Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN September Canoe or Hiking Camp Algonquin Park

MVFN’s 11th Annual Canoe Camp, Achray Campground, East Algonquin Park

We are looking forward to another great MVFN Canoe Camp this year! Spaces are still availalbe. “Enjoy nature from the water’s edge on our annual canoe camp”

When:   Friday, September 7 to Monday, September 10, 2018

Where:   Achray Campground, East Algonquin Park (west of Petawawa)

For:   All current MVFN members who enjoy paddling/hiking/camping

Cost:   approx. $80 per person. This covers site registration, parking, firewood and programming. Note: surplus registration fees will go to the MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Program.  If there is a deficit, additional fees will be requested from each camper.

We paddle for 4 – 5 hours/day, divided between morning and afternoon, and along the shoreline when possible.  Alternatively, you may choose to hike one of the lovely trails nearby (including the stunning Barron Canyon Trail). Even if you are not a paddler, you are welcome to come along and camp with us, hike, or stay at the campground and enjoy a relaxing day. You will also enjoy socializing at our Saturday potluck dinner and campfires each night.

You may opt not to stay for all 4 days of the camp, which is fine, however, the cost of $80 per person remains the same, because many expenses for site rentals, extra parking and firewood, programming and contingency are fixed and paid in advance.

Pre-registration:  To register, please send your name and email address to Brenda Boyd at:   You may bring guests, but they must become MVFN members (at the reasonable cost of $20 or $25/person) for MVFN insurance coverage purposes.  Membership form & payment is available on the MVFN website at:

Registration is limited to 25 and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

You must be a current MVFN member to attend this camp. 

For further information, contact Brenda at the above email address, or phone 613-256-2706.

We look forward to another great MVFN Canoe Camp in magical, mystical Algonquin Park. It should be a relaxing, fun weekend.  Bring your musical instruments and campfire singing voices!

The magnificent Barron River Canyon near Achray Campgrounds in Algonquin Park. photos Brenda Boyd

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Paddle the Mississippi River from Fergusons Falls August 26

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Come and join us as we explore nature from the water’s edge on a paddle along our beloved Mississippi River.  We will start at Fergusons Falls, all the while looking for various woodland and marshland birds. We will watch, in particular, for loons, ospreys, great blue herons, green herons, king birds and kingfishers.  We will stop for lunch, possibly at Mal’s Campground where there are washrooms and a swimming beach, before heading back down river.

This paddle is Journey #3 in MVFN’s Guide “Lanark County Canoe & Kayak Journeys“.

Car Pooling:  Meet at Union Hall on Wolf Grove Road for departure by 8:30 AM. Alternatively, meet at the launch site by 8:45 AM. The canoe launch site is at Fergusons Falls Community Hall, 1362 Fergusons Falls Road; departure 9:00 AM.

Bring: Picnic lunch, water, hat, binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, and swimming attire if you wish. You must also be equipped with mandatory life jackets, extra paddle, bailer, whistle, flashlight and buoyant heaving line.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register for this event. Your MVFN registration should be up to date (contact Elizabeth Veninga at if you are unsure of your membership status. NOTE: On-line membership registration is available at

To register please email Muriel and Dave Hanneson at advising whether you will be canoeing or kayaking; please leave a return phone number.  If you have a canoe and need a partner, or don’t have a canoe and would like to partner, please contact Muriel or Dave at 613-256-6345 or

In case of severe weather, this event will be cancelled.  If in doubt, call Muriel or Dave no later than 8:00 AM on Sunday, August 26 at 613-256-6345. Cell phone 613-799-1179.

Mississippi River paddle. photo Howard Robinson

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Paddle Stump Lake

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Paddle Stump Lake with MVFN. This is journey #6 on MVFN’s Lanark County Canoe and Kayak Journeys. Stump Lake was originally part of Mississippi Lake, until the High Falls dam and hydro station were built at the beginning of the last century, turning part of the river and surrounding wetland into a beautiful lake with plenty of nature to see and local history to learn about!

Leader:  Cliff Bennett

Car Pooling: East Lanark, meet at Union Hall, for departure at 9:00 a.m.; West Lanark meet in Lanark Village at the liquor store at 9:30 a.m.

Bring: binoculars, sunscreen, insect repellant, lunch, bathing suit, etc.

