Muskoka River X

B-Side Course for 2023
Huntsville - Port Sydney - Bracebridge - Baysville - Huntsville

 

Muskoka River X

Beardz Optional

1
1
58
MRX - Sprint
133
MRX - Classic

Muskoka River X Sprint
September 15-16, 2023

Starting with the Classic, Sprint paddlers will complete the first 58km of the MRX, ending in Bracebridge.  For those wanting an MRX-Lite experience the Sprint a great way to start your career in expedition racing.

Muskoka River X Classic
September 15-17, 2023

The world’s longest single day expedition paddling race is a 133km journey that covers two rivers systems, four lakes and includes 20 portages in less than 24 hours.  Starting pre-dawn on shore of Peninsula Lake paddlers travel south on the North Muskoka River through the towns of Huntsville and Port Sydney before arriving in Bracebridge.  Turning north, the long upstream journey under the setting sun follows the South Muskoka River to Baysville.  During their final section, paddlers must find their way home under the cover of darkness, navigating mighty Lake of Bays to the finish line on Peninsula Lake.  No outside assistance. No support teams. No re-supplies.  No electronic navigation.  Considered by some to be the toughest single day canoe race in the world, your X-PEDITION is waiting.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

  • Start: Penninsula Lake, Huntsville
  • Finish: Bracebridge
  • Total Distance: 58.2km
  • Portages: 7
  • Estimated Duration: 6.1 hours to 11.6 hours

Stage 1: 28.5 km
Huntsville to Port Sydney
Stage 1 is a mix of flat-water lake and river paddling. Teams will depart Hidden Valley Resort on Peninsula Lake before the sunrise at 6am/6:15am, retracing the steam ship routes of the late 1800s that connected communities on Muskoka’s northern lakes.  After leaving Pen Lake teams will make their way into Huntsville then south to the historic Brunel Locks and down-river along the North Muskoka River.  Hoping for calm waters and paddling the north-south journey on Mary Lake teams will portage the Port Sydney Dam.  Consistent with seasonal weather, you may experience early morning mist or fog making navigation challenging while Mary Lake is known for strong winds and waves.

Stage 2: 29.8 km
Port Sydney to Bracebridge
Stage 2 is entirely a down-river paddle.  As the morning progresses teams will leave Port Sydney and make their way south along the North Muskoka River towards Bracebridge.  With a mixture of deep, slower moving water and faster swifts with shallow water, teams will navigate the rocky portages of Balsam and Duck Chutes and around the spectacular High Falls and its 65-foot drop.  Continuing through Bracebridge teams will experience contrasting environments with the rugged Wilson Falls portage and urban-feel of Bracebridge Falls, portage staircases through the center of town.  For MRX Sprint teams, the journey will finish here.  For MRX Classic teams, their expedition will continue.  (Bracebridge Cut Off: 4pm)

  • Start: Penninsula Lake, Huntsville
  • Finish: Penninsula Lake, Huntsville
  • Total Distance: 132.8km
  • Portages: 20
  • Estimated Duration: 13.9 hours to 26.5 hours

Stage 1: 28.5 km
Huntsville to Port Sydney
Stage 1 is a mix of flat-water lake and river paddling. Teams will depart Hidden Valley Resort on Peninsula Lake before the sunrise at 6am/6:15am, retracing the steam ship routes of the late 1800s that connected communities on Muskoka’s northern lakes.  After leaving Pen Lake teams will make their way into Huntsville then south to the historic Brunel Locks and down-river along the North Muskoka River.  Hoping for calm waters and paddling the north-south journey on Mary Lake teams will portage the Port Sydney Dam.  Consistent with seasonal weather, you may experience early morning mist or fog making navigation challenging while Mary Lake is known for strong winds and waves.

Stage 2: 29.8 km
Port Sydney to Bracebridge
Stage 2 is entirely a down-river paddle.  As the morning progresses teams will leave Port Sydney and make their way south along the North Muskoka River towards Bracebridge.  With a mixture of deep, slower moving water and faster swifts with shallow water, teams will navigate the rocky portages of Balsam and Duck Chutes and around the spectacular High Falls and its 65-foot drop.  Continuing through Bracebridge teams will experience contrasting environments with the rugged Wilson Falls portage and urban-feel of Bracebridge Falls, portage staircases through the center of town.  For MRX Sprint teams, the journey will finish here.  For MRX Classic teams, their expedition will continue.  (Bracebridge Cut Off: 4pm)

