Haliburton Wilderness Paddle

On Monday August 5th I headed into Haliburton County with Jessica Rando (owner of the paddle coach) and Steve Martin (owner of Boardsports Canada). The day was absolute perfection. I have never had a paddling session like this one ever!

Jessica texted me early last week asking if I wanted to join her and Steve for a long paddle in Haliburton for the whole day. How could I say no?

My day started at 4:00am in Waterloo. I stopped at a Tim Hortons to grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee on the way out and then I hit the road. I arrived in Port Credit at 5:30am, and Jess and I were on the road again by 6am. I loved chatting with Jess about the Ontario SUP community and our hopes and dreams. We pulled into Steve’s cottage around 9am and he was there right away to greet us. We unloaded all of our paddling gear, had another look at the map and started paddling around 10:30am.

I looked at Steve and Jess twenty minutes into our paddle and said “I’m so excited!!” to which Steve replied “this first lake is the most boring, just wait until we keep going!”. The rest of the day was just absolutely incredible. We paddled through at least four lakes, a few rivers that were quite shallow and nine portages. I loved this whole trip. It took us about six and a half hours total and we covered at least 31kms paddling.

I was so proud for pushing myself in the portages (some of which were as long at 600 meters) and essentially completing my first wilderness paddle. I packed all of my gear well, ate well, and loved the company. Some of the portages were really muddy, but we all just laughed when we fell in. My favourite was getting to jump off some really tall rocks on our swimming breaks! I might have let out one giant scream…

I loved the scenery - the pine trees, the rocks, the shallowness of the lakes. My favourite lake was Clear Lake because it truly was the clearest lake of them all. I felt so free having no one around, no service and barely any boat traffic.

When we got back we celebrated our day with a beer on Steve’s dock and then we had to hit the road. I definitely would love to do another paddle like this again in the near future. I loved every second of it. It felt like the best way to escape reality for a brief moment.

Huge thank you’s go to Steve and Jess for inviting me to come along this great adventure!


Getting through the mud as best as we can!

Getting through the mud as best as we can!


Portaging through the woods

Portaging through the woods

A great day but even better company

A great day but even better company

Madeline Leblanc