Saturday, September 03, 2016

Paddling in Guelph Lake

The lake may be a little low but it is a fine body of water to enjoy with your kayak. Ann and I have been trying out different lakes and rivers to find some places to enjoy nature and see some new sights, or the same sights from a different perspective. To kayak you only need a few things: a legal and safe place to park your car close to the water, a small slope where you can launch your boat, water that is not too slimy or muddy and where you can get in your kayak with a minimum of fuss, and if the water is clean and not to full of seaweed, score, a good day for fun on the water. Most of the creeks and small rivers do not have enough flow during summer to kayak very far.
After Rockwood and Lake Ontario we tried the Grand River, however the water was low during the heat of a long dry summer so we ended up constrained by rapids within a small area. Today we thought we would try a small man made lake made by damming the Speed River, a tributary of the Grand River, with a dam in 1974. The Guelph Lake Conservation Area is accessed from the north side of the lake and an entrance fee is charged at the gate. To launch the kayaks we were told to go to the Island Lake side and bypass the main beach. You can drive your car right down to the water and unload your boats, then find parking just off the beach. The high water line is seen in the photo at top where the white rocks meet the darker rocks.
Kayaks are a big hit with many people that want a little exercise and want to visit places a little less traveled. You don't need much water to paddle a kayak, you just have to watch out for big rocks and the stumps of trees that occasionally dot the underwater landscape. One thing you notice when you get near water - there are a lot of people that love to fish.

Low flow means the area leading up to the dam isn't that treacherous in late summer, so we park it along the high beach and walk up to the hill and get a great view of the lake. Coming back we see a Heron along the shore looking for small fish foolish enough to get within striking distance. It was a nice adventure and a great place to visit.

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