Stage 3: 45.7 km
Bracebridge to Baysville
Stage 3 follows the same route that the Bigwin Family paddled in the late 1800s every spring as they made their way to summer settlements on Lake of Bays.  Classic teams leave Bracebridge and paddle east then north along the South Muskoka River, arriving at the historic town of Baysville.  Not only is Stage 3 the longest section of the race, it is also the most physically demanding with 11 portages ranging from a few meters to 1283 meters.  The first section of the river is wide, deep and slow moving.  The last 10km has strong current, swifts and shallow sections.  Stage 3 is entirely upriver, against current.  For most, Stage 3 will be completed under the setting sun, encroaching darkness or dead of night. (Purbrook Road Cut Off: 9pm / Baysville Cut Off: 1am)

Stage 4: 28.8 km
Baysville to Huntsville

Stage 4 is primarily lake paddling and for most will be under the cover of darkness.  If the sky is clear and water calm, Lake of Bays will be brilliant.  On the other hand, westerly winds are common and with darkness and dropping temperatures the chances of fog increases.  Navigation is always a challenge.  After completing the historic 1700m portage from Lake of Bays to Peninsula Lake team will enjoy the last few kilometers and arrive at the FINISH LINE before 6:15am Cut-Off.


FUN FACTS
  • Sunrise: 6:56 am
  • Sunset: 7:28 pm
  • Total daylight: 12 hrs 32 min
  • Average Daily High: 18.8˚C
  • Average Daily Low: 6.5˚C
  • Average Daily Temperature: 12.7˚C
  • Average Daily Wind speed: 12 km/hr
  • Average Monthly Rain: 111 mm
  • Average Days with Thunderstorms: 3
  • Average Days with Fog: 5

CATEGORIES

MRX: Sprint

C1 Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

K1 Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

SUP Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

C2 Tandem Rec - Male, Female, Non-binary, Mixed

The same pair of competitors complete the entire race on their own, without any outside assistance, using the same Recreation class (length < 17 feet) watercraft.

C2 Tandem Stock - Male, Female, Non-binary, Mixed

The same pair of competitors complete the entire race on their own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

C2 Family Class

A parent/guardian and their 12-15 year old child paddling a C2 Rec or C2 Stock canoe.  Sprint only.

MRX: Classic

C1 Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

K1 Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

SUP Solo - Male, Female, Non-binary

The same solo competitor completes the entire race on his or her own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

C2 Tandem Rec - Male, Female, Non-binary, Mixed

The same pair of competitors complete the entire race on their own, without any outside assistance, using the same Recreation class (length < 17 feet) watercraft.

C2 Tandem Stock - Male, Female, Non-binary, Mixed

The same pair of competitors complete the entire race on their own, without any outside assistance, using the same watercraft.

MRX Classic – Voyageur Class

Inspiration

Are you strong enough to be a Voyageur? According to Wikipedia, Voyageurs were the canoe transportation workers in organized, licensed long-distance transportation of furs and trade goods in the interior of the continent. The strength and endurance of the voyageurs was legendary. It was expected that each voyageur work at least 14 hours a day, paddle 55 strokes per minute and be able to carry two bundles across each portage between the lakes and rivers of the north woods. A bundle generally consisted of beaver pelts or other furs weighing about 90 lbs. on the way to Montreal, or 90 lbs. of trade goods coming from Montreal. A routine portage meant carrying 180 pounds across rugged terrain full of rocks, mud, mosquitoes and black flies. [reference]

River X Racing gives tribute to these legends of the fur trade with the Voyageur Class. By entering the Voyageur Class you opt to choose one of a dozen hand made wooden crates filled with locally crafted goods and to transport that crate from the Huntsville Town Dock, along the 133km Muskoka River X Classic route (Huntsville ~ Port Sydney ~ Bracebridge ~ Baysville ~ Huntsville), to its destination at the Hidden Valley Resort on Peninsula Lake. Your reward for accomplishing this arduous task? Bragging rights of course, and you get to keep the crate and all the goods that it contains.

The crate

The crate is a locally handcrafted wooden box of two sizes. For tandem canoes it’s approximately 2 feet long, by 1 foot wide and 1 foot high (2’x1’x1′). For solo boats, it’s approximately 1 foot square (1’x1’x1′). Crates will have handles and a tumpline head strap to assist in transport over portages. It would be familiar for those that know what a wanagan is. Crates are sealed shut prior to being picked up and must not be opened by voyageurs until they have arrived at their ultimate destination – the Hidden Valley Resort on Peninsula Lake. The exact dimensions, weight, and contents may vary from crate to crate. Voyageurs may select the specific crate they wish to transport during in-person registration/gear check on a first come first served basis. More details, photos, weights will be posted in the future.

