Saugeen – July 2009

This was the first annual Outdoor Education Retreat paddle with myself and some teacher colleagues. Based on my first effort to create an annual canoe trip with some other friends I felt it was a good idea to start small with a local trip that would only involve 1 night of camping. We felt it was a good way to get out on the water without taking too much time away from our families.

None of us had ever paddled the Saugeen River and it was an easy place to get to in a few hours so we agreed to paddle the Saugeen. We enlisted the good folks at Thorncrest Outfitters to shuttle our boats to the start of our route. Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area near Paisley has some paddle up campsites so we booked a night there.

The Saugeen is not very remote as you are paddling through southwestern Ontario but this was a very enjoyable paddle. It’s a very easy paddle because there is a strong current, there are also some great spots to pull out on a gravel bank for a break or snack.

Camping at Paisley is easy with washrooms and a camp store. We also enjoyed a few games of horseshoes.

Kajan 026

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Recommendations:
This is a great trip for families or beginners, it would a great spot to try canoe camping without a lot of risk
You could easily make a day trip out of this by getting dropped off closer to Paisley
In faster spring water I think it might be possible to do this trip in a day
If you insist on remote, wilderness camping this is not the trip for you

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