Melting snow and spring rains mean rising water levels and some of the year’s best paddling conditions in the Northeast come spring. It’s also the time of year for the many exciting and fun canoe and kayak races that are held throughout the region during this season. Here are five fantastic spring races you should check out. For a full schedule of paddling races in the Northeast, visit the New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association website.
SCIANTIC SPRING SPLASH
March 26, 2016
Sciantic River, Connecticut
This marks the 25th year of the Sciantic Spring Splash, which is held on the Sciantic River between Somersville and Hazardville, Connecticut. The 5-mile course features a mandatory portage, three Class II rapids and a popular finish area with lots of spectators. There is also a 2.5-mile novice course.
RIVER RAT RACE
April 9 &10, 2016
Millers River, Massachusetts
Two days of races between Athol and Orange, Massachusetts with several thousand dollars in prize money. Day One features a 6-mile race. Day Two has a 15-mile pro course and a 12-mile amateur course.
KENDUSKEAG STREAM CANOE RACE
April 16, 2016
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, Maine’s Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is the largest paddling event in New England and one of the largest in the country. This 16.5-mile race begins in the town of Kenduskeag and ends near the confluence of the Penobscot River in downtown Bangor.
May 7, 2016
A 5.5-mile race on the Farmington River, this course features several miles of quickwater and class II rapids, some flatwater, a ledgy descent containing the infamous Boateater rapid, and a sprint for the finish.
GENERAL CLINTON CANOE REGATTA
May 27-30, 2016
Bainbridge, New York
This massive paddling event on New York’s Susquehanna River between Cooperstown and Bainbridge features four days with more than 50 races. Races are held for paddlers of all abilities, from novice to pro, and feature lengths ranging from short 5-mile courses to 70-mile endurance events.