This was a beautiful paddle, in the waters on the Ottawa River around the Morris Island Conservation Area, a place I’ve really come to love.
It’s about a mile west of Fitzroy Harbour and the Chats Fall Hydro dam, on a rocky and winding stretch of the Ottawa River that feels a lot like parts of Georgian Bay.
We put in off the parking lot at the conservation area, right beside the sign warning you not to put in there because of “sudden water level changes” due to the dam. I have no idea why that sign is there, because the water levels in their “safe areas” and those outside it are exactly the same.
Anyway, we headed northwest on the river towards the train bridge, passing some quite palatial homes tucked amongst the trees, then headed north to the Quebec side, where there’s a complex series of islands and bays. But a storm blew in, high chop and rain, so we headed back to the more sheltered southern shore.
There we followed a complex, granite-strewn coastline, with small rocky islands, marshes and pretty bays. We finally found ourselves in a protected bay in the conservation area, dotted with small islands — quite lovely. There is a canoe launch at the north end of the bay, where we took the kayaks out and then walked them back the 300 yards or so to the car.
This was certainly of the most varied and scenic paddling routes I’ve found anywhere around Ottawa.
This was a mildly interesting paddle, but wasn’t exactly what the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists group describes in its paddling guide as “like northern lakes with rocky shores, islands, wetland coves and bays.” It did have all those things I guess, but they were mostly flat and scrubby and not especially scenic. Continue Reading »
So on Sunday I went out with eight great folks from the tk_2o Ottawa kayaking group, paddling north on the Mississippi from Pakenham to the Highway 17 overpass.
As it always seems to be on this stretch of lovely and winding river, conditions were breezy, pleasant and highly scenic. We stopped for lunch by the Highway 17 overpass, where I was reminded that most of the river-bottom along this stretch is an especially viscous and slimy clay mix. I got my left leg out of the ooze just as it sank in to mid-thigh, but not by much.
Once back to Pakenham village most of the group headed to Scoops for ice cream.
A few photos: Continue Reading »
The launch site, off Elphin-Maberly Road
Stump Lake is in the far reaches of Lanark County, about a 65 km drive west of Almonte. It’s part of the Ontario Mississippi River system, and is quite unexpected. (See Google Map at bottom.) Continue Reading »
This is an interesting paddle that starts in the lovely Lanark County town of Perth and runs through the Tay Marsh conservation area. We launched at Last Duel park in the east end, but you might also want to start at the the Basin in the heart of town, and have some lunch at one of Perth’s many excellent restaurants.
Continue Reading »
Just north of Pakenham
This is one of my favourite paddles in the Ottawa region — peaceful, scenic and varied.
The start point is just below the Five-Span Bridge in Pakenham, about 15 minutes north of Almonte. Continue Reading »
So this is a peaceful little video of a trip up a creek on the Mississippi River near Pakenham, Ontario, last July.