A Trip down the Eramosa River. Getting the whole family out.
With temperatures creeping in the high teens this weekend and water temperature rising steadily on the Eramosa river, we decided it was time to get the family out on the river for a nice spring paddle. I don’t think there is a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than being out on the river for a paddle.
Since we’d have our our three year old with us we decided on a shorter route and launched at the bridge on Stone road east right beside the scout camp. You can launch all the way up in Rockwood for a longer paddle, but this route suited our needs just fine.
The river level is fairly low but its moving at a very steady pace. We took our trusty Scott canoe with us on this trip as it can take quite a beating and I knew we’d be running into some shallower areas. With everyone suited up and our safety barrel (see end of the article for contents) aboard we set off down the river.
The river is alive with activity. Mallards, buffleheads and Canada geese were everywhere. My daughter was ecstatic to be out on the water again. Her constant questions and queries made the trip even better, we’re very excited as she has taken such a big interest in the outdoors this past year.
We passed under all the old foot and train bridges as we made our way through Guelph’s suburbs. I was surprised at the lack of downed trees along this route. A few weeks back when I paddled the Speed I was constantly in and out of the canoe climbing over downed trees. Though I’m not complaining.
One thing which really stood out on this trip was how poorly people treat this river system. I passed 12 bikes (that I could count), a good number of tires and a bunch of plastic bottles. Now I could rant and rave about this but we have a better idea. Once the weather heats up a little we’ll be back (in greater numbers 🙂 ) To start to clean up the section we normally paddle. If anyone is interested in helping out drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Back to wildlife. Deer,weasels and quite a few hawks were seen along some of the quieter stretches of the river. If you have young children or are just looking for a relaxing paddle this is a great route. We passed quite a few paddlers along our trip. From gorgeous cedar canoes to giant awkward looking sit on top kayaks. I love meeting people along the river. Exchanging brief pleasantries and commenting on the gorgeous weather adds a excellent sense of community.
By the time we hit the covered bridge we know our trip is coming to and end. The stretch of water from the Boathouse (great ice cream by the way) to Mccrae blvd bridge is EXTREMELY shallow right now. The three dam doors which normally fill the little bay are wide open and water levels are down a good 8+ feet. So if you don’t want the bottom of your canoe destroyed hop out and the boat house. If you don’t mind so much you can continue down. I’ll warn you there is a nice drop under the Mccrae blvd bridge. Take the far right tunnel, it seems the lesser of three evils. A quick drop, as long as you are straight and balanced you’ll shoot right through. I watched a ill fated couple try and take the middle tunnel. The boat was bounced off the wall and they tipped. Thankfully they were both fine, well except for pride I guess. Once they decide to close the dam doors this will change, as its normally smooth sailing through here.
We hit the shore and waited for the ole Paddle In shuttle to arrive. Everyone was stoked to be out and about in the canoe again and I sat and relaxed on the bank as my wife and daughter talked today’s travels.
That’s it for now. We’re just getting into to tripping season. Have quite a few back country trips planned (Algonquin, Kawartha Highlands ect ect). As well as quite a few fishing trips. As all of you readers know, as much as I love the back country, we also try to get out with the family as much as we can. So this year we’ll be chock full of adventures that are suited to beginners as well as more seasoned paddlers. Thanks for reading! If anyone is interested in getting a day paddle going or even an extended trip feel free to drop us a line.
The food barrel or (emergency supply barrel) that comes with us on all day trips includes the following.
-50 feet rope
-first aid kit (3 day/4 person kit)
-dry sack with fire making materials (lighter/matches/fire starters)
-energy bars/granola bars
-canoe patch kit
-power stick (enough juice to recharge an iphone twice)