Digby, Shelburne, Yarmouth
While canoeing, plan on listening for the sounds of the birdlife around you and catch a glimpse of them as they fly or swim by. The animal life is also very interesting.
On the marsh you will hear the sound of ducks, Great Blue Heron, and bitterns. When gliding along on a lake, note the lonely sound of the loon. However, it is recommeded that you keep your distance so as not to frighten or stress the wildlife. Young birds who have to dive under water too often for protection will easily become exhausted. Ducks also are found on our inland lakes. Along the inland rivers be attentive to the sounds and sights providedy by the warblers, woodpeckers, chickadees, thrushes, and of course the ducks.
The trees along the routes are usually a mixture of hardwood and softwood trees. You may have occasion to see beavers, muskrats and turtles as you travel the waterways of Yarmouth County and surrounding areas.
Be prepared for hours of enjoyment simply by following the lakes and streams to virtually unspoiled wilderness destinations.
PLEASE NOTE: The following canoe trips have been classed.
For the novice canoeist please choose trips with grade 1 and 2 rapids only.
TRIP: METEGHAN AND SALMON RIVER SYSTEM
START: 8 km from Church Point, approximately 65 km.
FINISH: Lake Doucette
TIME: 2 days, 1 night (12-16 hours on the water) 56 km
CLASS: Grade 2 (summertime) - Grade 3 & 4 (spring and summer). Some fast water and portages
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 65 km
Leave Yarmouth following Route 1 to Church Point, approximately 65 km. Turn right on the Concession Road and travel 6 km to an intersection, bear left and continue to, and follow the CJA camp signs to the CJA lodge where you will launch.
Victor Lake is the headwater of the Meteghan River system. The river normally has few visible rocks and some fast water for the first 1/2 km. Short portages may be appropriate. A 2 km stretch of wide dead water ends at a dam. Portage around the dam and then paddle fast and slow water to a bridge named Fergusons Landing and on to Oak Leaf Lake. Follow the north shore to a bridge and the juncture with Eel Lake and Germain Lake to Beaver Lake. Follow the western shore of Beaver Lake to the portage. Portage westerly up a fairly steep embankment and follow the markers to Clearwater Lake.
Head southwest to the other side of the lake and into a cove. This is your next portage, and takes you to Salmon River Lake.
Paddle about 2 km in a southwesterly direction to an island near the southern end of the lake - this is a good spot to camp for the night.
Start your second day paddling northwesterly to the Salmon River System. Portage around the rock dam. The river is narrow and deep but broadens out to a stretch of dead water. Two bridges span the river, and you could have clearance problems at high water. The dead water continues for about l 1/2 km and then narrows to about 1 1/2 km of whitewater. The river then opens into about 2 1/2 km of winding dead water and narrows just before another highway bridge. More open dead water ahead as the river twists and turns for about 3 km. The river then narrows and turns sharply right. These narrows are brief and the river soon opens into more winding dead water for approximately 1 km.
Coming up you will see the paved highway connecting Route 1 in Salmon River with Route 340 at Moody's Corner. The river then narrows and turns right, away from the highway, for just a short section. It then turns left and broadens, and you are headed for the most exciting part of the trip. Now is a good time to land and survey the water ahead. It is fast moving white water twisting and turning between low, rocky river banks. Take care!
Just ahead is a low (2 ft) waterfall. Over the falls is a steep, rocky embankment where you will have to backpaddle as the river makes a sharp turn to the left.
Pass under the bridge at Mayflower and you are into a mixture of fast and dead water, and about 1 km along, it opens into Lake Doucette. At the western end of the lake is a narrow channel leading into a second section of the lake. Travel slightly north to the continuing end of the Salmon River. Pass under the Lake Doucette bridge and your landing site is on the left.
TRIP: CARLETON RIVER
START: Corberrie Bowater Pocket Wilderness, Wentworth Lake
FINISH: Carleton Bridge
TIME: 2 days, 1 night (10-16 hours on the water) 33 km
CLASS: Grades 1, 2 and 4, some fast water.
Take Route 1 out of Yarmouth to Hebron and Route 340. On 340 turn right and go through South Ohio, Deerfield, Pleasant Valley, Carleton, Forest Glen and Richfield to Corberrie. Look for the Bowater Pocket Wilderness on the right- this is your launch site.
This section of river is spanned by a bridge preceding a dam that you must portage. Beyond the dam is fast water and Grade 1 rapids. Take a good look before you re-launch. Follow the river to Little Wentworth Lake. Paddle northeast to the end of the lake and the next section of river, locally known as Lombards Run. The run is very fast and you may decide to portage.
Lombards Run empties into Privilege Lake. Travel southeast down the lake to the river head and the longest single stretch (14.5 km) of the Carleton River. There are some Grade 1 rapids and some still water. You enter Parr Lake through Wilson's Cove- a good place to overnight.
Cross Parr Lake in a southeasterly direction, around a peninsula and keep right. You enter the river again at Robichaud's Run, a short stretch of still water that takes you under the bridge before spilling into Ogden Lake. Keeping to the right, you pass a long island and a point of land dotted with cottages. At the end of the lake the river starts again with a small, passable dam and flows into a section of fast water called Sweeney's Run.
