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Madawaska Kanu Centre Resort
Kids Kayak, Parents Paddle in Canada

BARRY’S BAY, Ontario, Canada—The ideal age to start children whitewater paddling is between 10 to 14 years, according to Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC), North America’s most esteemed whitewater paddling school.

“That’s when kids have enough strength and maturity, but no inhibitions,” said school owner Claudia Van Wijk, who astoundingly became a Canadian whitewater champion at age 13. “While adults think about things, kids just do and their learning curve is quite steep,” she adds.

Located on the Madawaska River near Algonquin Park, MKC’s outdoor resort was established in 1972 by Wijk’s parents, and today is one of only a few paddling schools on the continent offering instruction for kids. It is very possibly the only school featuring family-oriented programs.

“Family programs have grown substantially over the past decade. It’s a booming portion of our business,” says Wijk. “Parents are so excited to be able to do this with their children – and they can’t believe how successful it is. This year we’ve even had grandparents bring their grandchildren.”

Remaining family programs for this season are Parents & Kids Weekend on August 5-6, Family Week on August 7-11 and August 21-25, and Kids Kayak on August 21-24 in 2007.

Teaching all levels, complete beginners to high performance, MKC’s packages include healthy, hearty meals, lodging or camping. The Madawaska River itself has the virtues of being warm – about 75 degrees Fahrenheit – and whitewater dependable, thanks to an agreement made with Ontario Power Generation.

For more information, contact owner Claudia Van Wijk at 613-594-5268, e-mail  or visit the company’s web site at

Paddling Ontario

Paddling Ontario offers an array of trips for those who wish to experience outdoor adventures in the Canadian province this fall. Paddling Ontario is an alliance of tourism operators who offer outfitting for canoe, kayak and related adventures, including accommodations that range from trailside camping to luxurious resorts and spas and comfortable small inns.

The “Algonquin Park Wolf Howl Canoe Trip” is a beginner-friendly, weekend canoe trip into Algonquin Provincial Park.

Each trip begins with an overnight stay at a forest cabin, followed by two nights of canoe camping in the vast park. The orientation includes a slide show and discussion of Algonquin Park wolves, summarizing recent studies of wolf ecology and local conservation efforts. Cost is US$435 per person, including one-night lodge stay, two nights’ camping, meals and all necessary equipment.

This package runs Thursday through Sunday and is available until Sept. 28. Another package is the “Agawa Canyon/Superior by Rail, Kayak and Canoe.”

Travelers sea kayak along the shores of Lake Superior, canoe the rivers of Algoma and take a wilderness train tour into Agawa Canyon. Cost is US$490 per person, including taxes, two nights’ lodge accommodation, two lunches, train fare, guide services, and use of kayaks and wet suits. Departures are on Saturdays from Sept. 16 through Oct. 7.

For more information, call 705-745-9343 or visit

Voyageur Quest
Offers Ontario Adventure

Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park, located about 160 miles north of Toronto, is the site of an “Adventure for Two” package offered by Voyageur Quest, which features snowmobiling and snowshoeing to locations found by map and by deciphering clues. “This romantic adventure offers an action-packed alternative to the recent trend of spas and pampering,” said John Langford, director of Voyageur Quest. “Our guests love the adventure. They have a chance to explore, be active and try something new. It is a great opportunity for couples to share outdoor adventures together.”

Couples snowmobile along scenic trails onto Lake Bernard, where they stop to participate in ice fishing before adjourning to the Northridge Inn for lunch. After a night in a private chalet, they embark on a snowshoe outing to a winter camp hidden in the forest where they dine on regional treats. Custom options are available for clients who want to try dog sledding or backcountry skiing.

A four-day, three-night package is priced from $1,108 per couple, available Thursdays through Sundays through March 25. Accommodations are in private chalet suites at the Algonquin Cottage Outpost. Located at Algonquin Provincial Park’s northwest corner, the solar-powered chalets feature wood-burning fireplaces with wood stoves, private baths and showers, full kitchens and decks with barbecues.

Call 800-794-9660 or visit