Paddling trip, July 9 2023 – Mississippi River upstream from Pakenham

Leader: Pete MacEwen
Departure Time: 10:00 am on Sunday, July 9.  Please arrive at the launch site no later than 9:45 am.

Carpooling:  At your discretion

Launch Site:  Pakenham beach, at the end of Margaret St. in Pakenham.  Good launch site and lots of parking.  This is the only public access point along our route.

Directions:  From Almonte:  Take CR 29 north Pakenham.  After you pass the Pakenham Public School on your right, take the second right turn onto Jessie St. and then the 2nd right turn onto Margaret St and continue to the beach at the end.

From Ottawa:   Take Hwy 417 West to the Kinburn Side Rd exit (CR 20) and go west to Pakenham.  Cross the Five Span Bridge (caution: it’s narrow) and turn left on the main street, CR 29.  Proceed 3 blo cks and turn left onto Jessie St.  Take the 2nd right turn onto Margaret St. and continue to the beach at the end.

Facilities:  Washrooms at the launch, and in Stewart Community Centre if it is open. None on the route.

Time & Length:  The paddle is about 17 km return and takes about 4 hours, plus lunch.

The Paddle:  From the launch site, we will paddle upstream, to the right.  At about 2 km we will pass a trailer park on the right and about 1 km further, also on the right, Indian Creek enters the Mississippi via a large culvert under CR 29.  The creek is not navigable beyond the end of the culvert, but there is a great echo inside it. The final 2 km to the Blakeney Rapids is less developed and feels more remote.
We should see some interesting wildlife along the route.  Denis Gallant photographed a Musk Turtle, a Great Blue Heron, an Eastern Kingbird, a Spotted Sandpiper and many wildflowers along this route in late May 2021 We will likely raft up for lunch below the Blakeney Rapids.  There is very limited space there to beach our boats.

Ice Cream:  Pakenham has an excellent ice cream store, “Scoops”.  There is usually a lineup on the weekends, but it moves quickly.  Parking is always an issue, so consider leaving your vehicle and boat on Jessie St., on either side of CR 29.  Scoops is one block north of Jessie on the Waba Rd (CR 20), a half block west of CR 29.

Items to Bring:  Lunch & snacks, water/drinks, sunscreen & bug repellent, hat, binoculars, camera/smartphone, “you know the drill”.

Please be sure to bring your safety equipment: life jacket, whistle, bailer, heaving line and extra paddle.

At all times, please remember that we are a group of naturalists. Please do not approach or otherwise do anything to startle wildlife, particularly during the nesting season. Take pictures to share with the group and/or post on iNaturalist.

Registration:  You must pre-register for this event by completing the registration form found here.

MVFN membership must be up to date (check your membership card).  If needed, you can update and pay for your membership on the MVFN website.  You may bring a friend or two, subject to space availability and the approval of the trip leader.  For further information, contact Pete MacEwen by e-mail or phone (613-447-6094).

In case the forecast is for unsuitable weather on Sun. July 9, this event will be rescheduled to the previous day, Sat. July 8, provided the forecast for Sat. is OK.  A confirmation e-mail will be sent out just prior to the event in either case.

If in doubt, contact Pete at 613-447-6094 before 7:30 am that morning.

For more information or to volunteer to lead a trip, contact Art Solomonian at

NEXT TRIP: July 22 – John Willis – #26 Pike Lake

2023 MVFN Day Trip Schedule

Sun. May 28 – Denis Gallant – White Lake

Sat. June 17 – Simon Lunn – #21 Perth to Upper Beveridges Lock

Tues. June 27 – Andrea McCrady – #28 Upper Tay to Christie Lake *

Sun. July 9 – Pete MacEwen – #13 Mississippi River upstream from Pakenham

Sat. July 22 – John Willis – #26 Pike Lake

Sun. Aug 6 – Arn Snyder – #8 Mississippi River from Dalhousie Lake downstream

Sun. Aug 20 – John Grierson – Otty Lake

Sat. Sept 30 – Linda Sewell – Madawaska River from Clay Bank boat launch upstream

* Our first weekday trip, by popular demand.


  • Day Trips are open to MVFN members and their guests
  • The above schedule is subject to change.


Jul 09 2023