Trip Reports

Trip Coordinator Stephanie J.

The “Harvest Moon Cruise” happened on an unseasonably warm September weekend. Stephanie was the trip leader and the happy paddlers were Rob, Donna, Julien, Leila, Siobhan, Frank, Karyn and Denise, and Barkley the dog. Paddlers carpooled and one NWV member (who happened to be the trip planner’s daughter) helped shuttle the drivers back to Genessee from Laurier to avoid a long shuttle at the end.

Click here to read the full trip report and see the fabulous pictures!

Trip Coordinator: Frank G.
Photos: Frank G.

First of all, this trip was organized by Kevin M who was excited to run it, but a last-minute personal situation prevented him from attending. Thanks, Kevin, for your efforts. We missed you.

We had such a hot August this year, with daily maximums averaging 27 degrees over the two weeks previous to this day trip. Many days were over 30, and the sun beat down mercilessly. Then the weather changed dramatically for our day, with a forecast of scattered showers or thundershowers in the morning and a maximum temperature of about 17. Undaunted, we assembled in the parking lot of Voyageur Park in Devon at 9 AM to prepare for our shuttle. After all, 17 degrees and scattered showers would not be that bad for paddling, and would be a welcome relief from the heat.

Trip Coordinator: Fiona Munro

Photos: Fiona, Paul

The group met at West River’s Edge Loop in Fort Saskatchewan at 9:00 am. This was a great place to launch from as it had a large grassy area to park our boats, and a boat ramp with a small sandy beach area for an easy put-in. This area also had a huge parking lot above and a pavilion with public washroom facilities.

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird

This trip ran on Sunday 14th August, but was scheduled for the previous day. The change was due to Saturday’s chance of thundershowers. We were Arleen D., Ben C., Karyn M., Kathleen E., Sylvia L. and Paul B. all in Delta kayaks of assorted colours and lengths. After vehicles had been shuttled to Fort Saskatchewan, we launched from the 50th Street boat launch, in Capilano Park, Edmonton.

Trip Coordinator: Brenda N.
Photos: Brenda N., Frank G.

I had always wanted to do the Lakeland Canoe Circuit, so when it came up on the trip schedule this year, I signed up early.

Lakeland Provincial Park is a gem of backcountry paddling about 20 km ENE of Lac la Biche. Ostensibly, the Jackson Lake Staging Area is along “Highway” 663, but the dusty gravel road and washboard would have you thinking otherwise. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty easy 3.5-hr drive from Edmonton on a Tuesday summer morning.

Trip Coordinator: Donna M.

Sorry no pictures of this trip.

We met Friday night at the Tail Creek Campground, it is on the NE side of where highway 21 crosses the Red Deer River (Content Bridge) near Delburne. Karyn and Denise went down a day early and paddled from Content Bridge to Trenville Park. But the rest of us arrived Friday night. We were 10 in 7 boats, most of the Faulkner family in one canoe, their eldest son in his own kayak, and Donna, Denise, Karyn, Theresa, and Julia in their own kayaks. After much googling and map consulting, we decided to head east on highway 21 and stick with the south side of the river, and try to find a river access.

Trip Co-ordinator: Mike E

 The weekend had started with a plan for a run on the Bow through Calgary Saturday and then a leisurely trip on the Glenmore Resevoir on Sunday. The rains of the preceding week had the Bow beyond the top end of paddling and since it was an exploratory trip, it was moved into September when the water should be more typical.

With the Saturday open and only Mike E. and Alina S. on the Reservoir trip, we decided to bump it up to the Saturday to take advantage of the fantastic forecast with mainly sunny skies and alight but refreshing wind. We launched from the Heritage Marina by Heritage Park on the east end of the reservoir. There were dozens of paddlers in all types of canoes and kayaks and sailors on the water.

Trip Coordinator: Frank G.

Photos: Frank G.

Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park is always nice to paddle in early season, especially if you get to the parking lot before most of the weekend day trippers arrive. We were there before the planned meeting time of 9:30 and were on the water by 10. “We” in this case included Frank, Greg, and Brian in two kayak and a one canoe.

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird

This was the third day of the 2022 NWV Jasper Weekend. We packed up our tents and equipment at Whirlpool Group Campground and drove to Patricia Lake. We took the road to Patricia Lake Bungalows, but that is a private dead end, so we headed back to Pyramid Lake Road. There are two parking lots adjacent to the lake and these were used to park and unpack the boats.

Trip Coordinator: Frank G.
Photos: Cathy C.
Route map: Alan S.

On the second day of our 3-day tour of Jasper National Park, we paddled Talbot Lake. It was a logical choice because three of our crew were heading back to Edmonton that day, so Talbot put them on their way – being near the east end of the Park along Highway 16.

