Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Field naturalists complete successful canoe/kayak season with Fall colours trip


Press Story

Thursday Oct. 9, 2008

Submitted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

Field naturalists complete successful canoe/kayak season with Fall colours trip

Canoeing has become a major activity helping the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists meet their purpose of increasing understanding of and respect for our natural world. Experiencing nature from the water by scanning shorelines, bays, marshes and creeks, has brought participants in closer communion with the natural relationships occurring alongside and within our watersheds.

MVFN completed a very successful summer canoe/kayak programme this year with a trip Sunday, October 5. Twenty-four avid members and guests paddled the upper Clyde River and into Widow Lake in Lavant Ward of Lanark Highlands. The group launched their vessels above the control dam on the Clyde, above Joe’s Lake and reached the Clyde again at the north end of Widow Lake, only to be thwarted by beaver dams.

Key to this trip were the magnificent fall colours, especially as they were reflected in mirror-like water the group paddled on. Great blue herons appeared as sentinels along the route and several duck species including golden-eyes and woodducks took off from the marshy edges. A juvenile bald eagle, found perching in a tree on the French Line, set the stage for many of natures wonders discovered on the trip.

The season’s canoe/kayak programme, organized by MVFN member Cliff Bennett, began earlier in the summer with a trip to the western end of White Lake on June 15. This was followed by other explorations including Park Lake in Lanark Highlands, the Tay River into Christie Lake and Bennett Lake in Tay Valley and Bob’s Lake, just out of the County of Lanark west of Bolingbroke.

The highlight of the year’s activity on the water was a four-day September canoe camp in Killarney Provincial Park. A group of twenty-six canoeists/kayakers explored the upper end of Georgian Bay and also George and Freeland Lakes in the Park. This was the first attempt to hold a canoe camp and the event was so successful that members demanded this become an annual event.

In all approximately sixty different MVFN members and friends took part in the canoe/kayak programme this year. All agreed they had learned so much of nature, whether it was the wild flowers along the shores, the birds in the trees, the air and water, mushrooms, amphibians or water plants. A common expression from many stated their pleasure at being able to enjoy this great Canadian experience. For more information about MVFN’s programmes, check their website at

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Annual MVFN Fall Colours Canoe Trek 2008

MVFN Fall Colours Canoe Trek, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008

Clyde River and Widow Lake (# 10 on Guide). All MVFN members and canoeing friends are welcome!

Car Pooling (reduce your carbon footprint):
East Lanark and area: Union Hall for departure at 8:45 A.M. West Lanark and area: Hopetown General Store for departure by 9:15

Bring a lunch, camera, binoculars. Dress for weather.

If you need to be partnered up in a canoe with someone else, please call Cliff

For more information and to register, contact Cliff Bennett at 613.256.5013 or at .

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Canoe Journeys – #10 Clyde River at Clyde Forks (&Widow Lake)

#10  (Lanark Highlands area)

How to Get There: From Perth take County Rd. 511 past Hopetown to French Line at Brightside. North on County Rd. 511 to French Line. Follow French Line and Lavant Darling Rd. to Joe’s Lake. Take right on Flower Station Rd. and follow on to low dam beside road.

The Launch Site: Above dam. This is Clyde River.

The Paddle: Upriver, under bridge and veer right into Widow Lake. Take creek at north end of lake as far as you can go.

Watch For: Beaver dams. West side of lake is roadway. This is the former K&P railroad bed. Beautiful,high bluffs abound.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.

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