After patches of fast and dead water, Sweeney's empties into Rounding Lake. Head southwest across the lake to reach the river at Dennis Run, easily passable fast water that runs into a small pond with a slight current. Paddle around the rocks to your right and enter the river again at Pitman's Run. This is a section of fast water stretches with ledges, which slows down before you reach The Gulch or Bad Falls.
Here the river moves downhill very fast and has rocks, ledges, eddies, and drop offs. These Grade 4 rapids need careful study and precise manoeuvering. You may decide to portage Bad Falls.
The river opens into Lake Fanning which you cross in a southerly direction to reach your last stretch of river. There's a short stretch of Grade 2 rapids before your finishing point at Carleton Bridge.
TRIP: NAPIER RIVER TRIP
START: Kemptville Bridge
TIME: 1 day (25 km)
CLASS: GRADES 1-5
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 60 km
Depart Yarmouth on Route 1 to Hebron and turn right on Route 340 and pass through South Ohio, Deerfield, and Pleasant Valley to Carleton. Turn right on Route 203 to Kemptville. At the Kemptville store turn right and travel to East Kemptville. This is approximately 11 km from the store and there is a gravel road on the left. Travel about 2 1/2 km on this road to a bridge and this is your starting point.
You fist encounter a series of rapids and flat water leading to George's Lake. Head northwest to the river. Paddle through a series of rapids to a widening with an island in the middle. The next 9 km varies between fast and still water with only one Grade 1 rapids.
Following are two series of Grade 2 rapids that lead to a Grade 3 waterfall.
Beach your canoe and study the s-shape of the waterfall planning your route through. It is navigable with sharp manoeuvering.
Another Grade 2 waterfall follows which you can take through the middle. Caution is required for the Grade 4 falls (Grade 5 at high water). You may prefer to portage, or take the right hand waterfall staying close to the extreme left edge.
It's easy going for the rest of the trip. Pass two iron bridges to where the Napier joins the Tusket. Travel the Tusket to your landing site at the Kemptville bridge.
TRIP: CARLETON RIVER TRIP 11
FINISH: Tusket Falls
TIME: 4-8 hours
CLASS: Grade 1-3 rapids
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 32 km
Take Route 1 out of Yarmouth to Hebron, turning right on Route 340. Follow this route through Ohio, Deerfield, Pleasant Valley to Carleton. Just past the Carleton Store turn right to the the bridge where you will launch.
You start by paddling through a small still water pool and a short section of river with a couple of easy rapids. After passing through another small pond you reach the longest and most exciting section of the river. There are numerous Grade 1 rapids and a Grade 3 rapids double waterfall. When you hear the rushing water, beach your canoe and study the passage through the two waterfalls. Then continue more scattered Grade 1 rapids to Raynard's Lake Reservoir. Keep to the left shore to reach the dam. Land on the right of the dam and portage up to the path, across the road and down to the river.
The next river section is mainly flat water but depending on water level, could also have Grade 1 and Grade 2 rapids. You then pass into Lake Vaughan Reservoir where the beaching area is on the left at the far end of the lake. You'll find easy access to the road.
TRIP: TUSKET RIVER TRIP
START: Kemptville Bridge
FINISH: Quinan Bridge
TIME: 6-8 hours (18 km)
CLASS: Grades 1-5 rapids, extreme caution
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 48 km
Leave Yarmouth on Route 1 to Highway 340. Pass through South Ohio, Deerfield, Pleasant Valley, and when you get to Carleton, take the right turn for Kemptville. At the fork past the Kemptville store bear right for East Kemptville. The iron bridge is your starting point.
A leisurely paddle along the right side of Pearl Lake takes you to the river. Move through Grade 1 rapids and still water to the unique Seven Branches. All branches later converge as you enter Grade 2 rapids. Be prepared to stop as you hear the roar of Yarmouth's most challenging run. You should walk this stretch to plan your route through or portage around.
Hemlock Run, or the Bad Pitch, is a long section of Grade 5 rapids with boiling eddies, high waves, back washes, drop offs, and strong currents. It is passable with reasonable caution and skill. You will get wet!
You then reach a section of mixed Grade 1 and Grade 2 rapids and still water leading to Third Lake. Stay close to the left shore to where the river meets Gillfillan Lake. Travel down the right shore to where the river starts with a short section of Grade 1 rapids, followed by still water and more Grade 1. You then pass through L'ac de l'Ecole, back to the river and stillpools to Quinan Bridge.
TRIP: TUSKET RIVER 11 TRIP
START: Quinan Bridge
FINISH: Tusket Falls
TIME: 4-6 hours (22 km)
CLASS: Grade 2 rapids
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 25 km
Exit Yarmouth via Highway 103 and travel 10 km to Tusket. Take the exit and follow signs to Quinan. Travel approximately 15 km to the Quinan Bridge. This is your launch site.
