Put In Put In
Parking Parking
Catwalk Access Catwalk Access
Take Out Take Out

Petawawa river, Town section ***

View Town section in a larger map.
  • Grade: 3-4
  • Level: Needs spring flow - above 20 cumecs is good, 50 cumecs is better
  • Gauge: Online
  • Length: 3.5 km
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Put In: Wilson Road in Petawawa
  • Take Out: Tall Pines Road in Petawawa
  • Shuttle: 3 km
  • Character: Plenty of rapids in a short distance
  • References: Youtube

Wilderness it 'aint, but the Town section delivers the goods in other ways. There is plenty to entertain with enough water in the river, and the section is short enough to do laps. There isn't much of a warm up as the river drops under a couple of bridges into Railroad rapid. Watch out - there can be some significant stoppers in there somewhere and most people will want to inspect from the bridge. Easier water follows, until Lovers leap, a drop just around a right-hand bend. This is the scene of much entertainment for the spectators at the annual Hell or High Water festival in May. Shortly after is Catwalk, that usually offers some good surfing. There is access here through the park on the right bank for a park and play session. After a short flat section, Commercial Suicide is on a right hand bend. This rapid traps wood sometimes, and has multiple lines depending on the flow. The usual line is down the right side, and around (or through) the stopper at the bottom. The takeout is on the right just after an easy rapid (Golfcourse) on a left hand bend, just before the Petawawa meets the Ottawa river.

The Petawawa raft team taking on Lovers
The Petawawa raft team taking on Lovers

To get to the take out; Find Petawawa Boulevard - the main street through town. Turn east onto Victoria Street, left onto Albert Street, and left again onto Tall Pines Road. This is a dead end, and doesn't have much parking, so you might be better parking on Albert street. Change discreetly - you are right in the suburbs!

To get to the put in; Head back towards town on Victoria Street, and continue straight across Petawawa Boulevard onto Portage road. Take the first right after crossing the railway line (Wilson Road) and park on the right when the road bends left. The river should be visible down the hill.