Trip Reports


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: 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: 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 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: 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 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.

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:  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.


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:  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:  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: 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: 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: Paul Bird

Five members of the club assembled at the boat launch at Riel Recreation Park. We were Karyn, Martine, Rob, Stephanie and Paul, all in kayaks. There had been some snow earlier, but this was melting. We launched on to the Sturgeon River and headed downstream to St Albert. The river was flowing at 11.7 cm/s, the temperature was just above zero and it didn’t get much warmer. The high level of the river was slowly falling, but the river was still wide. We passed bushes, reeds and trees and saw birds of many different species, also muskrat and beaver. Our trip took us into the heart of St Albert, and we passed St Albert Place, a notable landmark in the city, and the Highway 2/St Albert Trail Bridge.

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.

Trip Coordinator: Alan Stewart

With a bleak forecast that slowly improved day by day as the weekend approached, 8 paddlers met in Blue Ridge with hopes of gathering enough excitement to brave the elements and take a two day trip on a delightful section of the Athabasca River.


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

 We began assembling at Wiley West campground boat launch as early as 9.30, with a goal of getting on the water by 10.30 or 11.00. After setting up the shuttle we got on the water slightly after 11.00.

Weather a bit cool with a slight drizzle but enthusiasm wasn’t dampened. The river flow plenty adequate and not too high, close to 300cms according to Gord’s internet research. The current was good and somewhere along the route Mel clocked us drifting at about 8kph.

Trip Coordinator:  Frank Geddes
Photos: Margriet Van Laarhoven

We wanted to camp on a sandy beach on a big lake. So, we headed to Lac La Biche, about a 2.5-hr drive northeast of Edmonton.

We had agreed to meet at Day Use Beach in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park about 4 PM with an expected launch to our campsite at 6 PM. Like clockwork, our five vehicles came into the parking lot one behind the other. Upon registering at the campground office, we were directed to the official boat launch along the causeway from where we could leave our vehicles and launch our boats. That was different from the last time I was here, when we were allowed to park and set out from the Pelican Islands viewpoint. It meant a longer trip to our campsite, and a bit of jostling with mega boats being towed by mega trucks at the boat launch.

Trip Coordinator: Mike Eaton

Another one of our car camping trips, this time to the majestic mountain lakes of Jasper.  The itinerary included Maligne and Pyramid Lakes. 

Trip Coordinator: Paul Bird

We assembled at the Boat Launch at Laurier Park. We were: 3 canoes, single, tandem and family: Gord, Melvyn and Norma, Andrea, Marcel, Rene, Elise and Sorrel. We also had 7 single kayaks: Kay, Margret, Chris, Wes, Denise, Cathy and Paul. The ages ranged from below ten years up to the early seventies. After the shuttle down to the take out, Cathy and Wes drove the drivers back to the put in.

Trip Coordinator: Donna McKenzie

Murtle Lake is the largest canoe and kayak only lake in North America. It’s located in Wells Gray Provincial Park about 30km west of Blue River, BC.  It’s a very popular paddle destination even for people as far away as Europe.  It is the dream trip of many from Germany and Switzerland and we met people from BC, Alberta, Washington and Oregon as well.  The NWV had attempted to run a trip to Murtle in 2017 but we decided the wild fires in BC were best avoided so we made plans to try again for 2018.

Click here to see the detailed trip report including some great pictures.

Trip Coordinator: Frank Geddes

Wanna play fetch?

When we arrived at the Astotin Lake parking lot of Elk Island National Park at 09:30, there was a 25-km/hr “breeze” and gusts from the SSE, although the water off the beach was fairly flat. The weather forecast called for winds of 30, gusting to 50 for much of the day. Two of our potential paddlers put their noses to the wind and hastily decided to keep their kayaks perched atop their vehicles, while the other four of us weighed our options. Rob wisely suggested a counter clockwise circuit because there were small whitecaps to our right (the north), so we would tackle those first and be clear of them by the time the waves got high. As most people know, wave height is determined generally by three factors, two of which are wind speed and wind duration. Later in the day, the wind would be stronger and have been blowing longer, so the waves there would be higher than in the morning.

Trip coordinator: Paul Bird

Saturday dawned a hot and sunny day.  The group met around 9 am at the 50th street boat launch in Edmonton, and unloaded boats and equipment.

We were:

Canoes: Don and Gene, Eric and Marie, Isobel and Gary, Doug and Leslie with the smallest Northwest Voyageur, Abby the puppy.

Kayaks: Cathy, Karyn, Diane and Paul.

Some cars were driven to the take out at the Fort Saskatchewan Boat Launch.  A big thank you to Marian Brudnicki, who offered to do shuttling for us.  We met him there, and he and Cathy shuttled drivers back to the put in.  After a quick “comfort break” at the Capilano Park bathrooms, we launched on calm water in bright sunshine.  We commented on the large number of canoes, compared to many kayak-heavy trips of late.

Trip Coordinator: Frank Geddes

Well it seemed like a good idea: Get out of the city for an easy day paddle in the Blackfoot Recreation Area, and then use the fire pits and picnic tables at the Islet Lake Staging Area for an afternoon barbecue. For me, it started off well, but at some point east of Highway 21, I realized that I had forgotten to pack my kayak spray skirt. Oh, well … it’s an easy paddle on flat water, so no problem. Then, the sudden thought that my spray skirt was clipped onto my PFD, which was also missing. Well, that can’t be: an NWV trip leader paddling without a PFD. So, I turned the car around and found a safe place to pull over and make a call. Fortunately, Alan answered and agreed to lead the others whilst I ferried back to my place to pick up the missing items.

Trip Coordinator: Mike Eaton

Every sea-faring yarn needs a good opening line. It was a sunny, calm day might not draw in the readers but it was a completely accurate for this day trip on Wabamun Lake. The trip was from Seba Beach to Wabamun over a distance 22 km.

During the off-season, I had found that not many in the club had paddled on Wabamun before so it would be an new experience for all of. 

Trip Coordinator: Alan Stewart

A dozen NW-Voyageurs met at Chelsey Robinson Park for the trip. For those of us from Edmonton it had been a week of daily snow before the trip which was a bit discouraging. But new members Marianna and Terry from Edson had been pushing muchbigger dumps of snow so we were glad they were able to make it; Welcome Marianna and Terry! With you guys on board perhaps we will start paddling the McLeod more often!

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