Petawawa River: Lake Travers to McManus Lake (4 days / 49 km)

The Petawawa River is a whitewater river in the northeast corner of Algonquin Provincial Park. It has some excellent rapids, many nice campsites and takes you through a less-visited region of the park. The geographic gem is The Natch, a red granite cliff that extends upwards out of the dark green water.

This route has at least nine rapids between CI Tech and CII Tech. There is only one definite portage, however there were a couple of times when we needed to line our boats. Less experienced canoeists may feel more comfortable portaging, rather than lining, these sections. There are also a few rapids that would easily pin / wrap a tipped canoe, so ensure members of your group are familiar with whitewater rescue.

Overall, it's a super fun river with great campsites and beautiful scenery.

Trip Completed: July 2020

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Lake Travers

Ending Point: McManus Lake

Total Distance: 49 km

Duration: 4 days / 3 nights

Difficulty: Intermediate

Location: The Petawawa River is located in the northeast corner of Algonquin Provincial Park. The nearest town is Petawawa.

Traditional Territory: This route in Algonquin Provincial Park is located on the traditional territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) and Anishinabewaki (source).

Maps & Guidebooks

Guidebook: Rivers of the Upper Ottawa Valley by Hap Wilson

Map: Algonquin 4 - Central North

Interactive Route Map: Click here to view and edit this route map using the Canoe Route Planner

Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservation: You can reserve campsites through the Ontario Parks Reservation System. You don’t actually reserve the specific site, but rather the generic area of the campsite. For example, you can reserve “Crooked Chute”, which actually has three campsites.

Outfitters & Shuttles

Outfitters: I paddled this trip as part of a guided trip with MHO Adventures. This meant they coordinated the gear and shuttle...

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