Last week I had my weather reporting skills doubted each and every day! What looked like a week of rain and poor weather turned out to be a gloriously sunny week.  Perfect weather for taking a canoeing course don’t you think?That is just what I did.  I took part in a Big Canoe Leader course taught by Paddle Canada right here in Peterborough.  This course enabled our already safe and competent canoe leaders to gain a national certification in leading Big Canoes.  There are not a lot of these courses taking place in Ontario and so an instructor from British Columbia flew out to teach.   The Big Canoe program is definitely new with having only about 4 years under it’s belt but it is a very interesting program and certainly worth investing our time into.

What is Big Canoe you wonder? Big Canoes are those wondrously large canoes that have their historical roots in the Canada’s fur trade era.  Think 36′ Montreal canoe/canot du maitre or 26′ North Canoe/canot du nord.  Don’t have them in your mind yet? Check out the pics below.

These boats are absolutely perfect vessels for carrying heavy loads of  cargo and more recently, these canoes are excellent vehicles for introducing non-paddlers (and already keen paddlers) to canoeing in a safe and accessible manner.  The Canoe Museum’s Big Canoes earn their keep at the Museum by taking out students in school groups, campers in our summer CanoeKids Paddling Camps, corporate team building groups, visitors from other countries, individuals and families with Peterborough’s New Canadians Center, as well as the general public at such outings as National Canoe Day, Ode’Min Giizis festival, re-enactment festivals, Queen Jubilee pageants and many more events to come in the future.
Interested in seeing what it is like to paddle a Big Canoe?  Contact the Canoe Museum and we’ll let you know the next time these big beautiful beasts are leaving the dock!!  All are invited, no matter what your level of experience is.