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird

This was the first day of the 2022 NWV Jasper Weekend. We were camped, and in some cases glamped, at Whirlpool Group Campground, which is 25 km south of Jasper on Highway 93A. Our aim was to paddle on Maligne Lake, but it was still frozen due to the cool spring weather. We left Whirlpool Campground for Pyramid Lake; the clouds looked as if it might rain. We launched at Main Beach, which is on the south west corner of the lake. We were Frank, Siobhan (with Barkley), Cathy and Paul B. in kayaks, with Gill and Sara, also Alan and Donna G. in two canoes.

Trip Coordinator: Frank G.
Photos: Cathy C.

Well, this trip is becoming an annual early-season lake paddle. In 2019, we were there on 11 May, when the leaves seemed to open on the trees in the few hours that we were paddling. Of course, 2020 had no trips due to early Covid restrictions, so 2021 had twice the usual number of participants. This time, we had a more normal contingent of 7 people, all in kayaks.


Trip Coordinator: Paul B.

Isle Lake is in Parkland County; it is about 13 km long with a maximum width of 2 km. We launched from Kokomoko Recreation Area and headed out of the bay towards two islands. We were Stephanie, Rob, Frank, Ted, Sylvia, Leila, Ben, Denise and Paul B., all in kayaks. There was essentially no wind, with any waves coming from the few power boats that were far away from us. We passed the islands and noticed they were ringed with reeds; there were probably places to land but we continued northwest and then changed course to northeast.


Participants: Jim Fegy, Cap’n Bob

This stretch of river is fantastic season starter. It has many features for you to work on your skills and get back into the groove after a winter of Netflix. With steep banks and abrupt twists and turns it offers that character of a small volume river. What it also offers is some fantastic white water without having to travel far from Edmonton. Unfortunately, this river does not have a water station so you won’t find its present level on any websites. What is does have is a running level system known as “boards”. The south pillar of the bridge has markings on each of the boards and from that measurement one knows what to expect on the river that day.

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird


This was the first official NWV club trip of the 2022 season. We launched at Riel Recreation Park; the river was in the typical early season flood with the temperature about 4 C, and there was no wind. The river bank was muddy with some partially frozen areas. We were Donna, Ben, Doug, Leila and Paul B. all in kayaks.

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird

We launched at the Devon Voyageur Park under cloudy skies with the sun attempting to break through. We were 14 strong, all in kayaks: Donna, Mike E. (up from Calgary), Karyn, Denise, Arleen D., Theresa, Susan O., Kim, Gayleen, Jacqui, Anita, Carolyn, Cathryn and Paul B.


Trip Coordinator:  Alan Stewart

This paddle took place on the doorstep of the big heat wave. In order to beat the worst of the heat we met at Hasse lake at 9.30 and were on the water by about 10.00AM.

We paddled around the island getting a good look at the seagulls, terns and pelicans. Sadly some of the gulls were in poor shape and we speculated about disease…not an unlikely possibility given the density and low hygiene standards of the nesting.

Trip Coordinator: Donna McKenzie

Most of us met at the 50th Street boat launch at 9 am, to unload boats and start the car shuttle. With COVID, many people are arranging their own shuttle, so in fact we only had 6 vehicles driving to Fort Saskatchewan.

Trip Coordinator:  Frank Geddes

Boy, is there ever a lot of pent-up demand for kayaking! We had 13 people on our trip, and I had to turn some away. (Remember: let the trip coordinator know by Wednesday evening if you would like to attend.)

This trip was originally scheduled for 15 May but had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions. We were to have a trip to Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park on this date, but the Park is so busy that they are asking people to stay away on weekends if they can. So, it was moved to Islet Lake.

Trip Coordinator: Donna McKenzie

A weekend trip on the North Saskatchewan with Donna M, Kay Y., Stephanie J., Rob R., Gary D., Isobel S., and Vicki T. You might think there is a story behind the picture.  You would be right.

Trip Coordinator:  Paul Bird

This was the first official Northwest Voyageurs Club trip of the 2021 paddling season and the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original intention was to paddle the Sturgeon River downstream through the centre of St Albert and then back upstream, but due to very low water levels the trip was changed to Big Lake. We were Alan in a canoe, Donna, Martin, Greg and Paul B. in kayaks. We launched from Riel Recreation Park in St Albert, the temperature was about +4 C and proceeded to Big Lake.


Trip Coordinator: Paul B.


The scheduled trip from 50th Street to Fort Saskatchewan was changed to Terwillegar Park to 50th Street due to several factors. The forecast was mainly sunny, 19 C. We were Arleen D. and Paul B. in kayaks. We wheeled our boats from the Terwillegar parking lot to the river (350 m) and ran the gauntlet of exuberant dogs. Not for the first time a wet dog emerged from the river, ran up to us and had a good shake, much to the delight of the dog owner. The launch site has been eroded over the past few years and is steep in most areas. We launched into a very light head wind.

Trip Coordinator: Donna McKenzie

Participants: Jim F., John and Eleanore W., Donna M.

