From gentle streams to challenging rapids

From gentle streams to challenging rapids

Canoe and kayak club open to all, first trip May 7

With the snow gone, summer-minded folk are coming out of hibernation and looking forward to warm-weather activities. The Columbia Canoe and Kayak Club is no different and they have a ton of outings planned, with the first one set for May 7.

With the snow gone, summer-minded folk are coming out of hibernation and looking forward to warm-weather activities. The Columbia Canoe and Kayak Club is no different and they have a ton of outings planned, with the first one set for May 7.

From day trips to week-long excursions, Michael McMann of the club said they offer adventures for everyone.

Starting as a canoe club in the late 1960s, McMann said the club was founded mostly by Selkirk College instructors. Originally, there were about 30 members, but that number has grown to 50 now.

“Everything from teenagers on up to retired folks,” McMann said.

Members come from all over the West Kootenay, and even though Nelson also has a club (Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club), McMann said they have members from Nelson as they’re more of a trip-oriented club while Nelson’s is more for exercise.

This year, trips have been set for the Columbia River, Slocan River, Duncan River, Kettle River, Goat River (near Creston), the Creston marshes and Lardeau River.

A week-long trip is scheduled between Princeton and Merritt, but there are some other trips close to home as well: Lakeside Park to Taghum, Deer Park to Renata and Eight Mile Beach to Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

Although some trips involve rapids and the days can be long, McMann said people new to kayaking and canoeing are sometimes able to join.

“It’s up to the trip leader to decide if you have the experience to go on some of the more advanced trips.”

The trip on May 7 will start in Robson and head down the Columbia River to South Castlegar.

McMann said the trip, led by Bert Port, has some rapids along the way, but people can go around them if they’re not comfortable.

“It takes them past the little rapids at Waldie Island, Millennium Park and under the big Highway 3 bridge,” he said.

Afterwards, there will be a potluck lunch.

There is no cost to go on the trips, but there is an annual cost to join the club.

Interested people don’t have to have their own canoe or kayak, either.

“They can join without it, it’s just questionable as to whether they’ll be able to go on every trip,” McMann said.

To register for next Saturday’s trip, call Bert at 250-365-6056.