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Mattawa River Canoe Race returns this weekend

The Mattawa River Canoe Race is back after a two-year hiatus due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over 45 canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards will be leaving Trout Lake’s Olmsted Beach this Saturday, July 23. 

They’re taking part in the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority’s 45th canoe race.

“Water is at average summer levels. But the potential lack of rain and heat during the week, could result in more portaging and slower finishing times this year,” said race coordinator Paula Loranger.

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The Conservation Authority says paddlers of all ages in 13 categories will trace the historic route of Indigenous peoples and voyageurs, through lakes, rivers, fast-moving water and up to 12 portages. 

“It’s a great way to help celebrate NBMCA’s 50th Anniversary. We have paddlers from Southern Ontario, Ottawa area, Quebec, and even Pennsylvania,” said Loranger. “A good percentage of paddlers coming from across the province. Many stay in the region throughout the weekend”.

The race starts from Trout Lake and finishes on the Mattawa River at the Mattawa Island Conservation Area.

The Conservation Authority is also offering the public a 1.5 hr guided hike on Friday, July 22 at the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area. 

A bus will be available from North Bay to the gorge, departing at 8:15 am from NBMCA Office, 15 Janey Avenue and returning at noon.

Registration is required for the hike and to reserve a seat on the bus. 

Call NBMCA at 705 474-5420 to register for the hike, with donations requested to take part. 

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