A group of paddlers gathered on the Kicking Horse River during last year’s inaugural Kicking Horse Paddle Festival.

Kicking Horse River takes centre stage at 2nd annual Paddle Fest

The Kicking Horse has gotten a lot of attention lately, but the paddlers who love the river are going to celebrate on the water.

The Kicking Horse River has gotten a lot of attention lately, but the paddlers who love the river are going to celebrate the best way they know how…on the water.

The second annual Kicking Horse Paddle Festival is coming up next weekend. Local and visiting rafters and kayakers can camp at the Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch and take advantage of the provided shuttle to enjoy the weekend’s events, which include; a group paddle of the middle canyon, basic and advanced whitewater kayak skills clinics, an awards and auction event including entertainment at the Rockwater, a riverside barbecue, a boater-cross race at Portage Shotgun Rapid, and much more.

“It’s the Kicking Horse River, it needs to have a festival to live up to it’s world reputation,” said Kris King, one of the founding organizers. “A few years ago a friend suggested that we plan a festival on the Kicking Horse River, so we did and it worked.”

Last year marked the inaugural event, bringing paddlers together to enjoy the river. Which is one of the main reasons King thought the festival was needed.

“The Kicking Horse River’s reputation makes it pretty intimidating to many causal paddlers who don’t know the river well. We wanted to bring paddlers of any skill level to check it out and join in with the paddling community here. The Kicking Horse River is just a jumping off point to exploring our region’s rivers. There are so many options for paddlers to explore around Golden.”

So for those of you who think the Kicking Horse may be over your heads, this could be the perfect time to try it out with the help of some local experts.

“This year to give those new to the sport a leg up, we are hosting a basic skills clinic. This year we have local host and instructor Lisa Scott; she will give the local inside scoop to the river while teaching new skills under a close eye,” said King.

If you would like to be involved in the festival go to www.kickinghorsepaddlefest.ca to see a full schedule of events. And even if whitewater isn’t your thing, feel free to join in on the party at the riverside barbecue and awards night at the Rockwater.

 

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