We agreed to meet at the Jackson Lake Staging Area at 12 noon. We left Edmonton at 8:30 am, and its an easy drive north in that time. Lakeland provides carts with large wheels to transport your gear 3.2 km to the water, and 14 of the 15 were at the trailhead! We arrived at the water and got our gear all loaded in our various boats. John and Eleanore had a tandem canoe, and so did Jim but he was paddling solo. Donna had a kayak. The Lakeland circuit starts on a 3 km long channel that by late August is weed and algae chocked, but we found a clear channel. We paddled onto Jackson Lake, and under the bridge into Kinnaird Lake. Our destination was the Island campsites in Kinnaird, which are beautiful. With our mid-week trip we passed a family of 5 paddling out in the channel, and then never saw another person for the next 3 days! Our Kinnaird Lake island was a lovely campsite, and we were off the water fairly early in the day. The loons sang for us, and we had a lovely relaxing evening around the fire.

Trip Coordinator: Stephanie Jansen

The number of kayakers in the club has been growing and this year and with formal training offerings limited in Edmonton, the club put together a fantastic 5 day session on intermediate kayak skills on Lesser Slave Lake.  Participants were Stephanie J, Rob R, Donna M, Bob T, Jared R, Alan S., Susan O, and Greg A.  The session was lead by Garth and Trish Hobden.

Trip Coordinator: Donna McKenzie


We had 8 people meet at Chip Lake Park Friday night, Donna M., Nelson L., Arleen D., Stephanie J., Rob R., Denise J., Karyn M., and Captain Bob. Chip Lake is the lake you drive past when you drive to Jasper along highway 16, just past Wildwood. It turns out to be much larger than most of us realized, plus fairly shallow. The deepest parts of the lake are only 10 feet deep. It seems to be well stocked with fish though, as most of the people we met were fishing, and there is a LOT of bird life.

Trip Coordinator:  Donna M.

Photos: Kathleen E.

We met at the south end of Lac La Nonne, on the Lac La Nonne road, near Kildeer Beach at 10 am. There were 4 of us, Donna M, Sean M, Ben C and Kathleen E. None of us had been to Lac La Nonne before. The Lake is an alternating mix of wilderness and intense cottage/RV development as you paddle around it. Motor boats are allowed and while there were not many in the morning, it was a hot day and by mid afternoon lots and lots of various motor craft had come out to play. The lake is about 7 km long, so we headed off along the west shore intending to do a loop.

Trip Coordinator:  Donna McKenzie

Participants – Reg B., Lynn D., Dirk P., Alan S., Frank P., Margriet vL., Ric F., Gord P., Donna M.

After a Friday night loading of boats and gear at Reg’s house, we departed bright and early Saturday August 10th. We are in 3 vehicles, and towing Frank’s trailer with 3 boats on it. We had many stops during the day, including boat inspection just past Mount Robson, but eventually made it to Vanderhoof where we met up with Ric, who lives in Salmon Arm.

After another early start, we drove and drove. Stopped at Morisburg where they still spear fish from the rocky shores of a waterfall, and stopped at Hazelton to see the Native lodges.

Sorry.  No photos from this trip

Trip Coordinator: Donna M.

We met at 10 am at the SW end of Isle Lake, at Kokomoko Recreation Area, near Gainford. There were 5 of us, Donna M, Greg A, Sean M, Arleen D, and Susan O. None of us had paddled this end of the lake before, so we set off eastward along the south shore. We paddled by several cottages, some the original shacks and some larger mansions. Turning north at about Sunset Shores, we paddled to a large island that we were able to land at, where we stopped to stretch our legs and have a snack. We had paddled for about an hour at this point, going maybe 4 km.


Trip Coordinator:  Donna McKenzie

The Rivers are running high this year. We left Edmonton Saturday July 27th, planning to stop in Hinton and have a really good look at the Athabasca. We did and it was scary. We stopped at a logging bridge and while the clearance was probably okay, it looked from shore like we would have to duck our heads to safely paddle under the bridge. Thus began a re-planning of our trip, that never ended. Flexibility is our new motto!!

We were 8, Donna, Lisa, Mike, Karyn, Stephanie, Rob, Isobel and Gary. Most had little experience with running rivers and the Athabasca is a big river, flowing around 500 cms at Hinton and reaching 1000 cms by Windfall this day. Too high!

We camped Saturday and Sunday nights at Snaring overflow in Jasper, and used the day Sunday to paddle 14 km down Maligne Lake to Spirit Island, and back again. It was a lovely day and the views of the mountains were spectacular! Medicine Lake was full, something none of us had ever seen before.

Trip Coordinator:  Alan Stewart

First the name. The lake used to be called Devil’s Lake but more recently it is reverting to its Cree name Matchayaw Lake. The two names are roughly equivalent in meaning.

Matchayaw is a small lake with some cottages/country mansions near the NE boat launch, a religious 'camp' near the bridge and the remnants of the small town of Bilby on the south end. There is a smaller boat launch at Bilby. A lot of the rest of the shore is marsh. Imrie park/conservation area makes up a chunk of the west side of the lake. North of the park there is private pasture through which The Sturgeon River winds before entering the lake. The Sturgeon leaves the north end of the lake in a wide, marshy valley.

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