Put In Put In
Portage Portage
Camping Camping
Take Out Take Out

Petawawa river, Brent to Traverse **

View Brent to Traverse in a larger map.
  • Grade: 3(4)(P)
  • Level: Can get shallow in late summer. A gauge reading of 130 cumecs gives a good early season trip.
  • Gauge: There is an Online gauge, but it is a long way downstream! The actual flow on this section will be a small fraction of the reported value.
  • Length: 40 km
  • Time: 2 days
  • Put In: Brent
  • Take Out: Lake Traverse
  • Shuttle: 227 km, 4 hours!
  • Character: Touring river, popular in the summer

This section is great for a spring outing; good flows, no bugs and you will probably have the whole river to yourself! The paddling is moderate until the last section above lake Traverse, the portage trails are well maintained, and campsites are abundant.

Campsite on Radiant lake
Campsite on Radiant lake

There are several lakes to cross, so a long boat and a tailwind are good things to have. The first challenge is the longest open crossing across Cedar lake. Aim for the southernmost tip of the group of islands in the lake, and continue across to a large bay. It is not immediately obvious where the lake outlet is, so look out for the buoys and warning signs. There is an old broken weir at the outflow that will be a short portage in all but very high levels. Fun rapids follow down to Radiant lake and a good campsite. Across the lake, turn right under the bridge. More lakes and shorter rapids lead to the start of the crux rapids. Portage trails are abundant if needed. This part of the Petawawa is a popular day trip in the spring.

The shuttle for this trip is considerable, so it is worth combining this with the next section downstream.

To get to the take out; First check that you have enough gas for 160 km of driving! Then from highway 17, turn south onto Doran road (about 6 km south-west of Petawawa). Almost immediately, turn right onto Barron Canyon road. This leads to the Sand lake gate to Algonquin Park. Stop and book your campsites if you have not already done so, and maybe ask about the road conditions. Continue on Barron Canyon road, which turns into Lake Travers road. The take out is after the 71 km marker, at the bridge over the Petawawa as it enters lake Traverse. The park map here might be useful.

To get to the put in; Head all the way back to highway 17, and turn left. After about 100 km, turn left at Deux-Rivieres onto Brent road and follow to the end.