The 42nd Annual 64 km Mattawa River Canoe Race runs through Trout Lake, Turtle Lake, Pine Lake, Lake Talon, Chant Plein Lake, and down the Mattawa River to Mattawa Island Conservation Area. The course includes 12 portages, 5 of which are mandatory around dams and waterfalls. The other 7 portages are around rapids and white water, which may be passable depending on water levels and paddler skill.
The racers can be pit crew supported for fluids and food, but not equipment. With many remote areas along the course, it is recommended that paddlers pre-run the course. An interactive map is very helpful when planning to participate in the race for the first time. A Mandatory Safety Briefing is required on the Friday (at 6 or 8 pm) before the race for all paddlers that haven’t participated in the last 5 years.
A 13 km race is available from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park to Mattawa Island Conservation Area. This race is open to families (adult/child) or youth 17 and under. Only one portage, and it is suitable for all skill levels.
The race is followed by a well-deserved banquet and awards presentation at the Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa.
The race celebrates the heritage and history of the Mattawa River and is somewhat of a re-enactment of, and homage to days the Voyageurs travelled these waters. There is a tremendous sense of history as you portage over the same trails worn into the rocks by countless generations of First Nations people over thousands of years. Race participants will experience firsthand the challenge experienced by Voyageurs as they portage through Talon Chutes.
Over the years many of North America’s top marathon paddlers have competed in this race. Legendary canoe tripper Hap Wilson has completed the event on several occasions. Perhaps you are a canoe tripper as well and would like to up the ante and truly test your abilities. Paddlers from 13 to 76 years of age have competed in the 64 km race. OMCKRA invites you to join the elite club of paddlers that complete this event each year.