Best Paddle Routes in Lanark County!
With two major watersheds coursing through the area, Lanark County has no shortage of gorgeous canoe and kayak routes from which to choose with varying levels of difficulty. Local Canoeist Cliff Bennett for the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist has identifies Lanark County’s best canoe & kayak journeys. To print a complete list of Lanark County paddle routes click HERE, to see corresponding map HERE or visit www.mvfn.ca
Perth Outfitters houses the largest rental fleet of canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards in Eastern Ontario.
From wilderness landscapes to sedate paddles through historic and charming towns and hamlets, it’s all here – including lots of great spots to stop for lunch!
Carleton Place Paddle Route – Mississippi River and Lake from Carleton Place
Explore the home of the oldest racing canoe club in Canada. Launch from Centennial Park in Carleton Place and head upriver toward the lake or downstream to the bridge and municipal dock, where you can check out the downtown and its local flavours. The canoe club is located directly across from the park. Upriver there are many bays and wetlands to explore, as well as a couple of creeks on the north side of the lake. Great fishing, too! (shown as 4 on map)
Lanark Highlands Paddle Route – Park Lake
One of the most beautiful lakes in Lanark County can be found in Lanark Highlands beyond the hamlet of Poland. Pack a lunch and explore this gem on a route that is all about the loveliness of the lake. Make your way around the shoreline, but keep track of directions so you don’t lose track in the many bays and passages. Downstream from the launch site is a small lake with a picnic island to the left. (shown as 1 on map)
Mississippi Mills Paddle Route – Almonte and Mississippi River Downstream
Launching from the beach in Metcalfe Park in downtown Almonte, explore the foot of two waterfalls before meandering along the shorelines of the Mississippi downriver to Blakeney. About halfway along there is a set of shallow rapids. Walk through this section when the water is low, peering into the shallows to spy water critters. In spring the water is higher and the current stronger. Check out the large stone woolen mill at Almonte, now condos, and picnic in the park. (shown as 3 on map)
Perth Paddle Route – Tay River into Tay Marsh to Beveridge Locks
For spectacular natural scenery complementing heritage architecture, explore the Tay Canal – an offshoot of the main Rideau from Beveridge Locks to Perth. Launch from the Tay Basin downtown or Last Duel Park on the outskirts and paddle along the tranquil river through the stunning Tay Marsh in Drummond/North Elmsley Township, rich with plants and wildlife. Follow the green canal markers to the locks for a picnic or head back to Perth to explore. (shown as 5 on map)
Mississippi River Canoe Route Portage Trails
Experience the entire Mississippi River from Mazinaw Lake through Lanark County to the Ottawa River. There are multiple portages and access points as you journey through history to see where glaciers scraped out rocky shorelines and where powerful water has gouged potholes. Observe remnants of old log slides and mill ruins representing the area’s rich logging history. A comprehensive online map is available. 613-259-2421 (Mississippi Valley Conservation) (shown as 2 on map)
Rideau Heritage Route
For a super long journey that takes you along a renowned historic site, set out on the Rideau Waterway and Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are oodles of routes to paddle – whether you are looking for a short excursion along a leg of the canal or a longer trip involving camping gear. A guide is available through the Rideau Heritage Route that outlines various legs. 613-389-4783 (shown as 7 on map)
Murphys Point Provincial Park
This park in Tay Valley Township offers lovely paddling opportunities, including the Hogg Bay-Big Rideau-Loon Lake Loop. Set out from the beach and head for the waters of Big Rideau Lake, following the left shoreline around the point into Noble Bay. Portage into tranquil Loon Lake, then to Hogg Bay, both of which have motorboat restrictions. There are picnic spots, beaches, trails, historic sites, amazing scenery and the accompanying wildlife. 613-267-5060 (Murphys Point) (shown as 6 on map)
Canoe and Kayak Rentals and Courses
Provincial parks are a great place to start if you don’t have a canoe. Murphys Point and Silver Lake both offer canoe rentals. Some private campgrounds and resorts may also. Perth Outfitters on the Tay Canal offers canoe, kayak and SUPS (stand up paddleboards!) rentals, as well as group canoe rentals, 613-772-1122 or 1-855-233-2121.
Kirk’s Kanoes: “Art on the Water”
Take canoeing a step further and consider building your own! Kirks Canoes harvests its own eastern cedar and hardwoods and custom cuts and mills wood strips to make cedar strip/epoxy canoes and kayaks by hand using a variety of techniques. Workshops are offered.
For additional paddling routes, request your Canoe & Kayak Journeys Guide HERE.