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Unlikely Paddlefest is an unofficial paddling festival, organized by paddlers for paddlers. Really – it’s more like a gathering of friends, old and new, for an amazing four days at the end of the paddling season.

It is based out of the Quesnel Forks campground, just outside the tiny town of Likely, BC. No cell service and more wildlife / livestock than people make for a scenic but remote area. The event runs the third weekend of September, with informal organization of paddling on the Quesnel and Cariboo rivers Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “Informal” means walking laps around the campground talking to people to find out what their paddling plans are, and hooking up with a group that seems similar in skill and mindset to you. There are three runs (Upper Cariboo (Class III-IV), lower Cariboo (class II-III) and Upper Quesnel (class III-IV)) that can be done with a short-shuttle from the campground, and all can take out at the campground, which is super handy.

All three runs have a different feel, with something to meet everyone’s interests.
* The Lower Cariboo is a fantastic run for those building up their kayak, canoe or SUP skills, or for families looking for a fun, safe but exciting raft run.
* The Upper Cariboo drops in the first third of the run are walls of whiteness that force you to pull up your big paddler pants and trust your read and run skills.
* The Upper Quesnel has a mix of a few technical rapids, big water features and a lots of fun read and run short rapids.

On Sunday night the group relocates to Williams Lake and then organize to spend the day paddling the epic Chilko river (Class IV), which involves a committing shuttle and a long day on the water, with almost non-stop whitewater.

People are what make this event the magical experience that it is. The unofficial organizers put their heart and soul into this event, making it amazing for beginners to advanced paddlers and non-paddlers alike. There are raft rides for those that want to run a section for the first time before paddling it themselves. There are a team of shuttle bunnies that make life really easy – they even come with bunny ears and tails to keep the fun factor high!

It is a fantastic way to wrap up the paddling season. If you are looking for more information, take a look at the facebook page:

Vincent Family