North Branch Muskoka River
Saturday, May 29, 2004
route: North Branch Muskoka River
- Mary Lake(Dam) to High Falls (2 Portages)
length: 1 day
offsite report: http://skular
Due to the timing of this paddling trip, with the previous week being the endless rain showers - water levels were very high and in some places the current was really fast/strong.
Needless to say this trip was EXCELLENT.
I must warn you that the OPP was out in force with RADAR on Hwy 11, so driver beware.
Dropped one car off @ High Falls and proceeded north on Hwy 11 to Port Sydney. (14 minutes)
PUT IN - Just below the Mary Lake dam.
Very nice/easy paddling to first portage.
Took about 1.5 hours
When getting close to the first portage - you will hear the roar of the water and the water starts to flow a bit faster. Stay to the LEFT and look for the sign "Dangerous Fast Moving Water" and Portage sign. You will see two large steel grates which are parallel of each other (Vertical). This is where you lift out.
The owner of the house there, has a BIG wooden red boat that you can't miss! Also, watch for the dog SPIRIT - ever so friendly!
Portage is a bit of a hike... 150 metres or more. Walking through the forest path - notice the signs of No Trespassing... The Mosquitos are awaiting you there!!!
Get into the water/canoe again quickly, mosquitos will make you jump in quick. Paddle a little ways into the sun - and you are free again!
During this part of the paddle, the scenery is so pleasant and quiet - a few birds making some noise!!!
Halfway down the river the current really picks up - like I mean fast!!!
Keep to the middle here, as I noticed some fallen trees that were just below the surface. Looks like the Beavers have been at work here!!!
Second portage - you'll hear the water rushing. Stay to the RIGHT and look towards the rock and you'll see the Portage sign. Here is a quick take out - easy but must be quick as the current is quite strong. I assume that the current won't be as bad once the water level drops some. Easy portage of 50 metres.
Took around 1.5 hours to arrive @ second portage.
The last part of the trip, easy paddle with the current. Seen as few cottagers that told us we should have been paddling upstream!
Nice scenic view all the way through. Arriving @ High Falls - stay to the left while going under the bridge (Hwy 11). Water really moves through here also.
Take-Out is on the left side.
Took around 1.5 hours to arrive here.
Total trip took 4.5 hours !!! That's at a nice/easy paddle.