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Current to Killarney Canoefest

Canoe Participants
Mark Gibeault, Rob Melon, Joanne Melon, Victoria Pitawanakwat, Laura Hagman, Blair Hagman, John Kift, Mike Ranta and Dog Spitzi

Killarney Mountain Lodge and Manitoulin Brewing Company are proud to announce the inaugural Current to Killarney Canoe Race. Where canoe enthusiasts of all skill levels can take on the challenge to paddle 34km through the North Channel of Lake Huron from Little Current, Manitoulin Island to Killarney. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy paddling one of the top paddling destinations in Canada.

Blair Hagman, co-founder of Manitoulin Brewing Company, was serving up cold brews at the Killarney Music Festival last August when he noticed Mike Ranta walking by with his signature birch bark canoe hat on. The two of them chatted thorough the night until the brilliant idea of delivering the first Killarney Cream Ale by canoe came to light. Two months later the first Killarney Cream Ale was packaged at Manitoulin Brewing Company and loaded up in a 30 foot long canoe. The paddle consisted of eight adventurous characters that dipped their paddles in the frigid autumn waters in Little Current. They endured 3ft waves, rain, wind and even snow to cross the rough waters of Lake Huron. They arrived in record speed of 5 hours to tap the first keg of Killarney Cream Ale at the famous Carousel Lounge at Killarney Mountain Lodge. The event was documented by the marketing firm Orange Bazooka in order to promote the new Killarney Cream Ale. The video has garnered a lot of attention and brought Killarney Cream Ale to the forefront as one of the top cream ale products sold in the LCBO.

By Path Or Paddle
With Support From By Path Or Paddle Rob and Mark are currently working with a local school on Manitoulin Island to build the 4th Big Canoe. We are fortunate to have our friends Mark Gibeault and Rob Melon from By Path or Paddle. Rob and Mark have built 3 big canoes from scratch using local cedar grown on Manitoulin Island. MBC and KML partnered with Path By Paddle to source out the expertise that Mark Gibeault and Rob Melon have in paddling Big Canoes. We look forward to seeing their 4 Big Canoes gliding through the North Channel waters from Little Current to Killarney.

The Birth of the Race
It did not take long for the idea to be excitedly brought up in the Carousel Lounge after a few delicious Killarney Cream Ales "this should be an annual canoe race!!". Blair Hagman reached out to Killarney Mountain Lodge owner Holden Rhodes and his management team to see if they would like to join forces to make the race idea a reality. It seemed obvious to both parties that this canoe route could become one of the greatest paddling races in all of Canada. The waters from Little Current to Killarney are rated as one of the top paddling destinations in Canada and this distance makes it a hearty day-trip paddle adventure.

Booking a Room

Little Current
Book a room the night before the race in picturesque Little Current
Manitoulin Hotel and Confrence Centre
Shaftesbury Inn
Hawberry Motel

Book a room at the beautiful Killarney Mountain Lodge or Sportsman's Inn. *Please make sure to inform front desk you are booking for the one night availability for Current to Killarney. There are one night accommodations set aside for paddlers.
Killarney Mountain Lodge
Sportsman's Inn

If you prefer to stay outdoors, the Killarney Mountain Lodge is offering camping space at one of its properties in Killarney. You can set up your tent at a designated camping site on the former executive golf course at Killarney Bay Inn. We will arrange for transportation to the site, you can use the marina washrooms and showers at either Sportsman’s Inn or Killarney Mountain Lodge and the washrooms at Killarney Bay Inn. Fee for overnight camping is $25 per person.

You can book a camping spot upon registration. Register Now

Race Details

Avaliable Canoes
Sold Style Length Seats Price
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
No Big Canoe 36ft 10-12 $330
No Big Canoe 36ft 10-12 $330
No Big Canoe 36ft 10-12 $330
No Big Canoe 26ft 8-10 $330
No Big Canoe 26ft 8-10 $330
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
No North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
Yes North Canoe 30ft 8-10 $330
Yes Big Canoe 26ft 8-10 $330
Yes Big Canoe 26ft 8-10 $330

Register Early and Save
First 50 Paddlers Paddlers 51 Through 100 Paddlers 101 Trough 150 Paddlers 151 Trough 200
on registration!
on registration!
on registration!
Pay full price!





The Route
Participants will start at Spider Bay Marina in Little Current and paddle under the well-known Swing Bridge, head toward Strawberry Island Lighthouse then cross the big waters to reach Heywood Island, from there it is a direct push towards Landsdowne Channel that leads to the quaint village of Killarney.