Trip Reports

South Nation River Day Trip Report

Group photo Edit EditSouth Nation River

Oct. 16, 2020

            Four club members and one guest met at the end of Lacroix Road near Casselman at 10:30 am.  After a night of rain, the sky was heavily overcast. It was cool (9 degrees Celcius) but no rain fell. We were quickly on the water and paddled to the right, towards Casselman.  The river is fairly wide but shallow, and curves back and forth between steep, high banks of silt and clay. Depending on the water level, the shoreline can be slippery but it caused us no difficulty.  We were dressed in many layers which we soon removed as we warmed up.


            After 40 minutes we had paddled 4 km and reached a rocky ledge that spreads across the river with an island in the middle and shallow rapids on either side.  Nearby we saw a great blue heron, several ducks, two red-tailed hawks, belted kingfishers, and a mob of chattering blackbirds.  We inspected the rapids on each side but couldn’t find enough water to paddle up through the rocks. Someday, when the water is warmer, it might be fun to walk boats up through the rapid to the open water above.  We took a break for water and a snack while one of us rested on a new kind of pillow in the Osprey! Then we headed back to the put-in and stopped for lunch.

            After eating, we paddled the other way, downstream, with a tailwind.  After about 4 km we reached a small landslide that slipped down halfway across the river about three years ago.  It makes a potential lunch spot now. There are several old landslides along the South Nation River, of which the 1993 landslide in Lemieux is best known. We continued a short way past the landslide and past a beaver lodge on the shore, to where we could see the pine trees of Larose Forest just ahead. From here, the river continues to flow peacefully northward with no rapids or weirs almost to the Ottawa River.  At this point, we turned around and paddled back upstream against a strong wind, arriving back at the put-in about 2:30 pm.  We had paddled 16 kilometers total.  We loaded canoes and lingered to discuss future fall paddles. 

            Special thanks to Lynn for leading us and introducing us to this peaceful river we had not paddled before.  The day even inspired a song to the tune of Gilligan’s Island (photos to follow): 

Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,

A tale of a peaceful trip.

That started on the Nation River

Aboard three open boats.


Paul was a mighty man,

Lynn brave and sure.

Five paddlers set off that day for a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour.


The weather never got rough,

The tiny boats weren’t tossed.

If not for the humour of the fearless crew

The laughter would be lost, the laughter would be lost.


The boats set ground on the shore of Lacroix Road in Casselman

With Mark,

His jokes too,

Paul H and his tales;

Leader Lynn

Karen and Jennifer

Here on Nation River

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Soth Nation R InReach map