Saugeen River Canoe Route
Hanover to Southampton
(paddle time 20-24hrs)
The Saugeen River originates in one of the highest points in Southwestern Ontario and flows through rolling scenic countryside to Lake Huron, at Southampton. Although the route cuts across agricultural land, the heavy, mixed forest along the forested riverbanks blocks most farms from view. The Main route begins at Hanover Park, ending 102 kilometers downstream at Denny's Dam, near Southampton. Although not the only paddling in the Saugeen watershed, it is the most predictable, with enough water volume to paddle throughout the driest of summers and the unsafe spring flood debris removed where it could be a hazard.
River conditions vary from broad placid sections to stretches with rapids and eddies, making sections of the Saugeen ideal for family canoeing and for learning the basics of rapid water navigation. The rapids present little difficulty, except in early spring, when water is high and fast flowing.
Portages are short, bypassing three dams. In late summer, if the water is unusually low, some shallow stretches may make navigation difficult. A number of access points and parks, providing various facilities, are located along the canoe route. Thorncrest Outfitters' shuttle makes scheduled stops at 12 on those access points, see shuttle schedule for more details. The canoeist will be able to see a variety of wildlife along the route, such as great blue herons, mallards, deer, beavers and muskrats. Sport fishing opportunities are good for bass, pike, rainbow and brown trout. Recently the musky fishery has been discovered on the Saugeen with a ministry study taking place, if you happen to catch one of these tagged Musky's please report it to the nearest Ministry of Natural Resources. Check the fishing summary regulations for specific seasons.
Canoeing conditions along the Saugeen are affected by natural processes and are undergoing continual change. This web page contains general information only and should not be regarded as a detailed guide of actual conditions you may encounter. Please remember canoeing can be a dangerous activity. Be sure to take all necessary precautions when planning your trip and wear life preservers for any boating activity.
The following description is divided into 12 sections between each of Thorncrest Outfitters Shuttle meeting points. The maps in each section will help on finding the Shuttle pick-up points where you are to meet the Shuttle, please be at your meeting point at least 10 minutes prior to your designated pick-up time. The paddling times given are only rough guideline, avid paddlers, or in higher water these times can easily be reduced.> Hanover to Maple Hill Dam