Saugeen River Canoe Route
Maple Hill Dam to Lobies Park
(paddle time 3hrs)
After putting in here, paddlers travel through more fairly calm water with some swift sections.
Once again, Canada geese and mallards are the prominent wildlife. If you're into fishing this is one of the sections to cast a line for both bass and trout. On the left bank, paddlers will notice the varying river levels marked on the vertical clay bank. At the top of the high right bank are a number of small homes and cottages. However, at river level it is quite forested and scenic. Less than an hour downstream of Maple Hill Dam, paddlers will find signs for Hoffy's campground, which is an easy put in/takeout point and a good rest stop. Just after Hoffy's the river slows to its slowest, there's no floating in this stretch. About halfway to the town of Walkerton from Maple Hill Dam, paddlers pass under a bridge from one of many Brant townships back roads. About an hour from this bridge, paddlers will reach the Walkerton power dam, an old abandoned hydroelectric dam. The chute through the dam is runnable, but use caution and common sense before attempting, especially during high water.
Another option is to choose the 100-metre portage on the left bank. Care should be taken on thisportage, as the rocks can be slippery and wet. There is a good beach at the portage on river left to take a break at. After passing the dam, paddlers will encounter a few sets of small swift-water sections before settling down to a more relaxed pace as the river makes its way toward Walkerton.
Another half and hour or so of paddling brings you to the Walkerton Dam. In the fall be sure to stop on river right, just above the dam to view the spawning Salmon as they attempt to ascend the only vertical slot fish ladder this side of the Rockies. The portage for this dam is marked by a sign on the right, at the fish ladder, however the better portage route is actually on the left. It is a short carry around the dam and then back into the river again. After portaging around the dam and perhaps a stop for coffee and doughnuts at Tim Horton's, (a dock is actually provided just downstream of the dam!), paddlers travel through the town of Walkerton. Following the river banks to the left is the Saugeen River Trail it provides a nice walk through Walkerton along the river bank a provides access to many fly fishermen from here to Lobies Park, which is just past the second bridge through Walkerton. Note the sign posted on the side of the bridge. More are posted on bridges all along the canoe route. These signs usually give distances to towns, conservation areas and other bridges.
Maple Hill Side Road
Location: .5kms. South of Grey Road#4
Directions: When coming north on Hwy# 9,follow hwy#9 and straight into Walkerton, At the lights on the main St. of Walkerton (Durham St.) turn right (west) than follow County rd#4 out of Walkerton for 6km to the Maple Hill Rd, turn right, the bridge is a short distance from there.
Facilities: Parking along the side of the road.
Description: Upstream access is 50m. Southeast of the bridge. Parking on the grass east on the east side of the road, but has soft shoulders. There is a portage going down the left side of the bridge. It is steep and stony. There are portage signs, but the trail is overgrown most of the time.