The Puntledge Paddle Festival has been cancelled due to access issues. File photo

Comox Valley up the creek without a PaddleFest

Puntledge Paddle Festival cancelled, organizers not allowed onto property

The annual Puntledge Paddle Festival has been cancelled this year largely because of access issues.

Each May for the past several years, hundreds of canoeists, kayakers and rafters have participated in the weekend gathering, hosted by the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society.

In January of this year, 3L Developments closed access to its property around Stotan Falls because of liability concerns. The company said no individual or vehicle access would be allowed through the property, which includes hundreds of acres along the Puntledge and Browns rivers.

“Last year, they (3L) allowed us onto the property, but this year that was not the case,” festival spokesman David Prothero said. “It’s a real shame because it’s a gem. A lot of people tube it, but when that river is in, it is probably one of the better rivers in Western Canada for play boating.”

He said the Puntledge is a unique river because there’s an upper section — which includes Stotan and Nymph Falls — and a lower section, which is an easier grade but still fairly continuous with waves and other play features.

“It’s on the upper level of paddling,” Prothero said.

For years, the Nanaimo-based 3L has been hoping to build homes in the area but has been stymied by the Comox Valley Regional District. The company has taken the CVRD to court about due process. The case was heard in BC Supreme Court last month in Vancouver.

Just Posted

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

EDITORIAL: Cancellation of drag races another hit to Port Alberni tourism

The first hit came a few months ago when city council shut down popular Alberni Pacific Railway

Removal of old Elk Falls parking lots underway

Already replaced by the new access to the suspension bridge

High-profile Port Alberni murders are the centre of new true crime book

Retired journalist Shayne Morrow pairs historic murders with the science that solved them

Canadiana complete when Murray McLauchlan’s in the house

Legendary singer/songwriter brings his folksy talents to the McPherson on June 13

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Most Read