Summer Weekend at Palmer Rapids, Lower Madawaska River

Just another relaxing summer weekend at Palmer Rapids on the Madawaska River. We stay at local farmer Harold Jessup's campsite right on the river at the rapids. This is an enjoyable weekend for novice or better moving water paddlers. Probably more people have had their first taste of moving water here than in any other spot in Ontario. There are a couple of sets of Class 1-2 rapids almost outside your tent door. I'm happy to give some informal paddling pointers to new river runners. If people are interested in something a little different, we can do short basic river safety and rescue clinic- moving water swimming, rope work, recovering pinned canoes, etc. If the water levels are good, more adventurous types might want to get together to take a run down the Lower Madawaska on Saturday.

For families, there's a sandy beach where the kids can play or swim. For those who aren't into paddling, there are restaurants and interesting shops nearby in Wilno and Barry's Bay.

We're going to be there from Thursday afternoon to Sunday, but you can come & camp or go at any time.

You will need a whitewater canoe with flotation, and a helmet, along with the usual PFD and paddle. Canoes can be rented nearby at Paddler Co-op (see their website, or from Madawaska River Rentals (see their website ), or from Don Adams in Griffith, who will even deliver to Jessup's for a fee (613-333-2240). If renting, tell them you want thigh straps in the canoe. It will make a huge amount of difference to your control.

For those looking to escape camp cookery, try the famous Wilno Tavern:

 The Wilno has a Polish buffet Saturday nights that will fill any hungry paddler. There are also some other good restaurants in Barry's Bay.

Please register as soon as possible so I can reserve a group camping area.

By signing up for this trip you also agree to the conditions in the WCA liability waiver. Please locate it on the WCA website under the Outings tab. 

The Basics
Event Location: 
Palmer Rapids, Madawaska River
Date(s) & Time: 
Friday, July 1, 2016 - 17:00
Event Duration: 
3 days
Difficulty Rating: 
Required Items to Bring: 

You need a Royalex whitewater canoe with flotation bags, etc.-as described above.

The campsite provides basic facilities of some picnic tables, outhouses, and water pump. It's car camping. We prefer to bring our Toronto water, but many prefer the well water. There is a general store and a small restaurant nearby in Palmer Rapids. Camp fees are in the range of $20-$25/tent/night.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Direction to Palmers Rapids
& Harold Jessup’s Camp Ground.
 From Peterborough - go north up Hwy 28 to Bancroft.
 In Bancroft, turn left on Hwy 62 thought Maynooth and Combermere.
 In Combermere, just over the bridge turn right on Hwy 515.
 Just after you cross over the river again on your right you will see a local road (River Bend Road) turn right here --the river is on your immediate right.
 The road goes more or less straight.
 When it makes a sharp turn to the left, there should be a one lane dirt driveway straight in front of you. You will see a wooden sign with a teepee and canoe in orange paint.
 Go up the low hill and drive along until you come to the campground.
 Look for my silver Honda Pilot with double roof racks.
 If you actually get into the village of Palmer Rapids, you've gone too far along 515, so just turn around, go back..
 The address of the campground is 266 River Bend Road.
 I believe the fee is $20-$25 / tent / night.
Google maps Palmer Rapids,+P...
Palmer Rapids Village is just to the right, off the map.
The road showing in the upper right is Jewellville Road.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness