Big East River
Saturday, July 19, 2003 to Sunday, July 20, 2003
length: 31.0km, 2 days
leader: Joe Amodeo
organizer: Outing Club of East York
participants: Karonne Lansel, Joe Amodeo
The Big East is one of my favourite rivers for daytripping while spending the weekend in Muskoka. This trip could be done as a long day's paddle for an intermediate canoeist, but we broke it up into 2 days to include the drive from Toronto and so that beginners could come along and enjoy an easy, fun and scenic weekend, with no portages! Further upstream the Big East is a whitewater river coming out of Algonquin Park, but we avoided that section. There is a stretch of shallow rapids at the put-in near Dyer's Monument, but nothing dangerous, and in fact some wading was required there this time. The rest of the way is just a beautiful narrow river with a good current, winding through scenic sandbanks and Muskoka woodlands. The water is clear and excellent for swimming (upstream against the current!) The take-out at Hutcheson Beach on Lake Vernon is perfect for some leisure time at the end of the trip. Alternatively, you could paddle on through Vernon Narrows and take out in downtown Huntsville, about 3 km further along. And for a longer trip, just keep going through Fairy Lake and into the North Branch of the Muskoka River.
We had a gorgeous sunny day on Saturday. Then it rained during the night and a fine rain continued to fall for most of Sunday, but it was still pleasant, and not windy. The two days made a nice contrast, and an excellent time was had by all 10 participants.