Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

As an osprey family watched from its nesting site, eleven vessels (7 canoes and 4 kayaks) set forth from the River Park launch site in the historical village of Lanark on Sunday, August 7, 2016.  Led by Howard and Mary Robinson, the group first paddled down-river then turned at the dam in the village to travel up-river towards Kerr Lake, catching a welcome cooling breeze.  With the Clyde River at an all-time low, many docks and boats were high and dry, however, the painted turtles enjoyed the sun on rocks now emerged above the water.  Herons, waterfowl, and other birds were plentiful and in Kerr Lake we were thrilled to see or hear two black terns.  The full list of bird species follows.  After our picnic lunch on shore we continued up the Clyde River, but the low water prevented us from travelling beyond the Clydesville bridge to the rapids, as we had done on previous outings.  So with the wind on our backs, we returned to the launch site, then on to Lanark Landing – a welcome spot to enjoy refreshments after a hot, but enjoyable, time on the water.

~ Mary Robinson~

Birds seen or heard during the outing:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Cedar Waxwing
  3. Osprey
  4. Common Grackle
  5. Rock Pigeon
  6. Red-eyed Vireo
  7. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  8. Red-winged Blackbird
  9. American Goldfinch
  10. American Crow
  11. Blue Jay
  12. Eastern Kingbird
  13. Great Crested Flycatcher
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Belted Kingfisher
  16. Great Blue Heron
  17. Song Sparrow
  18. Green Heron
  19. Killdeer
  20. Wood Duck
  21. Ring-billed Gull
  22. Black Tern
  23. Mallard
  24. Common Loon
  25. Black-capped Chickadee
  26. Barn Swallow
  27. Ring-necked Duck
  28. American Robin
  29. American Black Duck
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MVFN paddle on the Clyde River at Lanark

Our next day paddle will be on the Clyde River. This canoe trip is as described in our Lanark County Canoe/Kayak Journeys guide. It is #12.

Date: Sunday August 7, 2016

Car-pooling: Meet at Union Hall for departure at 9 a.m. Or, meet at the River Park launch site in Lanark village at 9:30 a.m. Please advise at time of registration if you plan to meet at the launch site.

Bring:  Life jackets and safety kit (mandatory), binoculars, lunch and insect repellant.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register for this event. For registration and further information, please contact Howard or Mary Robinson at 613-256-0817 or

If you have a canoe and need a partner, or don’t have a canoe and would like to partner, please call Howard or Mary and they will try to match you up.

In case of unsuitable weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Howard or Mary no later than 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning to confirm.

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2011 MVFN Spring Canoe/Kayak Outing – Clyde River at Lanark

(# 12 on the canoe brochure)

Sunday, June 5, 2011 – 9:30am launch

Car Pooling: Eastern Lanark and area: meet at Union Hall at 9:00 a.m. Western Lanark and area: meet at canoe launch in Lanark Village

Launch: at the River Park launch site in Lanark Village (near intersection of George St. & Hillier St.) – aiming for 9:30 a.m. launch

Lunch will be en route – beverages and munchies at Lanark Landing Restaurant after the canoe trip.

Bring: lunch, binoculars, rain gear, bug juice, sun hats and suntan lotion.

Please register beforehand by calling or e-mailing Howard & Mary Robinson, 613-256-0817 () and provide your phone number.

Let us know if you have a canoe and need a partner or, if you wish to partner with someone who has a canoe.

In case of severe weather, this event will be cancelled.

 If in doubt, please call Howard or Mary before 8:30am.


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First Summer Canoe/Kayak Trip

When: Sunday, July 12
Where: Clyde River and Kerr Lake (see Guide #12)
Launch Site: Village of Lanark, by the feed mill just over the bridge (north side)
Launch Time: 10 A.M.
Where to Meet: Eastern Lanark: Union Hall, for departure 9:30 A.M.
Western Lanark: Meet at launch site
What to Bring: lunch, binocs, bug juice, sun screen etc.

Note: Please let Cliff know if you are coming and also if you need a partner for your canoe or need a canoeing partner.

For more information, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or

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Press Story

Thursday Oct. 9, 2008

Submitted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

Field naturalists complete successful canoe/kayak season with Fall colours trip

Canoeing has become a major activity helping the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists meet their purpose of increasing understanding of and respect for our natural world. Experiencing nature from the water by scanning shorelines, bays, marshes and creeks, has brought participants in closer communion with the natural relationships occurring alongside and within our watersheds.

MVFN completed a very successful summer canoe/kayak programme this year with a trip Sunday, October 5. Twenty-four avid members and guests paddled the upper Clyde River and into Widow Lake in Lavant Ward of Lanark Highlands. The group launched their vessels above the control dam on the Clyde, above Joe’s Lake and reached the Clyde again at the north end of Widow Lake, only to be thwarted by beaver dams.

Key to this trip were the magnificent fall colours, especially as they were reflected in mirror-like water the group paddled on. Great blue herons appeared as sentinels along the route and several duck species including golden-eyes and woodducks took off from the marshy edges. A juvenile bald eagle, found perching in a tree on the French Line, set the stage for many of natures wonders discovered on the trip.

The season’s canoe/kayak programme, organized by MVFN member Cliff Bennett, began earlier in the summer with a trip to the western end of White Lake on June 15. This was followed by other explorations including Park Lake in Lanark Highlands, the Tay River into Christie Lake and Bennett Lake in Tay Valley and Bob’s Lake, just out of the County of Lanark west of Bolingbroke.

The highlight of the year’s activity on the water was a four-day September canoe camp in Killarney Provincial Park. A group of twenty-six canoeists/kayakers explored the upper end of Georgian Bay and also George and Freeland Lakes in the Park. This was the first attempt to hold a canoe camp and the event was so successful that members demanded this become an annual event.

In all approximately sixty different MVFN members and friends took part in the canoe/kayak programme this year. All agreed they had learned so much of nature, whether it was the wild flowers along the shores, the birds in the trees, the air and water, mushrooms, amphibians or water plants. A common expression from many stated their pleasure at being able to enjoy this great Canadian experience. For more information about MVFN’s programmes, check their website at

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