us. Its inviting rays make us want to shed our jackets, breathe in the fresh air, and get our blood flowing a little faster. We know we aren’t the only ones who feel this way.
If you’re looking for ways to get outside to tap your toes, paddle hard, stretch your legs, and satisfy a need for speed this spring, check out one of these high-energy events taking place across Ontario’s Highlands.
When: April 12-14, 2019 (please check the website as dates are subject to change due to water levels)
Where: Bunker’s Hideaway, Marmora
To some, the melting snow and ice signal one thing: the return of paddling season. Stretch your muscles and feel your spirit come to life as you kick off the beginning of the whitewater season with fellow paddlers during MACKfest. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, discover a river or play-spot suited to your skills in the Marmora area to paddle the weekend away, and join new and old friends to indulge in hearty meals and share stories around the campfire.
When: April 13, 2019
Where: Nick Smith Center, Arnprior
Discover, to learn and to have fun celebrating the outdoors at this premiere show. Award winners will walk away with Big Buck Show bragging rights, and an extra sweet title will be doled out for the Best Butter Tart in the Ottawa Valley. Spend time discovering local businesses, hanging out in the Live Edge Lounge, or indulging at the Bacon Bar & Maple Syrup Lounge before trying your hand at axe throwing and archery, or testing outdoor toys.
When: April 27, 2019
Where: Palmerston Lake Marina, Ompah
Feel the roar of the engine beneath you as you cruise the unique trails of Frontenac County, and rally together in support of the TELUS Ride For Dad’s fight against prostate cancer. Feel good about supporting a great cause, satisfy your need for speed, and indulge your taste buds with a delicious dinner.
When: Available May-June
Where: Medeba Adventure Learning Centre, West Guilford
The high fives that will fly after conquering this high rope and ziplining course will be almost instinctual, and difficult to resist. Book an experience during May or June to push the limits of gravity, discover muscles you didn’t know you had, and feel your breath catch as you look down.
When: May 11, 2019
Where: Centennial Park, Petawawa
This exciting event is one of Canada’s largest whitewater races. Enter a team into the rafting races (no experience is necessary and both equipment and a skilled guide is provided), or go it alone as a kayaker, or canoeist to challenge yourself and compete for best times against not only other contestants, but some of Canada’s top paddlers. If whitewater is not your thing, try packing a picnic and claiming a spot overlooking the water and excitement, or practice your balance during an on-water SUP demonstration.
When: May 11, 2019
Where: Beachburg Fairgrounds, Beachburg
Get your legs pumping and tires spinning during this mountain bike race organized by the Beachburg Offroad Cycle Association. Ease back into the biking season with the 28 km loop or challenge yourself with the 60 km route, before heading to the fairgrounds to indulge in delicious food and refreshments during the ‘Apres-Ride’ BBQ.
When: May 11, 2019
Where: 9th Line, Beckwith Township
Dip your paddle, push forward, and breathe in the fresh spring air as you spend the morning exploring 6.5 km of the Jock River on your way downstream to Ashton Brew Pub where you can refuel with lunch as you get to know other paddlers.
When: May 23-26, 2019
Where: Front Porches along the main streets of Stirling with additional activities at Farmtown Park, Black Dog Pub, the Stirling Fairgrounds, and St. Paul’s Church
Shimmy and shake away any winter vibes during the Porchfest portion of the event on Saturday, May 25 as the front porches of Stirling transform into stages featuring live local music. Get moving to the tunes of Heartland County Friday night during a street dance at Farmtown Park, then indulge in a pancake breakfast Saturday (the carbs will fuel your dancing feet) before strolling the streets to take it in some 30 live acts at homes and businesses around the village. Sway to the sounds of Hungerford Station and The Rob Donaldson Band at the Fairgrounds Saturday night and a Gospel Music Service at St. Paul’s Church Sunday morning, then wrap things up with the Shenanigans Showcase featuring some of the best bands of the weekend. We bet this is one weekend you won’t be able to keep your toes from tapping.
When: June 7-9, 2019
Where: Bonnie View Inn, Haliburton
Work your muscles and test your balance as you propel yourself forward, exploring the waters during one of the “Coffee Cup” races, like the 15 km Competitive or Poker Run, or conserve some of your energy for the later activities like SUP sprints, SUP High Jump, and of course dancing, by sticking with the shorter 7.5 km Fun Run. Spend the evenings laughing with friends around a bonfire, and grooving to the tunes of live music.