The RACCC Flatwater Program is about cooperative, environmentally sound, and affordable recreational paddling. Trips range in length and difficulty from a single evening or afternoon, to one day and multi-day and camping trips.
RACCC flatwater trips are low cost and rely on volunteers; all participants share out-of-pocket expenses (gas, parking, access fees, canoe rental, etc.).
There are a wide range of trips of various lengths throughout the season including short afternoon and evening paddles, week-day day trips, weekend day trips, weekend camping trips and longer range expeditions. Flatwater trips are posted on the club calendar and graded with a "difficulty" rating. Difficulty is measured in the distance paddled and the number and length of portages per trip. Trips extend from leisurely and relaxed (no portaging, paddling 4-5 km) to more challenging outings paddling up to 25 km per day and everything in between.
Canoes and sea-kayaks are welcome on all RACCC Flatwater day trips and some longer range trips. Some Flatwater trips are designed specifically for kayakers.
Evening trips:RACCC evening trips often go to Meech Lake for a paddle and a swim. Other destinations include the Rideau or Ottawa River. Members leave from the boathouse around 5:30 p.m. and return after dark.
Day trips:The RACCC offers one-day trips on weekends and on weekdays. Day trips usually leave from the boathouse early morning (depending on the trip) with destinations usually within a 90 minute drive from Ottawa, and return late afternoon.
Weekend/multi-day trips:Multi-day trips take considerable preparation time and are often limited by campsite size, so contacting the trip leader early is necessary (Avoid disappointment, book early). A trip planning meeting is usually held up to a week prior to the trip, to facilitate group decisions on the routes, and coordinate transportation details, menu planning, and sharing of equipment.
The RACCC maintains a list of route descriptions and a map of popular destinations which are accessible to members only.
All trips require paddlers to wear a properly fitting PFD with a pea-less whistle. A very limited number of PFDs and paddles are available for members to borrow (most are children sizes) however the RACCC strongly recommends that members purchase their own properly sized PFD. Before you go out and buy equipment, suggestions are offered at the season opener ‘Shed Orientation’ (strongly recommended for all new members), the Flatwater 'Meet and Greet', and the Flatwater basic/introduction course. At these events there are a wide assortment of gear and returning members and most are happy to advise you or even let you try stuff out to see what works for you.
You can use your own canoe or kayak or rent one of the RACCC’s flatwater canoes or kayaks.
Members are also advised to dress for the weather and bring additional dry and warm clothing, adequate drinking water, a lunch (or snack), sunscreen, sun and bug protection and money (for shared expenses). For longer trips, the RACCC has a useful checklist of personal camping here.
All RACCC trips are run in a co-operative manner with everyone pitching in. While there is always a Trip Leader, all trip members work together in the route planning, and on longer trips all members take help with gear selection, menu planning and foor purchases, preparation, packing and cooking.
RACCC trips are low cost because we rely on volunteers and share out of pocket expenses amongst the group (e.g. gas, parking, access fees, canoe rental, etc).