Come Wander
Spring Paddling in Ontario's Highlands

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.

MACKfest

When: April 21-22, 2018 (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.

Ompah Spring 2018 ATV Ride for Dad

When: April 28, 2018
Where: Ompah Community Centre: 10200 County Road 509, Ompah

Feel the roar of the engine beneath you as you cruise the unique trails of Frontenac County, and rally together in the fight against prostate cancer. Feel good about supporting a great cause, satisfy your need for speed, and indulge your taste buds with a chicken dinner.

“High Five” with Yours Outdoors

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.

Cruising Canoes’ Lazy River Run

When: May 4, 2018
Where: Clare River, Tweed (with transportation from Belleville)

The name of this event might have you thinking of taking it easy, laying back, and letting the current simply pull you along, but think again. This will be a relaxing, yet exhilarating paddle down the Clare River all the way to Oakley’s Pub and Patio at Trudeau Park –a perfect chance to work your muscles after any winter hibernation. The crisp air, rushing water, and social chatter will leave you feeling invigorated, and you won’t even have to worry about bringing your own equipment.

Hell or High Water

When: May 12, 2018
Where: Centennial Park, Petawawa

This year’s event marks the 10th edition of what is now 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.

BORCA Spring Chicken Enduro

When: May 12, 2018
Where: Beachburg Arena, 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 the famous BORCA bake sale and contest.

Jock River Paddle

When: May 12, 2018
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. Spend the afternoon getting an ab workout by laughing during the 12:00 p.m. Children’s Puppet Show and at face painting masterpieces.

Super SUP Weekend

When: May 20, 2018
Where: Bonnie View Inn, Haliburton

Work your muscles and test your balance as you propel yourself forward, exploring three lakes during the 15 km “Coffee Cup” Race, 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 “Poker Run.” Spend the evening paddling under the moonlight, laughing with friends, and grooving to the party tunes of Shawn Steinhart (back by popular demand).

Front Porch Shenanigans

When: May 25-27, 2018
Where: Front Porches along the main streets of Stirling with additional activities at Stirling Arena, Farmtown Park, Black Dog Pub, St. Paul’s Church, and Stirling Festival Theatre

Shimmy and shake away any winter vibes as the front porches of Stirling transform into stages featuring live local music. Get moving to the tunes of Heartland County Friday night at the Stirling Arena, then indulge in a pancake breakfast Saturday at Farmtown Park (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 The Decades at Black Dog Pub Saturday night and a Gospel Music Service at St. Paul’s Church Sunday morning, then head to Stirling Festival Theatre to wrap things up with a Music 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.
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Ontario’s Highlands Insiders

Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.

Stories

An Action-Packed Weekend

Read how Will Tang from Going Awesome Places raced muscle cars and experienced thrills on the rapids with whitewater raftering in the Ottawa Valley.

Whitewater Rafting as a Family

Read about how one family took on whitewater rafting on the Madawaska River and why they can’t wait to do it again.

Just Show Up

Hit the water and taken advantage of these easy canoeing opportunities in Ontario’s Highlands.

Video: The Freedom Finder

I’m a Freedom Finder. I wander with speed! I seek out opportunities to make fresh tracks, blaze new trails, and get my adrenaline pumping.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Where Am I?

Climb to new heights at the Medeba Ice Wall and enjoy the unique view from the top of this sparkling wonder.

Recharge in the Snow

Disconnect from the everyday with a snowmobile trip through Ontario’s Highlands.

Winter Bucket List

Unique winter experiences in Ontario’s Highlands that will give you something to brag about.

All Terrain, All the Time

Pack your saddle bags and press the throttle for an all terrain adventure like no other in Ontario’s Highlands.

Raging the Rapids

SUP Instructor Courtney Sinclair takes her passion to the whitewater with paddleboarding.

Hair-Raising Drives

Explore roads of Ontario with these drives that make you reach for your hairbrush.

Why To Choose the Back Roads

Writer Christopher Korchin takes a drive full of surprises on the long and winding roads of Ontario’s Highlands.

Roads Worth Riding

Time to take out your motorcycle and plan your next group ride along the hand-crafted roads of Ontario’s Highlands. Prepare to tighten your grip as you wind around vast lakes, to fill up on mouth-watering dishes, and to converse with some of the friendly locals.