Ottawa river is one of the prime whitewater kayaking destinations in the world. It is a beautiful place to enjoy the thrills of whitewater kayaking. The best time to kayak here is between the months of May to September.
This time is during spring and summer. During this time, the weather is usually conducive and the river water is really warm. A trip to the Ottawa river can range from a day to even two weeks. There is a lot of kayaking to be done on the Ottawa river.
The Kayaking Course
The Ottawa River is divided into three whitewater kayaking sections. The first section is the lower Ottawa River whose rapids range between class I and class II difficulty.
This is the best section for beginners who do not have any experience with whitewater kayaking. It is also the best place to teach children how to kayak. This section of the river is the safest but you will still have a lot of fun.
The second section is the middle Ottawa River. The rapids here range between class III-IV difficulty. Anyone with prior experience in whitewater kayaking will make it through and have a good time while doing it.
This section promises to be a lot of fun but it is also very technical. It will put your kayaking skills to the test.
The third section is the main Ottawa River. This section is mainly made up of class IV difficulty rapids. Some prior experience in kayaking will do you a lot of good in this section.
However, it is not reserved for kayaking experts only. If you are confident in your kayaking skills, you should definitely try to navigate this section. You are guaranteed to enjoy every moment of kayaking on the Ottawa River.
In addition, the waters of the Ottawa River are warm and welcoming. The river has a few hydroelectric power plants that have caused the formation of dams.
The water in the dams is heated up by the sun before it is released downstream. This creates a great environment for kayaking downstream since the water is already warm. This would be a great place to try out the two person kayak.
The Best Kayak To Use On The Ottawa River
Due to its diverse ranges of difficulty, you can use any type of kayak to the Ottawa River. However, if you are kayaking in the main Ottawa River section, you can consider using a longer, faster kayak to negotiate the difficult rapids.
You can also choose to bring with you an inflatable kayak. It is easy to carry and it offers the same amount of stability as other kayaks. Make sure you bring a patch repair kit if you opt for an inflatable model.
What Will You See?
There are a lot of things to see while kayaking on the Ottawa River. The wildlife that you will most probably see is elk and bald eagles. If you are lucky, you might even spot a bear.
The scenery along the river is also very beautiful. There are sections with sandy beaches, huge cliffs, and spectacular mountain views.
Possible Dangers Of Kayaking On The Ottawa River
The waters of the Ottawa River can be a cold especially if you choose to kayak during early spring. During this time, make sure you have enough gear to repel the cold water.
If you do not have enough experience, avoid kayaking on the difficult rapids. If you must kayak there, use a two-seater kayak and have an experienced instructor guiding you at the back. In addition, make sure that you keep a safe distance from any animals you meet on the river’s course.