You start the trip with a short section of Grade 2 rapids that leads to an 11 km stretch of flat water. Grid Iron Falls is at the 9 km point. Having crossed under an iron bridge you come to Grade 2 rapids prior to entering Wilson Lake. Cross the western shore. The next river section is Cavanaugh's Run, Grade 2 rapids leading to Bennett's Lake. Cross the lake to another Grade 2 rapids called Long Run which takes you into King's Lake. Paddle north to Gavel's Lake and cross to the west and into Vaughan Lake.
Follow the western shore of Vaughan Lake to Tusket Falls. Your landing site is on the right.
TRIP: EEL LAKE BRIDGE
START/FINISH: Eel Lake Bridge
TIME: 1 hour - 1 day
CLASS: Grade 1
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 11 km from highway 103 turnoff
Exit Yarmouth via Starr's Road to Highway 103. Follow this route 11 km, and you will reach a lake split in two by the highway. Continue to the first right hand turn and go to a small causeway where you can launch.
Eel Lake offers a choice: the novice canoeist may wish to launch on the right hand side and paddle around this section of the lake. The more daring may wish to launch on the left hand side and travel up to and through a small set of rapids and out to the Atlantic Ocean-this is Big Sluice Salt Bay.
Return to your launch site to land your canoe.
TRIP: SALT WATER TRIP
START: Tusket Falls
FINISH: Amirault's Hill Wharf
TIME: 1/2 day (7 km)
CLASS: Grade 1 and 2
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: approximately 12 km
Exit Yarmouth via Starr,s Road and continue along Route 3 passing through Arcadia and Pleasant Lake. Look for and take a left hand turn to Raynarton. Continue across Highway 103 to the first bridge with a graveled area to the left - this is your launch.
You get an exciting start passing under the bridge with the flowing rush of current. Soon you see the large bridge spanning Highway 103 and directly ahead an old unused railway bridge. You then pass under a one lane bridge where the river mixes with sea water brought in by the tides. Immediately after to the left of the one lane bridge is a small Provincial Picnic Park. You may stop here for a picnic and finish your trip here if conditions are too rough (2-3 hours up to this point), or pass Tusket and keeping to the middle of the river, follow the islands to Hubbard's Point Wharf to the left.
Paddle by more islands until you reach the finishing point at Amirault's Hill Wharf on the left.
Note: Check with the Information Centre for tide information as landing is made much easier at high tide. Because of the mud flats at low tide landing would be more difficult.
TRIP: GARDNER'S MILL
START: Ellenwood Provincial Park
TIME: 6-8 hours
CLASS: Grade 1-3 rapids (only grade 1 and 2 in the summertime)
DISTANCE FROM YARMOUTH: 35 km
From Yarmouth take Route 1 to Hebron, turning right on Route 340. Follow this route through Ohio, Deerfield and Pleasant Valley to the Gardner's Mill Road. Pass this road and take the next left across the white bridge. At the small bridge in front of you is your launching site.
You are off to an exciting start with a short section of Grade 1 rapids, followed by a section of dead water swamp. A 2 1/2 km section of fast water and easy rapids leads you to your first challenge: a Grade 2 rapids with a small waterfall.
You can relax for the next 2 km, then you pass under the Pleasant Valley Bridge and ride through two Grade l waterfalls. Then follows a forested section and about 1 km of dead water swamp.
Then, in quick succession you tackle a Grade 2 and two Grade 1 waterfalls. Now you enter Deerfield Glide and 2 km of easy paddling to Hooper Lake. Keep to the right hand side and you finally reach the river and the most exciting part of the trip.
The river now cuts through a ledge, and just beyond churns and boils a Grade 3 rapids. There's a dam ahead, with the right side offering the easiest passage. You pass under two bridges before entering Ellenwood Lake. Your landing site is on the right.
TRIP: MILO, MIDDLE AND DOCTOR LAKES
START: Milton Dam, Milton Boathouse, or Captain Lander's Court
FINISH: North end of Doctors Lake or Captain Lander's Court
TIME: 1 hour through 1 day
CLASS: Grade 1
DISTANCE: Milton Dam start point is in town limits and the north end of Doctor's Lake is approximately 10 km. There are many landing sites along the route to suit the individual.
From the Information Centre travel to Main Street and turn left. Continue along Main Street to Vancouver Street (an Irving service station marks the spot), turn left and note the old "Mill Stone" on the right- this is the launch site.
An alternative launch site is further along Main Street across from the R.C.M.P station. This is the Milton Boathouse location.
Paddle along Lake Milo and enjoy the scenery. The lake is also popular for fishing, swimming and sailboarding. Upon reaching the north end of Lake Milo and depending on the water level you may either paddle through the culvert or portage over the road to Middle Lake. Notice the beautiful old Villa Saint Joseph du Lac on your left.
Middle Lake offers more of the same and is an easy paddle to the north end of this lake.
Again depending on the water level you may either paddle under the bridge or portage to Doctor'sLake. Follow along the northern shore and you should see a small rock island and a larger treed island. Further you see another larger island linked to the mainland by a causeway - you can pass under the causeway.
There are two beaching areas close by: at the north end of Doctor's Lake, and at Captain Landers Court. You will see the sandy beach on your right before the causeway.
You may want to enjoy some refreshment at the Inn which is at the very end of the lake to round off your day.
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