Canoe & Kayak
LOCAL CANOE & KAYAK INFORMATION
Provided by: M.A.C.K Fest
There are 6 main rivers around the area that can be explored by canoe or kayak
- Crowe River
- Black River
- Beaver Creek
- Moira River
- Salmon River
Crowe River Bridge, Fish Hatchery and Callaghan Rapids
Crowe River Fish Hatchery, Class III to V:
The section of river is located North of Hwy #7. Take County Rd. 48 North out of Havelock. Before the road takes you to the town of Cordova make a left on Preston Road, followed by a quick right onto Fire Route 18. Drive along this road until the cottages stop on the left. Keep an eye for an opening in the trees and a park area. You should be able to see a falls off to your left. This is the take out. The put in is about a 5 min drive north. Park in the boat launch parking lot.
The Crowe River Fish Hatchery section is a short paddle, but the 6 rapids make it a very intriguing section of river. This is the type of river you run in the morning twice before heading down the road to Crowe Bridge. It starts at Cordova Lake. The first drop is a class V dam drop. It looks very intimidating with no real line and several nasty looking holes. Safety should be a must.
The next section is within meters of the first and is as equally challenging. It is good to get a look at these two rapids before gearing up as scouting can take a while.
The next rapid 3 rapids are class III’s with some fun waves and holes in them. The 2nd to last rapid the river splits, I have always taken river left, but have heard if others taken river right, just be aware. The final rapid also splits. The river to the left is more of a rapid where as river right is a falls. You can scout on any side of the river at this rapid. The falls can be quite technical depending on water flows and depth is unknown.
The Take out is to the right after the falls. Jump in the car and make another quick run of it before heading off. This section of river has been paddled when other rivers in the area were at minimal flows and is still a challenging set of whitewater.
Crowe Bridge (Playspot), Class III to IV:
West of Marmora, take County Road #50, south of Hwy #7. Turn Right on 12th line. Follow to Stop Sign. Make a right and follow to bridge. Please respect No-Parking signage.
This well known play spot can get quite busy in the spring. Depending on levels, the amount of surfable waves adjusts. However, in lower water, there are nice waves 100 meters or so down river. In higher water, there are several waves for all boats, from long, flat, glassy waves, to steep crashing waves to holes. In higher water, the eddy access becomes more difficult to achieve, but with some practice, it is attainable. Note that at higher levels, swimming is not recommended, as down river there are rock shelves, as well as a low head dam. This play spot is great for spectators, as they can stand on the bridge to get an overhead view.
Calaghan Wave (Playspot); Class III:
There are several ways to get to this location depending on where you are coming from. The one from Hwy#7, East of Marmora, is to take Tiffen Road South to Callaghan Rapids Road. Make a left and drive until you can’t drive anymore. This is where it gets sketchy. Some people can drive further than others. We do not condone this behavior. Take the trail that heads south (to the right) along the river down to the campsite (yes there is enough room to turn a car around).
When at the campsite you will see a 3 ft river wide ledge that depending on water levels will either tempt you or have you put in down stream. From here you want to get to the middle of the river. There is a horizon line that comes up pretty fast you want to make sure you a river center in the main flow. As you drop over the horizon line stay center through the first set of waves, this can be quite shallow before the wave. Past the wave, paddle river right to the eddy behind the island. This is the eddy that you will access the wave from. There are several other play features on this rapid with a very forgiving hole just meters down steam. There are no real hazards to a swim here, other then the cold. This play spot is a fast steep wave and seems to keep it’s form at lower water, when Crowe Bridges waves are getting smaller. The take out is on river right and there is a small path along the river that will lead you back to the campsite.
Upper Black River
Low: 12.4 (Related to Environment Canada Real Time Gauge)
12 KM; Approximately 4 to 5 hours of paddling, including some time for scouting
Intermediate to Advanced; Class III/IV with two Class IV Drops
The Upper Black is another rustic Hwy #7 run that is popular with spring time kayakers and open boaters alike. Much like the Beaver, Upper Black has Class III Canyon runs, two Class IV drops all separated by lesser rapids and flat water. Some of the canyon runs are longer and hard to scout, so some eddie hopping boat scouting skills are required. During the first part of the run, the rapids come fairly quickly and after the second drop they are more spaced out. The run ends with a small drop over the Old Mill Dam in Queensborough. Although most of the rapids are named, most people only agree or know the 3 Drops. Bare Bottom Beach Falls (3 “B” Falls), Particle Accelerator and Mill Drop.
