Learn to Paddle is a free program for youth 5-18 years of age aiming to connect kids with nature in the Rouge.

Last year we offered a dozen or so kids this opportunity.  This year we want to offer it to 50!


Who?          Presented by CPAWS Wildlands League

What?         Learn to Paddle, part of Paddle the Rouge 2016

When?       Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 11:00am

Where?      Rouge Beach Park, 195 Rouge Hills Drive

Why?         Nature nurtures.  More on why we Paddle the Rouge.

Download our flyer and share with your network.  Help the next generation connect with paddling and Rouge Park!

Registration for Learn to Paddle is now open here.

What to expectLTP-promopic

  • Plan to arrive with a parent or guardian around 10:15 am.  This gives you and your family time to use the washroom and change if necessary.
  • When youth arrive at Rouge Park, they will be directed to the Registration Desk. There, we will sign you in and make sure that all waivers are signed off by a parent or guardian before you are welcomed to relax and watch as the kids are ushered through the event.
  • Kids will be paired up with their instructor, and a small group of 2-4 paddling partners.
  • After gearing up with life jackets and paddles, youth will participate in dry land instruction in the parking lot. They will learn boat and water safety, paddling strokes, about nature in Rouge Park and more.
  • Boats launch from an access point off the parking lot. We will try as best as possible to seat your youth in their preferred boat (canoe or kayak), subject to availability.
  • Younger participants will be paired with an instructor in the same boat, for added peace of mind for parents. Water instruction will be done at a ratio of not more than 4 youth per instructor.
  • Once the youth are comfortable in the boat and after some paddling in the pond, they will be led up one of the channels for a short boat tour of the area.
  • The youth will return from the paddle landing in the beach area, where the launches for Paddle the Rouge take place.  Please meet us there, no later than 12:15 pm.
  • We will gather everyone for a commemorative group photo before distributing our goody bags to all of the participants, with thanks from our sponsors.
  • Families are welcome to stay and take part in the many activities happening in the park throughout the day, including participating as a family in the 1pm launch of Paddle the Rouge! Why not sign up the whole family to paddle and make it a fun day on the Rouge?


PHOTO TIP: The boardwalk will be a great place to snap shots during the beginning of the water lessons in the pond.  Great Blue Herons and other wildlife are often spotted during this excursion, but if you send your youth with a camera make sure it’s put it in a waterproof pouch!

Each youth participating in Learn to Paddle will receive:

  • A one-hour paddle lesson, in either canoe or kayak
  • A souvenir
  • Gift bag filled with goodies
  • Food and beverage
  • A priceless experience
  • and more!