Which Ontario parks offer river trips for beginner whitewater paddlers?
The Petawawa River in Algonquin Park is a great river for beginners when it comes to whitewater. I would still do all your research and go with someone who has experience or take a whitewater course. The river has lots of easy class 2 and 3 rapids to run. As well as some more challenging rapids once you get your skills up to speed.
No Ontario Park offers WW river trips, but most will have contacts with outfitters that can guide you.
Many parks have various routes but the degree of difficulty varies and the deciding factor would be your skills if you wish to attempt a run.
Many of the routes are back country.
Thanks Jeff. I guess I didn’t word that properly. I’m familiar with Ontario Provincial Parks and the fact that they’re not an outfitter, just wondering if you might recommend the perfect river that runs through a provincial park that a beginner whitewater group with some experience could conduct their own trip on. Someone recommended the Petawawa. Trying to build up to the Missinaibi. Thanks.
The Petawawa would be a multi day trip and with this summers higher than normal water levels the rapids would be a little more difficult than normal summer reports.
If you are trying to build your groups skills I would suggest the Lower Madawaska from Aumonds bay to Buck bay.
You can extend that to a weekend if you wish and spend a lot of time playing the rapids.
If your group is lacking in river tripping skills I would suggest to see if you can hire an instructor from any instructor group or outfitter. Paddlers Co-op is the closest in Palmer Rapids https://paddlerco-op.ca
What you could do is have the instruction done based on you wanting to build to the Missinaibi.
That would include lining the canoe, and river rescue exercises, (boats/people/gear/) plus developing more advanced WW strokes.
This will give you a much quicker learning curve and give you a good idea what your group needs to work on.
Take a tablet along with you in a water proof container so you can video what you are doing so you can get instant feed back.
Waiting for night or the next day is too late to correct what is not going right.
(many coaches and sports use this now, it really speeds things up and a phone screen is too small.)
And you don’t really need a Prov. Park, you can use a park and play rapid and create manoeuvres to simulate what you will face up north.
Create a skill set that will be second nature on your planned trip and it will be that much more enjoyable because you will not have that fear your are lacking skills for certain conditions.