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Petawawa River (Town section)

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The body of water described in this article is at risk. Further information may be found on the discussion page page.



The town section of Petawawa is a challenging Class III/CIV section of whitewater. There are also some good playspots. Scouting and portaging is possible at all levels. In high water this is a big water run taken advantage off during the annual Hell or High Water race which celebrates the river and campaigns against its damming.


The river runs from April/May and continues to run at good levels usually into June. It may also run in the fall with rain.

There are several access points and there is park and play at several points on the town section of the river.

Map of putins & takeout

Put in

The most common putin is above Hwy 17 off Rantz Rd (putin 1 on map)or you can also put in at the train bridge at RailRoad Rapid (putin 2 on map).

Take out

The take out is at Gold Course rapid accessed via Tall Pines Rd or Albert St.


Big Eddy II-III

Railroad Rapid IV

This rapid can be scouted from the bridge. There are several lines down this fairly long section with some holes and big waves.

Bridge Rapid III

This rapid is big wavy fun with some holes that are easily avoided.

Lovers IV

Beware the large hole on river right (Windigo). Can be scouted on river right.


Catwalk II

There are playholes/waves at different levels on this rapid. Surf comes in around 2.9.

Suicide IV

There are two channels at suicide. River left has some ledgy drops with some holes to avoid. River right line is big waves with a hard left to avoid a hole.

Golf Course

This is the best playspot on the river at certain levels. The level of the Ottawa also influences the feature here. Medium high levels are best for play here. It is possible to park and play from the takeout.

Length of run

The run usually takes around 1-2 hours depending how long is spent surfing/playing.

Water levels

The current level for this river can be found through the Environment Canada Real-Time Hydrometric Data site, gauge 02KB001 Petawawa River Near Petawawa.

There is also a gauge on the bridge in town.

The river can be run as low as 5cms and as high as 230cms or higher

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