Take Hwy #7 east to Norwood and continue east past Madoc until you pass the Black River. The put-in for the 1st section is at the bridge on the river. It’s on the concession road northeast of Cooper. For the 2nd section, the put-in is at the dam. As for the take-out, the 1st section is the dam and the 2nd section is Hwy #7. This is a spring run, so as long as there is no ice paddlers should be fine.
The first rapid is just down stream of the put-in. One of the canyon run’s and the rapid can be viewed if you take the short walk down the trail on the East side of the river at the put-in. It is probably a class II or low III, it’s basically run centre at the start, and work your way river left on the way down. At the bottom there has been a small strainer on river right in the past. It is not much danger, just be aware it’s there.
Bare Bottom Beach (3 “B” Falls):
Bare Bottom Beach (or 3 “B” Falls) is the first large drop on the Upper Black. Take-out and scout on either side of the river, although the house on river right is most popular and the best view. The land is private, and the owner has portage signs up. Please stick to the route posted. The line is river left, with a small bump & grind to deal with on the approach at lower water levels. In higher conditions, there is a strong recycle on river left at the bottom of the drop. The water tends to shoot you to the centre of the river, so for the most part, it is easily avoided. After 3-B falls the river has a couple of significant rapids, some of which are long and narrow. Be aware of lumber in these sections and the chance of a swim could be long and cold. There are approx 6 to 8 class III rapids after 3-B falls.
Mostly a point and shoot, Particle Accelerator is encountered about half-way down the run. There is a take-out and scout on river right. Particle Accelerator is an approximately 50 foot rock slide, with very little consequences. There is a rock in the centre of the river, about 50 yards downstream of the drop here can be a hole on river left, so error to the right on the way down. After Partical Accelerator, there is at least one significant canyon run with a dogs leg corner from right to left, 1/4 of the way down. Expect a quick turn, and a large hole. Be aware that the water does not push you towards river left.
Rapid Name Unknown:
This rapid occurs above Particle Accelerator. The rapid is easily boat scouted from the top. On the way down, aim for the large rock, boat angled to river right, and punch the hole at the bottom. The hole is a little sticky, so be prepared for a flip and keep paddling.
Mill Drop is the last rapid on the Upper Black. Line the dam up about 50 feet left of the Mill Building. Don’t start paddling hard too soon, as you will run out of steam before the dam. At lower level’s you will bottom out on the dam, and pencil into the shallow rapid below. Boof off of the dam at 45 degrees if possible or take-out on river right. Avoid the drop and enjoy the home baked goodies.
This section of river is a little shorter then the Upper part of the river and the whole river could be done in a day if an early start was made. The put in for the Lower Black is in Queensborough, and is the take out for the Upper Black.
The first stretch of this river is small current and flat water paddling. But once you get to the first rapid, the river picks up and is comparable to the Upper Black. The first significant rapid is a narrow series of chutes that is boat scoutable. You will know when you are at this rapid, as there is a farm house on river right.
The next significant rapid is a medium sized falls. A small hunting cabin is on river left, and it is easiest to scout and walk this rapid from river right. The last major rapid on this section is a long canyon run that at higher levels can have some meaty holes in it. Scouting options are not great with this rapid, but it has been scouted and walked on river right.
There are several other smaller class II/III rapids along this river dividing up the bigger drops.
The take out is Hwy #7.
Don’t forget about the Class V drop south of Hwy #7. Often overlooked, there is a significant drop a short paddle past Hwy #7.Scout on river right, as river left is a high rock wall that most of the water is pushing into. There is not a known take past this point to park your car. But a quick shuttle can be run at the end of the day.
Low: 9.45 (MNR Online Gauge)
High: 10.1 (Low bridges may become a problem at these levels)
8 KM; Approximately 4 hours of paddling, including some scouting.
Intermediate to Advanced; Class III/IV. Novice paddlers with a solid roll can challenge this run.
Beaver Creek is a spring time classic with Southern Ontario paddlers. Only high enough to run in the spring after ice-out. You can enjoy this run from April until about mid-May depending on spring rain fall. Beaver Creek is a typical Highway#7 run with a mix of Class 3 canyon runs, some more difficult drops with flat water and easier rapids separating them. The 4 larger rapids on the river are Double Drop, Diamond, Ugly and Bridge Drop.
From Marmora, go north 1.1 KM to Centre Line Rd. Turn Right. Travel 8.7 KM to Shanick Rd (dirt road), veer left. Travel 3.7 KM to put-in underneath hydro lines. River is a short walk down the hill.
