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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Paddling "The Notty" - the Nottawasaga River


Last weekend we paddled the Nottawasaga River near Wasaga Beach in Ontario.

Unsure of what current we'd face, we took two vehicles and went point to point - starting in Angus, Ontario and finishing in the town of Wasaga Beach.


It was really a tale of two completely different experiences...

Angus - 0km

The river in Angus was really quite lovely, quiet, lots of fishermen and very few boats. 

I was very excited at first!  Scenic river, quiet lovely scenery... this was going to be a wonderful paddle!


Log Jams - 5.5km

Not only were these big old log jams that were hundreds of meters long, but the portages around them were clearly not very well used.  Lots of tall vegetation, if you guessed right you could get by but it was pretty hellish.

And there wasn't just one - there were a bunch of these.  Not to mention other just random tree falls...

The worst was between 12km and or so, spent a lot of time out of the boat.

Mouth of Willow Creek - 17km

There is another canoe route along the Willow Creek - we didn't take it, but at that point we started to see signs that humans had taken chainsaws to trees that blocked the river.

Finally, sustained time in the boat, paddling!

Edenvale - 21km

This is where the Conservation Area begins - and the river widens.  The current was very slow, you could easily paddle upstream (and many were doing just that!).  

Wasaga Sports Park - 36km

This was where we finally took out, at a purpose-built canoe/kayak launching spot.

You can continue further downstream, but apparently the current does pick up (swifts) and it makes it impossible to go back upstream... so that was our day.

I'm not in a rush to paddle the Nottawasaga River anytime again soon, but if I did I would skip upstream of Edenvale and stick to the lower part.  

Finally the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Area posts maps and routes:

Let's just say they make it sound a lot better than it is... it needs some serious TLC!

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