about our voyageur canoes

The canoes used for the Riverfest races are replicas of those used by the French Voyageurs.  The Voyageurs were traveling fur traders.   They were some of the first Europeans to see the interior of the North American continent from the late 1600’s through the 1700’s.  They paddled large canoes that looked similar to those used for Riverfest, but were constructed of wood and birch bark and waterproofed with any sort of tar substance they could find.  The Voyageurs traveled in teams of six or so men, bringing supplies and trade goods from Montreal and returning with bales of pelts, mostly beaver, to sell to markets throughout Europe.  Canoes this size were used on the rivers, but up on the lakes they used canoes up to 45 feet long.