Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Park Lake Canoe Trip

Park Lake Canoe Trip (#9 on the canoe brochure)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This canoe trip is #9 on MVFN’s Canoe/Kayak brochure. 9:30 am launch. Lunch will be on an island on the lake.

Car Pooling: Eastern Lanark and area: meet at Union Hall for departure at 8:45 a.m. Western Lanark and area: meet at Hopetown General Store at 9:00 am

Bring: lunch, binoculars, rain gear, bug juice, sun hats and suntan lotion, all safety gear.

Please register beforehand by calling or emailing Suzanne Rebetez, 613-253-2172 (). Please provide your phone number.

Let us know if you have a canoe and need a partner,  or if you wish to partner with someone who has a canoe and where you plan to meet the group.

In case of severe weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Suzanne before 8:00 am.


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MVFN Canoe Outing: A fine day for a paddle

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
July 11, 2007
by Sheila Edwards

“MVFN canoe outing: A fine day for a paddle”

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Most who witnessed the procession of canoe/kayak laden vehicles heading into the Lanark Highlands were probably questioning our sanity given the rainy weather. In fact the weather proved fine for the paddle organized by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) on Sunday, July 8. Fourteen of us took the risk and reaped the benefits of a great day spent on the water.

Our group, led by MVFN’s Cliff Bennett, was greeted by a family of loons as it left the shore to explore Park Lake. Another family was seen on Horne Lake, and there was much calling from unseen birds, indicating more in the area. Although these lakes are quite small, Park can reach a depth of over 13 meters, which is likely where the loons are feeding.

Other bird species recorded by the group included spotted sandpipers, Swainson’s thrush, Veery, ovenbird, rose-breasted grosbeaks, great blue heron, and a great crested flycatcher.

These lakes appeared quite pristine, with no signs of zebra mussels eradicating our local eastern elliptio mussel population*. This may also explain the muskrat population, as they use mussels as a source of protein. On two occasions, muskrats were watched swimming and diving down for food.

An island in the middle of Horn Lake was perfect for lunch, allowing for swimming, birding (small ones in the trees and loons flying overhead) and it’s resident snake. The

Northern Water Snake, which is often confused with the more southern venomous water moccasin, remained undisturbed by our visit Numerous marsh milkweeds dotted the shoreline, just out from the shore was the beautiful pink water smartweed, pickerel weed was spotted in shallow areas, and many other plants were photographed for later identification.

For details on our bi-weekly canoe trips and other MVFN activities, visit the MVFN website . All members and friends are welcome. The next canoe trip planned is Sunday July 22, Mississippi River, Appleton-Almonte, site 15 on Lanark County Canoe & Kayak Journeys.

Contrary to popular belief, the mussels in Park Lake were eastern elliptio, not eastern pondmussel. According to André Martel “when most of us see mussels in rivers and lakes, we’re likely looking at the more common eastern elliptio, eastern lampmussel, the plain pocketbook or perhaps the fatmucket, which is especially adept at that minnow disguise.” The eastern pondmussel is apparently a rather rare species, thus in the Mississippi Valley mussels seen would most likely be eastern elliptio.

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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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