With beautiful sunshine and summery temps predicted for Thanksgiving weekend, this is the perfect time to enjoy the vibrant fall colours of the Beaver Valley from the vantage of a canoe or kayak on the Beaver River. The river meanders gently trough the Beaver Valley, curving through forests and meadows making a delightfully relaxing paddle for everyone, from beginners on up. And with three access points, you can choose the length of your journey. In addition to the fall colours, you’ll likely catch glimpses of wildlife, and if you like, you can drop in a line.
Upriver, the highest access point is just north of Kimberley west off the Beaver Valley Road (Grey Road 13). For 10 kilometres, you wind through mainly mature forest, shaded by large hardwoods. While seeming wilderness, the foliage is quite a bit different from the northern paddling most Ontarians are used to, making it a unique experience. You’ll likely encounter the odd log jam, but don’t worry, if you can’t pull the boat over, your portage won’t be more than a few yards.
When you reach the next access point near the Epping road, or when you put in here, you’ll see the canopy open above you, drift through more open spaces with views of the valley, and enjoy the odd slightly swifter current.
The Heathcote dock is on the right bank before the bridge. You can pull out here, or continue through the hamlet to “Slabtown”, a favourite swimming hole. You might encounter a few small rapids and eddies in this section, before you pull out on the left bank before the dam.
Find more paddling info and maps here.
And you can rent a canoe or kayak, and even book a guide and learn some tips at Free Spirit Tours.