The payload

The payload in each crate comprises a selection of locally produced goods possibly including, but not limited to: maple syrup, beer (for 19+ voyageurs only), dried meat, oats, honey, soap, and chocolate. Each box could also contain a door prize provided by one of Muskoka River X sponsors. The voyageur(s) will not know the contents of the crates until they arrive successfully at the destination. At the destination, the crates will be opened to reveal their treasure.

The mission

Your mission as voyageur: Paddle from the Hidden Valley Resort (the MRX start location) to the Huntsville Town Dock (River Mill Park). Load the previously chosen crate into/onto your watercraft. Continue along the entire MRX Classic course, paddling and portaging as required to transport the crate from pickup location to the ultimate destination at the Hidden Valley Resort in 24 hours or less.

Imagine you are a capable voyageur under the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company, tasked with transporting goods from Huntsville to Bracebridge and then to the Hidden Valley Resort. Your compensation for this challenge, is that you are given all of the contents of the crate and the handcrafted crate itself….but not until you have successfully completed your mission.

The rules

  • The chosen crate must be transported by the paddler(s) throughout the entire MRX Classic course (Huntsville – Port Sydney – Bracebridge – Baysville – Huntsville) by the registered paddlers without outside assistance.
  • Voyageurs may bring wheels or additional straps/padding to assist in transporting the crate across portages.
  • The payload of the crates will be packed in a water-resistant fashion and resistant to bumps and knocks, but should not be considered water-proofed or drop-proofed. Care must be taken to keep the crate dry and in good condition. River X Racing is not responsible for damage to the goods contained within.
  • The goal of the Voyageur class is to add a fun yet challenging new objective to the MRX event. It is not intended to cause physical harm, or put participants at increased risk of physical harm. Participants should be in good physical condition and capable of carrying heavy loads over extended distances. Paddlers should immediately abort transport of the crate should their physical condition deteriorate such that transport would increase their risk of physical distress.
  • Participating voyageurs will be ranked by finish time in their appropriate watercraft category, receiving acknowledgement in the same way that non-voyageur paddlers in the MRX Classic do.

Success

  • Paddlers successfully transporting their crate through the MRX Classic route and delivering the crate to the dock at the Hidden Valley Resort on Peninsula Lake within 24 hours of their race start, will be given the crate and it’s contents to keep.
  • Tools to open the crate and inspect it’s contents will be available at the finish.

Failure

  • Should the paddler(s) not successfully deliver the crate to the Hidden Valley Resort via paddling/portaging within 24 hours of the start of the race, the crate and most of it’s contents will be forfeit. (See crates not delivered successfully below)
  • Voyageurs choosing to abort their mission early, may leave their unopened crate at one of the 3 checkpoints along the route (CP1, CP2 or CP3) and continue their MRX Classic journey without their crate. They may continue and will be ranked in the equivalent MRX Classic category.
  • Crates not being delivered successfully within 24 hours of race start will be returned to the Hidden Valley Resort by MRX staff/volunteers. The paddler(s) may choose to keep a number of the items from the payload (at the discretion of River X Racing organizers), but will not be given the crate or it’s entire contents.
  • River X Racing reserves the right to amend or alter the rules above to best achieve the objective of fairness and the participant’s enjoyment.

Registration for Voyageur Class

Registration fees for the Voyageur Class are added to the MRX Classic fees.

  • Solo (C1, Kayak, SUP) $50 + HST
  • Tandem (C2) $100 + HST

DOCUMENTS

MRX Event Information 2023 [Updated Nov 10, 2023]

VIDEOS

2021 Huntsville 110: THE CHALLENGE | 24 HOUR MARATHON PADDLING

Thanks to Muskoka Roastery for producing this short documentary about the Huntsville 110 Race in Sept 2021.

Seeing Is Believing

2014 Official Muskoka River X Documentary

Thanks to Andy Hansen of Pure Muskoka, who produced, directed and edited this professional mini-documentary of the 2014 Muskoka River X. MRX alumnus, Chris Near of Huntsville, helped Andy get to all the spectacular locations along the course. Armed with a drone, multiple GoPro cameras and a DSLR, Andy has captured and created a captivating testament to the challenge of the Muskoka River X and those that are driven to accomplish this epic expedition paddling race.Shortlisted-Film-Logo_300x294

2013 Muskoka River X

Andy Hansen

RESULTS

2019 Coureur des Bois

Click here for results

2019 Sprint, Classic

Click here for results

2017 Results for MRX Classic

Click here for results

2017 Results for MRX Sprint

Click here for results

2016 Results for MRX Sprint, Classic and Coureur des Bois Day 2

Click here for results

2016 Results for MRX Coureur des Bois Combined

Click here for results

2015 MRX Classic

Click here for results

2015 MRX Coureur des Bois

Click here for results
COMBINED

Click here for results
DAY 1

Click here for results
DAY 2