The Maitland River is one of the best rivers for bass and Rainbow trout fishing plus salmon at its estuary. The most popular section for anglers is between the Highway 21 bridge and the river mouth.
The Maitland offers paddlers a variety of scenic surprises from Wingham where the Middle Maitland joins the North fork all the way to Goderich. Canoeists and kayakers can expect to see nesting Bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and deer enroute. The river passes the historic Ball's iron bridge and two conservation areas along its course; Wawanosh Park above Auburn and Falls Reserve at Benmiller. The upper section is Class 1, but the section below Benmiller is Class 2-3 and only recommended for experienced white water paddlers since it contains numerous rapids and hazardous ledges. Manchester Riverside Park is a nice picnic area on County Road 8 just below Auburn. Colborne Riverside Park has an idyllic falls with a swimming hole and fishing spot down a trail from 36739 Saltford Road 31. The Maitland Trail is a hiking path that hugs the northwest side of the river from Goderich to Auburn. Intriguing side trails lead to limestone outcrops, high lookouts, waterfalls and deep pools from Black Hole Road, Morris Tract Line, Falls Road and Falls Reserve Park.
Best flows for navigating the section from Wingham to Benmiller are discharges between 20-80 cubic metres per second on the river gauge below Wingham: Wateroffice hydrographic data
Best river flows for navigating the section below Benmiller are discharges between 80-160 cubic metres per second on the Benmiller gauge: Wateroffice hydrographic data