Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Paddle Stump Lake

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Paddle Stump Lake with MVFN. This is journey #6 on MVFN’s Lanark County Canoe and Kayak Journeys. Stump Lake was originally part of Mississippi Lake, until the High Falls dam and hydro station were built at the beginning of the last century, turning part of the river and surrounding wetland into a beautiful lake with plenty of nature to see and local history to learn about!

Leader:  Cliff Bennett

Car Pooling: East Lanark, meet at Union Hall, for departure at 9:00 a.m.; West Lanark meet in Lanark Village at the liquor store at 9:30 a.m.

Bring: binoculars, sunscreen, insect repellant, lunch, bathing suit, etc.

NOTE: You must also be equipped with a life jacket (must be worn on the water), bailing bucket, whistle, heaving line and extra paddle.

Pre-registration: You must pre-register with Cliff at or 613-798-6295. Your MVFN membership must be up-to-date. Memberships may be renewed on-line. If you are unsure of your membership status, please email Elizabeth Veninga at You may bring a friend or two, subject to the approval of the trip leader.

If you have a canoe and need a partner, or don’t have a canoe and would like to partner, please call Cliff and he will try to match you up.

In case of unsuitable weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, please call Cliff, no later than 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning, to confirm.



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MVFN July Canoe Trips Yield Many Bird Species

Press Story

July 27, 2012

MVFN July Canoe Trips Yield Many Bird Species

by Cliff Bennett

In spite of the extremely hot weather in July, Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) embarked on two very successful canoe/kayak journeys to enjoy the water and to see nature from the water. Slathered with plenty of sunscreen and accompanied always by a gentle breeze over the waters, the paddlers skirted the shorelines, creeks and wetlands in search of nature’s wonderments.

The first trip, organized by MVFN member Terry MacIver of Arnprior, was held on Stump Lake north of Elphin on Sunday, July 8. Twenty-six members in ten canoes and six kayaks put in at the public dock on County Rd 36 and circumnavigated the lake east to the High Falls Dam. Of interest were the many wetland plants in bloom along the wetland edges of the water at this time including beautiful blue pickerel weed, blue flags, one clump of jewel weed and good examples of flowering swamp milkweed. One highland cranberry bush was found along with red-osier dogwood.

The lake lived up to its name as ring-billed gulls occupied every stump showing above the water right across the lake. One hunting osprey was watched by the group but no catch was evident. Other birds listed were kingbird, kingfisher, swamp sparrow and song sparrow. A few boaters paddled up-river from the lake into the Mississippi River as far as the mouth to McLaren’s Snye but found only a tree swallow swooping serenely under the bridge.

Later in the month, on July 22, twenty-five members put in at the new Drummond/North Elmsley boat dock and launch site at Ferguson’s Falls. In nine canoes and seven kayaks, the group paddled up-river on the Mississippi along beautiful and lush soft maple wetland shores to a lunch break half way between County Rd. 15 and highway 511.

Organized and led by MVFN members Howard and Mary Robinson of Clayton, this trip concentrated on birds seen and heard in the wetland trees. Twenty-five species of birds were listed including woodducks and blue-winged teal, a pair of loons with one baby, pileated woodpecker, warbling and red-eyed vireos, one pied-billed grebe, great blue herons and a huge flock of young red-winged blackbirds. Many painted turtles were spotted sunning themselves on protruding logs and one rare Blandings turtle was seen.

The MVFN canoe/kayak program which is themed “Seeing Nature from the Water’s Edge”, continues in August, with trips planned for Sunday August 12th and Sunday August 26th. The overall canoe/kayak program is organized by MVFN Board member Bob Volks. For information call Bob at 613-256-7333 or e-mail .


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MVFN Canoe/Kayak Trip to Stump Lake

MVFN Canoe Trip to Stump Lake

Sunday,  July 8th 2012

Where: Stump Lake at Elphin (# 6 on MVFN’s canoe/kayak guide/map). Please note that there is an outhouse at the launch site

Parking: Enough room for a dozen cars (depending on who gets there ahead of us)

Car Pooling: East Lanark: 8:45 am at Union Hall for car pooling and meeting up; West Lanark: General store in McDonald’s corners for 9:30 am

To Register: Please contact Terry MacIver or call 613-592-5002 (day), 613-623-3414 (evening) to register for this event. If you have a canoe and need a partner or want a partner who has a canoe, please contact Terry.

Bring: binoculars, lunch, bug juice, sun screen, life jackets (mandatory)

Please note: you must register with Terry beforehand for this trip. It is also necessary to sign a waiver. Please identify if you have first aid or CPR training.


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Canoe Journeys – #6 Stump Lake and Mississippi River Downstream

Stump Lake and Mississippi River Downstream

#6 (Lanark Highlands)

How to get there: From Perth, take Hwy 511 to Balderson, left on County Rd. 7 through Fallbrook to County Rd. 12, left on County Rd 12 through McDonald’s Corners to Elphin and north on County Rd 36 two km, to Stump Lake.

The Launch Site: Small park and dock. Picnic table and privy.

The Paddle: Follow lakeshore clockwise and into the river. Take left shore upriver to rocky area and rapids. Good spot to lunch and explore. Rugged, be careful. Return on north side and into branch of river to end and waterfall (McLaren Depot Snye). Return to launch site or explore Stump Lake to High Falls Dam and back.

Watch for: Many bays and streams to explore. Also watch for submerged stumps.

Seasonal information: Great for autumn colours. Good until freeze-up.

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