Double Drop is encountered just shortly after putting on, and is considered to be one of the more difficult rapids on the Beaver. As the name suggests it has 2 drops. The first drop is about 4 feet and the second about 8 feet. They are linked together by some fast water, so it’s nice to be right side up here. Scouting and portaging is available through a track on river left. After making Double Drop, don’t forget to do a short portage across the narrow neck of land, located on the other side of the bay. This saves a 30 minute flat water paddle.
Diamond is a name used by some local paddlers, but not known by all. After paddling some longer canyon style rapids which are easily boat scouted, Diamond creeps up on you when the river turns 90° to the left. A river wide cascade, Diamond has a couple of different lines, depending on water levels. The meat of the rapid is followed by a bit of a rock garden. There is a good track for scouting on river right.
This rapid takes you under a small cottage road. The Bridge is low, so watch the water levels here. You can take-out at the Bridge to scout. There is a cottage on river right, and the land is private, so be respectful when scouting. The rapid is a one line drop with a small pool, then a smaller rapid immediately after. If you don’t like the look of this, you can walk up the road a little on your left. There is a fun chute to run here as well. Watch the Bridge on this chute, it is even lower.
After a narrow start, Ugly opens up into a river wide rapid. Depending on the levels, you could run 3 lines here. A river left shoreline sneak, a center rock slide style line, or river right which deals with the meat and a couple of holes. You know you are coming up on Ugly when you see a cottage gazebo on river left. You can take out and scout from either side of the river here.
If you wish to make a longer day, by-pass the traditional take-out and paddle down to Fiddlar Rapid. Fiddlar Rapid is a long, Class III Rapid, which is great fun. You will need to use the take-out point below Fiddlar’s to do this.
Low: 7 (Online Gauge: Foxboro Station)
Max: At levels above 8, some of the smaller rapids will become washed out
5 KM; Approximately 2 hours of paddling, including some scouting
Beginner to Intermediate; Class I to III
The Moira River has 2 commonly run sections that are separated by a large stretch of flat water. Both can easily be run in a day. Most people run the Lost Channel, then take out and move downstream to run the Chisholm’s Mill Section. The Moira can only be paddled for a short time during spring run off. The river is wide and shallow, it requires quite a lot of water to produce sizeable rapids. The riverbed is a combination of large rocks and limestone shelves.
Chisholm’s Mill to Plainfield Section:
This section of the Moira runs fairly steady, with only a few short, flat water sections to paddle through.
Put-in anywhere along the shore. You can put-in below the meat, and use the eddy line to paddle up and peal out into the wave train. It is not advisable to run the dam here at any point.
River Wide Wave Train:
Follow the current down and just around the left corner, is the 1st rapid, a river wide wave train. Avoid the big hits, or take it in the face, the river is wide here, and you can pick your way down.
The river splits here. On river left is a channel known as the Scuttle Hole, and river right, is a channel wide ledge with some holes and large waves. Scout on river right.
Scuttle Hole Channel:
No real scouting is necessary here. There is not a whitewater paddler’s “hole”on this channel. It is just a very fast channel of water, with a sharp right hand turn at the bottom and a small bit of white water.
The river slows here, and this will be the area for take-out. It is advisable not to miss this take-out, as there is a sizeable dam downstream. There are a lot of nice, long Class II-III rapids, which make-up the rest of the run, including a very nice rapid which breaks left, runs long and fast for 150M, then breaks to the right, only to continue for a short distance before slowing.
Approximately 40 Minutes from Marmora.
To Put-In: From Marmora, travel east on Hwy #7 to Hwy #37 Tweed. Follow Hwy #7 south through Tweed until you reach Roslin. Turn left onto Shannonville Road, follow until you pass Chisholm’s Lumber, go over the bridge and park in the lot on the right hand side.
To Take Out:Go back out to Hwy #37 and continue south on Hwy #37 to Plainfield/Latta. Turn left onto Latta Road, follow to the Plainfield Store. Turn left right at the store on the small lane way. Park along the road, above the dam.
Electric Chair is a relatively new, beautiful play wave, almost like a mini Garb. It has easy eddy access and safe downstream conditions.
Low: 7 to High: 8.15
If you are coming on the 401 exit at highway 37, Belleville. Coming from the west turn right from the off ramp and go over the overpass. At the first set of lights turn left onto Cannifton road. For those coming from the east go straight through the lights when you exit the 401 east bound ramp. You are now on Cannifton road. Follow Cannifton road until you see the Stop sign. On your left before the stop sign is Holgate Tire. Turn left between Holgate tire and Rosebush Fuels. The parking is behind holgate tire. Parking is limited so when you arrive and it is full turn left at the stop sign and immediately over the bridge turn left onto gravel drive. You will have to walk down to the damn and put in below and ferry across to river left and the wave. I am not sure how accessible it is from that side though due to cliff.
