It was a stunningly beautiful morning for an April canoe down a scenic waterway, as the Dalkeith Historical Society and Vankleek Hill Canoeists held their annual Rigaud River Picnic and Paddle on Sunday (April 16).

In all, 19 canoeists and kayakers took part in the trip up the Rideau River from Lochinvar to Robertson Mills in Dalkeith. Participants put into the water at Lochinvar at 9:15 a.m., arriving at Robertson Mills at about 1 p.m. The paddlers were cheered by onlookers at several bridge crossings along the way.

The pace of this year’s paddle was slower than most years, as participants often use the Dalkeith Paddle as preparation for the larger Raisin River Canoe Race, normally held a week later. But this year the paddle in Dalkeith was postponed for a week due to high water levels on Spring Creek, thus the Raisin River Paddle was held the day before (Saturday, April 15).

The paddle was approximately 10 kilometres in total distance and participants were blessed by reasonably high water levels. Many of the paddlers were in the Raisin River Race and used this event to have a leisurely paddle to unwind from  Saturday’s race. Wildlife showed off its finest: otters, muskrats, Canada Geese, cormorants and more.

After arriving at Robertson Mills the paddlers enjoyed an outdoor picnic hosted by the Dalkeith Historical Society, where they were joined by about 20 people. The picnic tables at Robertson Mills were laden  with all kinds of hand-to-mouth goodies.

“A super good time was had by all,” said Frances Fraser of the Dalkeith Historical Society. “Friendships made and renewed.”

Photo Gallery – Dalkeith Paddle

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