I’ve seen people talking about Rockwood conservation authority and seen the pics on conservation authority’s web site and thought it looked like a neat place to check out. The beautiful cliffs are particularly inviting
They do rent canoes and 1 or two person kayaks (as well as paddle boats). They are a bit pricey, the kayak was $20 an hour. We fussed with where to launch. If you park it’s a pretty long hike from the parking lot to the beach. So I asked for a suggestion and they said I should launch near the end of the beach. We were able to drive right up near the water, take the boats and our stuff out and then put the car back in the parking lot. This saved a lot of hassle. This allowed us to have a nice sandy beach side launch. Worked out perfect. And the rentals were right near there so it worked out well (we were renting one boat). You could also launch at the Harris Mill ruins where there is limited parking, and a rockier place to launch … But that would be an option as well.
We were off to the races, and started up towards the dam/mill.
As you can see the entire paddle is relatively small at only 2.9KM all the way around. We did a little extra and stretched it out to 3.8KM.
Rockwood is very pretty, but it can also be VERY busy.
Fortunately there are no motor boats, just canoes, kayakers, swimmers and paddle boats. There was surprisingly little wild life with a lot of Canada geese, the occasional turtle, fish and other birds. The usual herons, egrets, cormorants and the like I am use to were either hiding or not there. Up near the top of the row we came upon the Haris Mill ruins.
Followed by a small water fall you can kayak almost right up to.
You can portage around the dam, it’s a couple hundred meters. Sadly you don’t get far before it gets shallow and you have to get out and lift over. Then your off again for another short period of time before you come to the furthest you can get. The portage would add at most another 600 meters to your paddle, but this part is completely empty as people don’t bother. We didn’t, and frankly I’m not sure it’s worth it.
Rockwood is a perfect place for beginners, no wind, no chop, shores are close enough to swim to, and lots of lovely cliffs to see.
Map of the row on Garmin.
And once your done you can also do a hike all the way around the river, which we did. There are some spectacular views from the hike which a few of the pics above are from. There’s also a small cave you can checkout.
You can also swim (if your brave enough to ignore the floating patches of green) and dive off the cliffs.
Map of the hike on Garmin
Distance: 2.9Km for a lap around the river
Difficulty: Very easy gentle paddle
I was looking for a gentle easy paddle to finish off our time in Prince Edward county and this place always fascinated me, so on we went! Finding a place to launch wasn’t easy. So we decided to just pull up along side Lake on the mountain resort and walk our boats to the small boardwark there that is part of the provincial park, or what it ought to be called is a parkette 🙂 Getting into the boat was easy enough from here and off we went.
The water was super clear and it was a very gentle paddle. There was lots of fish around as well as wild life. We had one of the most memorable experiences when a pair of loons got up nice and close to us. We just stayed still and they went about their day fishing, magical!
All in all it was a lovely place to paddle!
Map of the row.
Difficulty: Gentle easy paddle
I had done all the research for a Rideau river paddle, but we didn’t actually do it, I decided on a down day after our brisk Ottawa river paddle. We did do a hike in the same area so I can share some of that anyway … The easiest place to launch would be the Rideau river provincial park. They have a launching ramp right in the middle of the park, right on the river.
There’s a small hike here as well, but honestly, skip the hike. It’s teeny, little to see, and the bugs are VORACIOUS … The Rideau river at this point is quite busy with motor boats, quite weedy, and it can be quite windy. The day we were there it would have been quite a challenge to row it, but I guess that all depends on what your looking for … From the shore we didn’t see a lot of wildlife, which is one of the things I look for in a paddle …
They do rent both canoes and kayaks at the provincial park, and they seemed like Ok boats …
As part of a road trip we checked out a few places to paddle on our way. While not GTA related, I thought I’d share anyway. I put out a post onKayak Ontario’s facebook page looking for a place to paddle in Ottawa and got this one back. We launched at Shirley Bay boat launch. This had lots of parking and easy access to the Ottawa River. We paddled around to the back of a shoal to find a nice protected inner harbor. Neither Google maps nor Garmin maps showed this very well. Oddly Strava did. Around the back we found some fishermen in hip waders talking about GarPike. I honestly though they were nuts. Well, low and behold we found loads of them, everywhere. Some quite large. There spots were quite noticeable in the water.
There was a reasonable amount of wild life around from Snowy egrets, to terns, to turtles. The inner harbor was a gentle easy paddle.
When it came time to head back we realized the wind had really kicked up and the paddle back was quite an energetic one 🙂 Not rough perse, just took some energy. All in all it was a lovely paddle and I would easily recommend this one! Very little motor boat traffic (where we were anyway), and no rapids or rough water.
Strava caught the paddle the best (exported from Garmin):
Garmin Map of the row.
Distance: 8.3Km in about 2.3 hours
Level: Moderately energetic based on wind
Start/End: Shirley Bay boat launch