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On July 10, 2005, I was in Perth Ontario visiting my good friend Matt McLean. After watching the day's stage of le Tour de France (Go Lance!) we decided to go for a short paddle on the Tay River. Matt had not paddled much, and I was going to give him some instruction while at the same time exploring a new river. We walked downtown and rented a canoe (Upper Canada plastic pig) from Cricket's (I think that's what it was called...) Cricket's is more of a coffee shop/bakery than a canoe rental place, but they have a couple canoes and kayaks to rent. We put in at "The Basin" (UTM 401,460E, 4,972,530N, Based on UTM Zone 18N, NAD83) right behind the store, and began paddling down the river. I gave Matt some basic paddling instruction, and he took to it really quickly.

It was quite hot and humid, and the deer flies were out and biting as we paddled down the very slow moving river. We passed some very nice houses along the river, and soon reached the Tay Marsh. Along the way, Matt pointed out the the trail which runs alongside the river for some time. Matt runs on the trail fairly often, and it looks pretty nice for a hike. The Marsh itself is quite large, and although we didn't spend much time exploring it, it looks like a nice place to paddle around and birdwatch, etc. On the way back to Perth, we saw a deer along the side of the river. It didn't run away at all, instead standing and watching us as we paddled by.

After paddling back to Perth and returning the canoe, we went to see the Diefenbunker which is also highly recommended if you're in the Ottawa area. Overall, this is an easy paddle, and a very calm, slow moving stretch of water--good for beginners. The water level at the time we paddled the river was just over 1m3/sec. which was plenty--we didn't touch bottom once. Based on this, I would say that the river is paddleable at all times of the year.

Total portage distance = 0 m
Total paddle distance = 8.0 Km

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  This page was last updated on July 14, 2005 at 05:12 PM