Kevin Callan/Paddle
Credit: Kevin Callan

No one has found the Killarney Provincial Park paddle I’ve hidden for the Paddle in the Park Contest and it’s getting awfully lonely. I hid two this year. One was in Algonquin and one is in Killarney.

I made sure they were a bit tougher to find this season. It took only until mid-season last year before my paddles were found, so I made it a bit more challenging this time around. But remember, if you find a paddle for the contest, you get to keep it. You also win a bunch of prizes as well. It’s a very cool contest.

The Paddle in the Park Contest was started up last year by the gang at Badger Paddles and popular outdoor blogger, Preston Ciere. Their motivation was to get more people out canoe tripping, and creating a scavenger hunt out in the wilds seemed like a good way to get the job done. I love their reason, not to mention their paddles, so I joined in on the fun.

Last year was a huge success and now there’s even more paddles, more prizes (including a canoe from Nova Craft), and more people hiding the paddles: Hap Wilson, Andrea Wilson, Conor Mihell, Preston Ciere, Doug Gordon and myself.

Last weekend, the Godfrey-Sonntag family found my Algonquin paddle. Here’s how it all happened for them:

“My husband and three of our four kids took a special trip to Algonquin today just to look for the Algonquin Outfitters paddle. (I had an idea of where it might be, but couldn't go with them.) They set off first to check Ragged Falls Park while I stayed home, then it came to me that would be too obvious and could be found by a tourist — so I double-checked the map and called them. My husband and I agreed that they should check another spot further up the highway that made more sense (given the clue) and jackpot! They found the Algonquin paddle. My kids are ecstatic! We spent our canoe trip a few weeks ago looking for the Killarney paddle that Kevin Callan had hidden with no luck, as he was on a bigger loop than us. The kids have classified this as the best road trip/treasure hunt ever! I'm so happy they found it, cause it would have been a sad trip home empty-handed. They got to spend a great day with their dad and added another memory to our camping list — the rewards are out there! Thanks for an awesome contest! —Marian (wife left at home) on behalf of Duane, Summer, Chase and Bree Sonntag, paddle in the park finders.

So get out there and find my next paddle! Here’s the latest clue for the one I hid in Killarney:

“Though the trail and distance will prove to be Great,

Just keep a keen eye on how you must navigate.”

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