Monday, April 12, 2004
route: County Road #8 at Burn's Bridge to Keene
length: 1 day
offsite report: http://kapn
A plan for a scenic paddle in the Peterborough area became a bit more of a project than planned. That always seems to be the way when travelling a river for the first time.
We met at 10am just east of Douro and were set and shuttling by 10:30 and on the water just after 11am. The day was beautiful and sunny. The river wasn't terribly deep, but all the pre-trip scouting had seemed to indicate that it was navigable.
The trip was quite wonderful at times and supremely annoying at others. The real issue was water -- there wasn't enough of it. This makes little sense to me when other local rivers are high, but there you have it.
The trip from #8 down to Lang is basically moderately moving water running through farmland and woods. There are frequent swifts and occasional class 1s. (I'm not sure where, I was too busy dealing with children and low water to keep very good notes.)
The trip from Lang to the bottom is a long serious of technical boulder gardens that were horrible unavigable disasters at the level we ran, but would likely be some entertaining class 2 stuff with actual water. A couple of old road crossings made for some promising chutes that were just too low to get down in our tandem boats.
The last 1.5km to Keene is just lake-level flatwater -- a great relief after all the scraping, lining and lifting we had.
We got off the water just about 6pm. A long day. We had considered bailing out at a few points along the way, but never did.
This river would be a pleasant scenic paddle in good water levels and the section from Lang down could be fun in playboats with real water.
How to decide if there's water? Hmm. Most of the obvious scout-points from the road aren't very useful as we discovered. However, there is a point where there is a riffle right at a bridge. I've forgotten exactly which bridge, but I've marked the two most likely ones on the map I've put in the gallery (http://vvcc.canoeontario.ca/gallery/maps/indian_River). A stop there to see if the riverbed is well buried would be the best indicator, short of flooding, that this river might be worth the trouble.
We rewarded ourselves for our long day's paddle with a fine dinner at the Old Stone Brewery in Peterborough. A good brewpub with great food. I can especially recommend the tomato-garlic soup.