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sand bluffs on Saugeen River

Saugeen River

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From: April To: November

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The Saugeen River has gained a reputation as the best family canoe route in Ontario. It has clean water and many idyllic swimming holes. It is navigable for 100 km. from Hanover to its mouth at Southampton and even further upstream when water levels permit. Rapids rarely exceed Class 1 or 2, which makes the river easy to paddle for beginners. Canoe and kayak outfitters are located in Hanover, Walkerton, Paisley and Southampton. The Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority maintains several parks in the watershed and there are numerous access points along the river. For a route map, call 519-367-3040 or see

McBeath Park provides a canoe-in only campsite 5 km. south of Paisley. Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area is located north of Paisley, off County Rd 3. Nestled in a sugar bush, this campground has 200 spacious and shaded sites for tents and trailers along the river. The park also maintains a store, picnic shelter, showers, laundry, wading pool, playground, horseshoe pits, and canoe rentals. Trails lead to scenic lookouts above the valley.

Durham Conservation Area is located within the town of Durham, spanning 3 km. of the Saugeen River. The campground has 200 treed sites - regular, serviced and seasonal. McGowan Falls cascades beneath the park dam, which holds a reservoir for fishing, swimming and boating.

The Saugeen is also an angler's paradise. The upper tributaries are prime habitat for speckled trout, while the lower river yields musky, bass, rainbow and brown trout. The last stretch below Denny's Dam at Southampton has the most productive fishing for rainbow trout and salmon. Picnic facilities are also located there.


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