Salmon River is one of the earliest rivers in the area that becomes ice free, and usually the flows last the longest on this river. It is located a short drive from Marmora just north of Tamworth off Hwy 41. It is a less demanding run then some of the other Hwy #7 runs. The levels range, with no maximum flow.
It is best to drop off a shuttle vehicle at the take out on the way to the put in. The take out is approx 5 km north of Tamworth. Turn left on Woodcocks Mill Rd. and continue to the bridge. The put in is located down County Rd. 15 approx another 5km and make a left at the big white campsite sign. Drive in till the turn around and park.
Parking Fee Reminder:
The side road to the Salmon River Put-In is a private, cottagers’ road maintained partly by a Parking Fee of $5 per Paddler’s car. A plywood box is located on a tree beside the parking lot.
There are some nice class 2 warm up rapids at the start of the river. The first significant drop on the river is a class 3 double drop rapid with a small hole at the bottom. That can be easily punched. It is best to scout / walk this rapid on the right.
The second major rapid is a long semi canyon run. You will know when you get to this rapid as the river does a quick left then right turn. Hop out on river right for best scouting and walking options. The water on this rapid gets funneled down between the two shores and makes a funky curling wave that can shoot you in to the river right rock shore if you are not paying attention. There is a long run out to this rapid as well and several less intimidating spots to put in further down this rapid.
The last rapid that warrants a mention is a small ledge rapid that drops off and can sometimes create a very sticky hole. This rapid is right on a left turn in the river and will sneak up fast if you are not paying attention. Both sides are easy to walk and scout from. Safety is best set up on river left.
There are several smaller class 2 to 3 stuff along this river as well and makes for a nice warm up run or great first time spring run for paddler’s not quite use to the weather. At higher level a small but friendly play wave appears near the bottom of this run. Stop and get some surfs in because the take out is just around the corner.
Note at the take out keep an eye on the river right side for your vehicles. If the river is high the water can be flowing quite fast under the bridge and there is not enough room for a kayak to fit under. It is best to take a look at when you drop your car off. The take out is on river right in a large eddy.
Class I to IV:
The Skoot is typical of other Hwy 7 runs, with narrow drops through small gorges mixed with easier rapids and flat water. This Class I-IV river is suitable for novice to expert paddlers come spring. Many of these rapids are chutes and can be run in low water conditions as well as high, but should be scouted first. Apparently the more difficult drops on the Skoot are difficult to scout, so good boat scouting ability, or an experienced guide is useful. The narrows drops are through rocky walls, which can be touched with the paddle on either side. The distance is about 20km.
Directions: Take Hwy #7 east to just past Madoc. Shortly after the junction of hwy #7 and Hwy #37, go north on Hastings Rd. #2 to Flinton. The put-in is at the bridge in Flinton. The take-out is in Actinolite, below Hwy #7.
Skoot looks to be one of those often over looked runs. This may be a good run who want to try something a little more unknown and less busy.
Put-in: Where the Skootamatta River crosses Flinton Road (Skt007)
Take-Out: Where the Skootamatta River crosses Upper Flinton Road (Skt017)
Run Length: 11.9km
Shuttle Length: 14Km
Directions to Put-in from Actinolite, ON:
North on 37 to Hwy 7
East on Hwy 7 to Flinton Road (CR 29) (Approx 900m)
North on Flinton Road to 2nd bridge crossing the Skootamatta (approx 11km).
Directions to Take-out from Actinolite, ON
North on 37 to Hwy 7
East on Hwy 7 to Upper Flinton Road (Approx 5.8km)
North on Upper Flinton Road to Moores Road (Approx 2km)
Stay right on Upper Flinton Road.
Continue to where the Skootamatta crosses Upper Flinton Road. (Approx 900m)
Directions for the Shuttle from Take-out.
West on Upper Flinton Road to Moores Road (Continue straight).
Moores Road to Robinson Road (Continue straight).
Robinson Road to Flinton Road. Turn North on Flinton Road to put-in (Approx 9km)
The information in this booklet was taken from the MACK Fest Website. For more information please visit www.mackfest.ca. The website shows pictures of the water ways described earlier and maps to show you the location of the rivers.