Grab your paddle! The Rideau River is calling your name!

On Sept. 9, OOE paddlers will set out to circumnavigate Rideau Island: the land surrounded by the Rideau River (above), the Ottawa River, and the Rideau Canal. From the water, they will take in views  of the Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, and Carleton University. Credit: Jamie Brougham

On Sept. 9, OOE paddlers will set out to circumnavigate Rideau Island: the land surrounded by the Rideau River (above), the Ottawa River, and the Rideau Canal. From the water, they will take in views of the Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, and Carleton University. Credit: Jamie Brougham

By Tara Hogeterp

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, a group of Old Ottawa East residents are looking for people to join them as they hit the water to explore surrounding communities by canoe.

On Sept. 9, the group aims to paddle around Rideau Island: the land surrounded by the Rideau River on the east, the Ottawa River on the north, and the Rideau Canal on the west. Rideau Island includes the Byward Market, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South, and Carleton University.

The group is also hoping to extend the invitation to neighbouring communities.

Detailed maps will be provided to all participants and while everyone will start out at the same time and locations, paddlers are welcome to go at their own pace.

The trip will be family-friendly, however, it will take most paddlers between six and seven hours. There will be a few portages. People with young children may want to consider doing a partial trip or even having someone come by to pick up the kids part way through the day.

Some of the portages are long but manageable, especially with wheeled canoe carriers. The portages will include: crossing Carleton University, going around Rideau Falls, and from the Ottawa River up to the top of the locks on the Rideau Canal.

Participants will be invited to a celebratory BBQ after the trip to share stories from the water.

People without a canoe should contact organizers about finding a spot with other paddlers. If there is enough interest, organizers might also look into renting canoes.

There will be a small fee for participants to help cover costs of the flotilla and the BBQ.

For more information about how to sign up please visit ottawaeast.ca/circumnavigation or contact rideauislandpaddle@gmail.com.

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Filed in: Environment, FP, Front Page

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