Since time immemorial, the area we currently refer to as Algonquin Park, areas west to Georgian Bay and areas east to the Ottawa River have been the homeland of the Anishinaabek and Algonquin people. These are the traditional territories of enduring Nations that continue their presence on these lands as hunting grounds, medicine areas, and gathering places related to them through oral history passed down for generations. The watersheds of these lands are vast and rich with abundant lakes interconnected by rivers and wetlands. Following the War of 1812 and under the care of First Nation guides, the British began looking for a waterway that could connect the Ottawa River with Georgian Bay. In 1837 David Thompson led the last of these paddling expeditions. On August 1, 1837 David Thompson left what is now known as Penetanguishene, on the shores of Georgian Bay. He arrived three months later at what is now known as Arnprior, where the Madawaska River meets the Ottawa River. 184 years later the Muskoka River X celebrates this 510km paddling route with the DAVID THOMPSON VIRTUAL PADDLE CHALLENGE. Can you complete this distance in the same period of time or less? You choose one of three challenges. Track your progress on a live map of David Thompson’s route. Follow your friends or have a fun competition to see who finishes first. The David Thompson Virtual Paddle Challenge is a great way to keep you on the water, stay healthy and active, achieve personal goals, share your experiences and train for the upcoming Algonquin Outfitters Huntsville 110. Your personal paddling challenge starts on June 19, 2021.