NOTE: You must also be equipped with a life jacket (must be worn on the water), bailing bucket, whistle, heaving line and extra paddle.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register with Cliff at or 613-798-6295. Your MVFN membership must be up-to-date. Memberships may be renewed on-line. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email Elizabeth Veninga at You may bring a friend or two, subject to the approval of the trip leader.

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

In case of unsuitable weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Cliff, no later than 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning, to confirm.



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MVFN Tay River & Canal Paddle 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Join hosts Simon & Carolyn Lunn for a trip up the Tay River & Canal, as we paddle this gentle but interesting 6 km route from Upper Beveridges Lockstation to Perth. During the trip we will visit a quaint lock station, get a peek at Parks Canada’s oTENTiks, immerse ourselves in the Tay River marsh, and paddle through a beautiful tree-lined river corridor right into the downtown core of historic Perth. May be greeted by bullfrogs and black terns, a marsh wren or twelve-spotted skimmer, or maybe the American bittern we saw last year! It’s always fun to see what our paddles and senses will help us discover. And for those interested, we could visit O’Reillys pub to quaff down a well-deserved cold one with a wee bite to eat after the trip!

Leader: Simon Lunn

Departure Time & Duration (estimated): 9:30 a.m., 3-4 hours paddling

Starting Point & Destination: Upper Beveridges Lockstation (off Port Elmsley Road) to Last Duel Park (off Craig Street), Perth

Car Pooling:  For those in Eastern Lanark County, meet at Union Hall at 8:45 a.m., or you can drive directly to the lock station.

Upper Beveridges Lockstation can be reached by heading for the junction of County Road #43 with the Port Elmsley Road (#18). Turn south onto #18, drive 2.6 km south and turn left onto Beveridges Lock Road, drive straight on this dirt road and then veer right under the road bridge and several hundred yards up to Upper Beveridges Lock.

Shuttle service will be arranged from Perth back to Upper Beveridges Lockstation.

Bring: lots of water, munchies/packed lunch, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, binocs, camera . . . the usual. Don’t forget your mandatory safety equipment i.e. lifejacket, bailer, whistle, throw line/rope, extra paddle & flashlight.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register for this event by emailing Simon at:  

If you need someone to paddle with, or have an extra seat in your canoe, please let Simon know. He will do his best to team you up with someone.

In case of forecasted severe weather (e.g., thunderstorms, heavy rain or winds, or extreme heat), call Simon at 613-283-6663 before 8 a.m. to confirm.

Marsh Wren, photo Simon Lunn


Tay River, photo Simon Lunn

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Paddling around history and nature on Taylor and Clayton Lakes

A report of the paddling trip Saturday June 23rd on Taylor and Clayton Lakes, by Howard and Mary Robinson

After seeing the real-life mural of the Floating Bridge at the Union Hall, our Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) group with 4 canoes and a kayak proceeded to the placement of the original bridge at the end of Concession 12 in Lanark Highlands near the boat launch.  We paddled the floating bridge location to see the sunken remnants of its structural members and parts of the corduroy cross logs.

The day was perfect for paddling with little wind as we proceeded to paddle the South side of Taylor Lake and return while observing various bird species in the area.

We then proceeded along the river to Clayton lake and paddled around some of the islands to our lunch destination off Bowlands Island.  With the wind rising and only a hint of a rain shower, we paddled along the Indian River toward the village of Clayton and back to the Robinson’s dock where we disembarked. After social refreshments vehicles were shuttled back from the Taylor Lake boat launch to load the vessels.  Various species (24) of birds were seen including Bald eagles (3), Osprey (2 + their peeping nesting chicks), a Great Blue Heron, and a Green Heron.

Thanks to all who came out for the paddle, your interactions, teamwork and interesting conversations.

~Howard and Mary Robinson

For details of our next summer paddle, July 15, 2018 and other summer paddles this season, please visit and watch for new posts and calendar dates!

Taylor Lake Paddlers. photo H. Robinson


Common Loons – River between Taylor and Clayton Lakes. photo H. Robinson

Osprey Nest – Taylor Lake. photo H. Robinson


Lunch Stop. photo H. Robinson

Bald Eagle – feathers ruffled in the wind. photo H. Robinson

Mature Bald Eagle – Clayton Lake. photo H. Robinson

Canoes Resting at Lunch. photo H. Robinson


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