Can you see the bird in the nest just left of the yellow kayak? She blends in well with the fallen tree branches.
Paddling the Tay is a favourite of groups, families, and couples.
|This paddler stopped to take a few pictures, and is trying to catch up to a large group in the distance.|
When in Perth, please don't miss a visit to beautiful Stewart Park. It's in the heart of the city, where you'll find picnic tables, sunny wide open spaces, and shade from trees. There are foot paths in Stewart Park along the Tay River and foot bridges that cross the river as it meanders through the park. I especially love the flower gardens, and the awesome bronze statue of Olympic rider Ian Miller on his famed horse Big Ben near the park's entrance. Photo ops abound here. It is a favourite spot for wedding photos.
This post will help you plan a paddle on the Tay Canal and I'll show you a few of my favourite “photo ops” along the way.
Launch sites: I like to launch from Last Duel Park, just outside of Perth's downtown and paddle to Upper Beveridges locks, enjoy a leisurely break at the lock station, and paddle back to Last Duel Park.
|Last Duel Park boat launch|
You can also launch from the Upper Beveridges Locks in Port Elmsley, Ontario, and paddle to Last Duel Park. If you continue paddling past Last Duel Park, for about one kilometre, you'll soon find yourself looking at downtown Perth and the large Farmer's Market, open Saturdays from May to October, overlooking the spray of three beautiful water fountains.
At Upper Beveridges Locks, there is free parking and restrooms, but this is not a kayak friendly launch site. There is not as much space or picnic area as Last Duel Park. And, you'll have to get into your kayak or canoe from an elevated blue cement wall or boat dock.
Current: The current runs from Perth to Beveridges locks, and empties into Lower Rideau Lake. If you launch from Last Duel Park and go right, you're heading towards Beveridges locks and you're going with the current.
You can only go about one kilometer, passing under some low bridges, and into Perth. Just past downtown Perth, the water trail soon ends at a small dam.
If you launch from Beveridges locks and head towards Perth, you're going against the current.
Ease or difficulty of paddle route: I have found this 20 kilometre round trip paddle fairly easy for me in a well-designed sea kayak, but you may find it tiring in a smaller recreational kayak or canoe. You will also want to factor in wind, and the current, which can vary depending on the season and water levels.
Wind: Check weather reports for wind speeds. You may encounter a head wind, cross wind, or tail wind on the trip, especially in the open areas of the Tay marsh. I avoid really windy days.
Shoreline friendliness: There are limited places to get out of the kayak or canoe along the route. The shoreline along the way is mostly wild with a mixture of marsh, fallen trees, farmland, or private property. So plan accordingly. Have water, snacks, and whatever you might need along the route in a handy place. Plan to get in and out of the canoe or kayak at the launch sites, not along the route.
Other Favorite Paddles and Camping Spots
- Kayak camping in the 1000 Islands with the Boreal Baffin sea kayak
- Sandbanks Provincial Parks: Awesome camping with sandcastles, sand dunes and endless beach on Great Lake Ontario
- Interactive Map of the Rideau Canal Waterway
- Rideau Canal Waterway Boating Rules and Regulations. See Rules of the road – Navigation Markers
- Watson's 2012 Guide to the Rideau, by Ken Watson
|BaffinPaddler kayaking the Tay Marsh with the Boreal Baffin sea kayak, and awesome Made-in Maine Greenland paddle|
Paddle safe. Always wear a PFD. Happy paddle trails!