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Le rendez-vous Européen du Canoë & du plein air

30 Avril - 3 Mai 2020
Rivière Drôme, France

Brief history of canoe camping in France.

Brief history of canoe camping in France.
The roots of the Open Canoe Festival.


Each European country has a pretty different canoe sport history. In France, before competitions appeared and before modern touring where rivers are more consumed than discovered, canoeing was closely linked to camping and river explorations. After world war 2, associations like the "Canoe Kayak Club de France" explored all the rivers in wooden canoes, even the most difficult ones. The goal was also to live as close as possible to the nature.

In the 50's, most of the rivers were explored and paddlers turned to competition. 70 years later, most of the paddling sports addicts have forgotten the roots of their sport. Before modern canoeing and kayaking, there was canoe camping.

This is the sport and above all the lifestyle we promote at the Open Canoe Festival. Here is a short extract from the movie "La Grande Traversée".