Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Canoe Journeys – #2 Mississippi River and Lake from Carleton Place

Mississippi River and Lake from Carleton Place

#2 (Carleton Place)

How To Get There: In Carleton Place on Highway 7, go downtown to High Street, up High St. to Joseph St.; turn towards river.

The Launch Site: Centennial Park at the river.

The Paddle: Follow up river to lake and around shorelines. Downriver to bridge and public dock for downtown shopping and food.

Watch For: Carleton Place Canoe Club across from park. Oldest racing canoe club in Canada. Wildlife in bays and wetland shores. Two creeks to explore on north side of lake. Bass spawning beds on south shore. Lake is choppy when windy.

Seasonal Information: Good all open seasons.

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Canoe Journeys – #1 Glen Isle on the Mississippi

Glen Isle on the Mississippi

#1 (Beckwith Township)

How To Get There:  From Ottawa take Hwy. 7 to Appleton Side Rd. (County Rd. 17 just east of Carleton Place). North to Cram Road.   Trailer park at corner.

The Launch Site: Left to end of Cram Rd.

The Paddle: Historic Glen Isle is across the river. Paddle in either direction. Look for Lavalee Creek on south side, leading to Trans Canada Trail. A few picnic sites towards Carleton Place.

Watch For: Rapids; many shore and water birds.
Seasonal Information: Not advisable in spring floods.

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Canoe Journeys – #4 Mississippi River at County Rd. 15

Mississippi River at County Rd. 15

#4 (Drummond/North Elmsley area)

How to Get There: From Ottawa, take Hwy. 7 past Carleton Place to County Rd. 15 and turn right towards Lanark. Travel through Fergusons Falls at the Mississippi River until you meet the bridge again. From Perth take County Rd. 511 to County Rd. 15 and turn east to Mississippi River

The Launch Site: Southwest corner of bridge across from campground.

The Paddle: Upstream, under County Rd. 511 bridge to rapids.

Watch For: Excellent wetland at bend in river where you can find exit of Fall River.  Also look for entrance to Clyde River near rapids. Abundant wildlife.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.

This section of the Mississippi River is hauntingly beautiful. The mostly unoccupied shores are lined with lush wetland vegetation and mature soft maple trees. Aquatic life abounds, including turtles on fallen logs, many duck families, great blue herons around every bend and at least three families of loons warning canoeists not to get too close.

 

 

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Other Canoe Journeys – Constance Creek Wetland

Constance Creek Wetland

Gliding through a provincially significant class one wetland always produces a great list of wetland birds that one doesn’t see or hear in smaller marshes. The Constance Creek route within the City of Ottawa does just that.

Upon exploring this journey, we discovered a very healthy population of wee marsh wrens, a species that is disappearing from large lake fringe wetlands due to lowering of water tables.

Also found and listed were many common yellow-throated warblers, sora rails and pied-billed grebes plus the usuals of red-wings, grackles, great blue herons, alder flycatchers, tree swallows and swamp sparrows.

To find this creek and its launch area, travel to Dunrobin, turn east towards the Ottawa River and travel about one km to the bridge. There is plenty of space to park your car and canoes can be put in the water on the north-west side of the bridge. The first thing to greet you is an osprey nest on a nearby hydro pole.

Probably this creek is best travelled in the spring for the reeds will grow in during the summer as the water level drops. It depends upon how active the beavers are and how much rain has fallen. Travelling northwards (downsteam) you can paddle about one km. before you get blocked in. Under the bridge and up river is even shorter but the overall experience of gliding along the reed beds can take at least three hours of paddling. There is no place to get out and have lunch so you will have to eat in your canoe.

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Autumn Canoe Trip 2004

It was a wonderful day, slight winds, very sunny. We had seven boats, 12 people.
Saw many great blue herons, blue-winged teal and phoebes plus kingfisher and a few robins.
We had lunch on an island at the foot of the waterfalls at Blakeney.
On the way back to Pakenham, we diverted to explore Indian Creek.

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(photo credits Al Seaman)

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