The Petawawa Town Run is one of the best park-and-play spots around and is a great way to spend a couple hours on a sunny afternoon. The kilometer and a half of perfect class 2-4 rapids in the spring and during high is popular with Ontario paddlers and you’ll likely find some locals hanging about to give you some tips!
The common put in is either upstream of Hwy 17, just off of Rantz Rd (Murphy Rd exit) or the shorter run – no warm up to this one – begins at Railroad Rapid just off of Wilson Ave. The clearings for parking are easy to spot on Google Maps, and easy to find on arrival.
The Take Out is located at Golf Course Rapid – a great little play hole at medium and high flows. It is located on Tall Pines Rd, a dead-end street found by following the river downstream or by turning off of Albert Street.
By putting on at the highway start you get a nice little class 2/3 warm up drop and a 2 km moving flatwater section before arriving at Railroad. This is a big, long rapid and worth scouting for most. There are significant holes – easily avoided – at most flows. Heaps of line choices here to keep you entertained.
Following Railroad is a 1-km section of Class 3 wave trains with a few surf spots, before arriving at Lovers. This is a very straightforward rapid, and a great chance to scare your friends by having them “blue angel” or “ducky” down it. There is a monster rooster tail at the run out that makes for a wild ride. Immediately after comes Catwalk, offering a sweet playwave at level of 2.9 and up, and a decent spinning hole below this level.
The next major rapid before the Golf Course take out is named Suicide. Although not really deserving of the deathly moniker, it also present a range of line choices, some more difficult that others, and is routinely run on both the right and left channels. Also worth scouting. Portage right. Then run out to the play waves at Golf Course, where the Pet reaches the Ottawa River.
Now it’s almost over but note that the second run takes only a fraction of the time of the first, so head up the 4-minute shuttle and whip off another run
The closest spot for camping, if you want to make a weekend of the Petawawa Town Run, is Black Bear Beach Campground. Black Bear sports 120 campsites (100 serviced) and features full amenities like shower, laundry and washroom facilities, as well as a little giftshop and firewood.
There are also walking and biking trails all over, so be sure to bring all your gear!
Find the Black Bear Beach campground at 179 Menin CFB Petawawa, ON K8H 2X3.
Essential Petawawa Town Run Information
A hydro project threatens the future of the Petawawa Town Run… read more!
Local Weather Forecast
You can check out the Petawawa Forecast.