Paddling trip: Madawaska River at Clay Banks

Saturday September 30, 2023 – 10 AM

Leader: Linda Sewell
Departure Time:  10:00am on Saturday September 30,2023.  Please arrive at the launch site no later than 9:45am.
Carpooling:  At your discretion. None required.
Launch Site: Clay Banks on the Madawaska River. Best to unload boat at water and park in back lot.
From Pakenham: (I assume everyone knows how to get there!)
-turn left onto Waba Road, beside gas station, and drive 6.0 km.
-turn right onto Shaw Road
-immediately turn left onto 11th Concession Pakenham, and drive 3.9 km. to stop sign
-turn left onto Young Road, and drive 1.3 km.
-Young Road turns right at this point, and drive 1.6 km. to stop sign
-turn left onto White Lake Road, and drive 1.0 entrance of Clay Banks
-turn right … drive is about half a km to parking lot,
From Ottawa:
-get off at second Arnprior exit, ramp is on right, but go left at the stoplight onto the White Lake Road, and drive 5.1 km.
-turn right at entrance to Clay Banks …see above
Facilities: There are washrooms and picnic tables at the launch, and a nice walk for those that like to look and floral and fauna.
Time & Length:  app 10km
The Paddle:
Downstream towards the Arnprior bridge and dam.  The first two km. are along the eastern shore and  very shallow. You can paddle close to the shore, and it is more protected from the wind.  Once around a point, the river goes 3 more km. to bridge.  That is 5 plus km. overall one-way. You can paddle under the bridge and see the small lake above the big dam at Arnprior. There are only a couple of cottages, along the whole section of the the river,  so there is much more a feeling of “wild”.  A nice bay to explore, and possibility of lunching on a forested point.  It may be privately owned, but no signs and just wild. Shoreline is more accessible, and boats could be pulled up in different places.  Paddle back was easy, in the lee of the westerly winds.
Forests are diverse, with coniferous dominating, but red maples, evident.
The fall migration will be wrapping up then, but this is a great place to observe birds.  Bring binoculars.

Items to Bring: Lunch & snacks, water/drinks, sunscreen & bug repellent, hat, binoculars, camera/smartphone.
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, particularily 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 Linda Sewell  by email or phone 613 832-0560

In case the forecast is for unsuitable weather on Saturday Sept 30, this event will be rescheduled to the next day, Sunday Oct 1, or cancelled. A confirmation e-mail will be sent out just prior to the event in either case.

If in doubt, contact Linda  at 613-832-0560 before 7:30am that morning.

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

NEXT TRIP: May 2024


Sep 30 2023


All Day