Muskoka is gearing up for the 7th annual Great Muskoka Paddling Experience (GMPE) on Saturday, October 7th at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge. It’s the last race of the season sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe & Kayak Racing Association.
With multiple race lengths and categories, GMPE is a fun racing experience for all ages and skill levels, and to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, a special North Canoe Challenge has been issued!
North Canoes have played an essential role throughout the history of Canada. In honour of this, GMPE organizer Sandy Schofield has arranged for a rare fleet of 10 North Canoes to be available for paddlers wanting to put together a team and enter a special 8.4 km race.
The North Canoe Challenge will take place prior to the start of the 5, 10 and 20 kilometer races for kayaks, canoes, and SUPs, so paddlers are able to participate in both at no extra charge.
GMPE has gained in popularity each year, with almost 300 paddlers participating in 2016. This year, spectators will be able to hop on a free shuttle bus provided by the Bracebridge BIA to visit the downtown shops and farmers’ market. There will also be a silent auction for a Trak Collapsible Kayak, as well as a used paddle equipment exchange.
Registration for North Canoes closes September 18th, but you can register online for the other races until October 6th, or onsite at the event for an additional $10. Proceeds from the event will benefit three local organizations: Muskoka Watershed Council, the Muskoka Paddle Club, and Friends of the Muskoka Watershed.
Not interested in paddling? GMPE also needs volunteers to help during the race. Learn more at http://www.muskokapaddlingexperience.com/.