Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Canoe Journeys – #9 Park Lake

Park Lake

#9 (Lanark Highlands)


How to Get There: From Perth, take County Rd. 511 north through Hopetown 2 kms. to County Rd. 16. From Ottawa, take Hwy 417, to exit for Hwy. 49 through Almonte. Pick up County Rd. 16 to Hopetown at County Rd. 511 and north to County Rd. 16 again. Pass through Poland about 1/4 km, turn south on Umpherson Mills Rd. Take left fork at Umpherson’s sawmill. Turn right at first side road onto smaller but well-maintained road at property number 2571for snowmobile clubs but does not appear on road maps. (Change since publication: The property number 2571 has been removed from this corner).

The Launch Site: Have patience! You eventually come to a launch site on right side of road.

The Paddle: Circumnavigate the lake. Keep track of directions for you can get lost in multitude of bays and passages. Back at launch site, go downstream under culvert (if beavers haven’t plugged it) to small lake with picnic island to left.

Watch For: Most beautiful lake in the region.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.




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Canoe Journeys – #17 Mississippi River from Pakenham Upriver

#17  Mississippi River from Pakenham Upriver

How to Get There: North from Almonte on Hwy. 29 to Pakenham, or from Ottawa, north on Hwy. 417 to Kinburn Side Rd.  and west to Pakenham and over Five Span Stone Bridge.
The Launch Site: In Pakenham, find park behind public school. Launch at swimming beach.

The Paddle: Upriver to foot of Blakeney Falls.

Watch For: Beautiful shorelines, herons and other birds. Indian Creek through tunnel under roadway, shoreline wild flowers. Lunch site at Falls.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up. WARNING: Don’t get swept downstream from this launch site during spring flood.

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Canoe Journeys – #5 Joe’s Lake

Joe’s Lake

#5 (Lanark Highlands)

How to Get There: North of Hopetown on County Rd. 511 to French Line at Brightside. Go westerly on French Line and Lavant Darling Rd. to Joe’s Lake, 15 km. Turn right on Flower Station Rd. just before the bridge.The Launch Site: Small park across from derelict ball diamond and huge gravel bank.

The Paddle: Bear left, follow shore and you eventually reach a wetland channel leading into the Clyde River. Follow channel about 500 m to dam and picnic site.

Watch For: Bluebirds as you approach lake and bitterns in reeded wetland.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.


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Other Canoe Journeys – Irish Creek

Irish Creek

How to Get There: From Smiths Falls, take County Rd. 43 east towards Merrickville. At Kilmarnock Road, turn south, cross over the Rideau Canal locks and proceed on Kilmarnock Rd. to Rose’s Bridge Road where you turn left to Rose’s Bridghe, about 1/2 km.

Launch Site: Rose’s Bridge, west side. This is Irish Creek

The Paddle: Follow the meandering open channel, through the extensive wetlands along both shores. At the village of Jasper, duck under the local bridge (or portage over it) and continue upstream as far as you can until you reach the beaver dam. Total distance is almost ten km. On the way back, just before the railway bridge is an abandoned bridge abutment with a large single elm tree on it. This is a good place to stop for a picnic lunch.

If you have time upon return to Rose’s Bridge, follow under the bridge and into the Rideau River for further canoeing.

Watch For: Abundant wetland flora and fauna; many pairs of black terns, beaver and muskrat, great blue herons

Seasonal Information: Best before late summer or with high water.

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Canoe Journeys – #8 Dalhousie Lake and Mississippi River Downriver

#8 Dalhousie Lake and Mississippi River downstream

#8 (Lanark Highlands)

This canoe trip is a pleasant glide down a portion of the Mississippi River as it flows out of Dalhousie Lake, along mostly marshy shores, habitat for several species of birds and ducks, muskrat and turtles.

Travel to McDonald’s Corners, west of Lanark Village. Then go north on County Road 8 to the bridge, about one km.

Park in the park and boat launch on the lake side of the bridge. Paddle under the bridge and go downstream as far as Sheridan’s Rapids. Be careful not to go through the rapids unless you are a confident white-water canoeist.

You will find several places in this area (with permission of property owners) to stop and have lunch before canoeing back upriver to your vehicles.

Watch for a side trip north into McCullough’s Mud Lake. The depth of water in this mud lake will determine how far in you can go. It’s well worth while exploring.Wetland birds along shores. Beaver, muskrat, and otter.

Upon returning, you might like a cup of tea at the nearby restaurant.

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