Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

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

Continue reading...

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 mvfn.ca 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

 

Continue reading...

Taylor and Clayton Lakes Paddle

Saturday, June 23, 2018 

Come and explore nature from the water’s edge as we paddle the shores of Taylor and Clayton Lakes.  We will start at Taylor Lake looking for remnants of the historic floating bridge that once crossed the lake, then continue into Clayton Lake, all the while looking for various woodland, lake and marshland birds.  Lunch will likely be at the Robinson’s dock on Clayton Lake, if weather cooperates.  This outing is a combination of journeys #14 and #16 in the MVFN map/guide “Lanark County Canoe & Kayak Journeys“.

Car Pooling Arrangements:  Meet at Union Hall on Wolf Grove Road for departure by 8:30 AM.  The boat launch for Taylor Lake is at the north end of Concession Road 12.

Bring: Picnic lunch, water, binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, and swimming attire if you wish. You must also be equipped with mandatory life jackets and safety kit with bailer, whistle, flashlight and floating line.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register for this event. Your MVFN registration should be up to date. To register please email Howard & Mary Robinson @  advising whether you will be canoeing or kayaking and leaving 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 Howard or Mary at 613-256-0817 or

In case of severe weather, this event will be cancelled.  If in doubt, call Howard or Mary no later than 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 23 at 613-256-0817

Six of seven vessels in the group, 2017 paddle. photo Howard Robinson

Continue reading...

MVFN Spring Paddle on Long Lake

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Explore nature from the water’s edge on our spring paddle. We will paddle Long Lake, in Tay Valley Township, near Murphys Point Provincial Park. This is journey #24 in MVFN’s Lanark County Canoe & Kayak Journeys Map/Guide.

Car Pooling: East Lanark, meet at Union Hall on Wolf Grove Road at 8:30 AM. West Lanark, meet south of Perth at the junction of County Roads 1 and 21 (road to Murphys Point Provincial Park) at 9:15 AM.

photo B. Boyd

Bring: lunch, water, insect repellent, binoculars, etc. Also required is all mandatory safety equipment including proper flotation gear, bailing bucket, heaving line, etc.

NOTE: Life jackets are COMPULSORY!

Pre-registration: You must register beforehand for this event. Your MVFN membership must be up-to-date. For registration and information, please contact Stan Holloway at or 613-797-5695. If you need a paddling partner, contact Stan.

In case of foul weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt about weather conditions, on the morning of the event, please call Stan before 8:00 AM to confirm.

Continue reading...

Finally, sunny days for an annual MVFN canoe camp

By Cliff Bennett

At last, a canoe camp without adverse rains and wind storms. MVFN’s annual canoe camp for 2017 took place at Algonquin Park’s group campsite on Whitefish Lake, September 8 to 11 and the whole four days held perfect weather. The Saturday paddle saw the group travel south on Whitefish into the Madawaska River and on to Rock Lake, where lunch was enjoyed. Mirror-like water conditions allowed paddlers to really enjoy nature from the water’s edge. On the return journey, the wind came up somewhat but didn’t hamper progress. Water levels were high all over making for a strong current on the narrow river between lakes. Many warblers were spotted and a lake shore beaver house drew much interest.

The Sunday paddle saw the group leave the camp beach and follow the meandering Madawaska River north through Pog Lake and into the Lake of Two Rivers. This river section was well lined with rows of alder, mountain holly, dogwood and Northern wild raisin bushes, drawing many cedar waxwings and robins in for lunch. Yellow-rumped warblers continued to be plentiful and ravens constantly called out their presence throughout the day. Saturday’s pot luck dinner was well enjoyed.

Temperatures plunged down to only two degrees Celsius at night making the evening campfires more than welcome. Two enterprising young women even heated large stones for their sleeping bags. During the day, when not paddling, several members enjoyed non-water activities by hiking the various trails and visiting the several park attractions. Although numbers were down this year, all agreed that MVFN should continue this annual event.

The camp was organized this year by Pam Hickman, assisted by Howard and Mary Robinson and Doug Younger-Lewis.  Photos for the photo story below were provided by Pam Hickman and Elizabeth Veninga.

Whitefish Lake View. photo Elizabeth Veninga

Whitefish Lake View. photo Elizabeth Veninga

Waiting for the show to begin. photo Elizabeth Veninga

Waiting for the show to begin. photo Elizabeth Veninga

Safety instructions from the leader. photo Pam Hickman

Safety instructions from the leader. photo Pam Hickman

Doug shows Elizabeth the way. photo Pam Hickman

Doug shows Elizabeth the way. photo Pam Hickman

Canoes at rest. photo Pam Hickman

Canoes at rest. photo Pam Hickman

An interrupted observer. photo Pam Hickman

An interrupted observer. photo Pam Hickman

Continue reading...