Learn to Whitewater Kayak in Ontario

If you've been following along the past few weeks, you'll know that Dave and I are doing some pretty extraordinary adventures in Ontario, Canada. This week we learn to whitewater kayak.

Learn to Whitewater Kayak

Who knew that some of our most challenging and exciting adventures to date would be right here in our own backyard? We kicked off the summer with a week-long whitewater kayaking course at the Madawaska Kanu Centre located in Barry's Bay Ontario.

Enjoy our latest video describing exactly what you can expect from a whitewater kayaking course with MKC

 A Little about MKC Whitewater History

learn to whitewater kayak kanu

Champion Kayakers

MKC was started in 1972, and was Canada's first whitewater school ever! Hermann and Christa Kerckhoff had both just come off winning the Canadian Whitewater kayaking championships felt that they should do something with their titles.

There wasn't a place to learn how to whitewater kayak anywhere in Canada and they changed all that.

Three years later, they opened their school MKC, on the Madawaska River. They encouraged the government to keep the banks of the river as Crown

Land to preserve the natural conditions of the woods and area. Instead of buying their property on the shores of the Madawaska River, they built their school on the other side of a quiet road right beside the river.

Today, The Madawaska is flowing as it has been for the past 40 years. Thanks to their efforts it isn't cluttered with cottages or motorized boats. Instead, it's a quiet raging river left alone for canoes and kayaks to enjoy. They even run family rafting trips down the river in the summer.

learn to whitewater kayak river

Daughter Claudia and her husband Dirk have since taken over the business. Claudia is 10-time Canadian women's champion in Whitewater Kayak Slalom.

Working in conjunction with the help of the Bark Lake Dam, they have pristine conditions for whitewater kayaking and canoeing right in front of their property.

Dirk and Claudia's daughters will carry on the legacy. Katrina is a three-time Canadian Whitewater slalom  Champion and Stefani is an accomplished paddler in the open canoe. Stefani was running the show during our stay, and you can feel her passion and excitement for the sport when you talk with her.

Students come to MKC from all around to learn the joy and fun of navigating whitewater and others come year after year refreshing their skills and learning more advanced techniques. The even offer instructor and rescue training.

Whether you are a beginner or someone who's been paddling for years, MCK is the place to be! I know that we came away richer from our experience there. We overcame fears, made new friends and gained a new respect for the sport.

Our Guide

learn to whitewater kayak ontario

The guides at MKC are top notch. Our instructor Fidel Moreno runs his own school in Argentina and won the . If there is anyone we'd love to learn from it's a world champion. Not only that he's an amazing guy.

We had to Google him to find out about his accomplishments, he is so humble! And that's how all the guides were. They are all accomplished, at the top of their field, professional and a whole lot of fun!

If there is any adventure that you want to take up in Ontario, we suggest whitewater kayaking. It's one of the most exciting things we've ever done!

Visit for whitewater kayak, canoe and rafting experiences.


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