Google Map of all of the MACKfest Put-ins and Takeouts click here
New: River Specific Emergency Services Information
These can be viewed viewed here: Local emergency information HWY 7 Rivers. It is not meant to replace a river-specific emergency action plans/float plans. If your group needs a float plan, here is a blank EAP — float plan (2019). Here is a downloadable zip file of the PDFs on this page (river guides/maps/emergency services/blank float plan).
Beaver Creek is a spring time classic with Southern Ontario paddlers. Only high enough to run in the spring after ice-out. You can enjoy this run from April until about mid-May depending on spring rain fall. Beaver Creek is a typical Highway#7 run with a mix of Class 3 canyon runs, some more difficult drops with flat water and easier rapids separating them. The 4 larger rapids on the river are Double Drop, Diamond, Ugly and Bridge Drop.
Low: 9.45 (MNR Online Gauge)
High: 10.1 (Low bridges may become a problem at these levels)
8 KM; Approximately 4 hours of paddling, including some scouting.
Intermediate to Advanced; Class III/IV. Novice paddlers with a solid roll can challenge this run.
From Marmora, go north 1.1 KM to Centre Line Rd. Turn Right. Travel 8.7 KM to Shanick Rd (dirt road), veer left. Travel 3.7 KM to put-in underneath hydro lines. River is a short walk down the hill.
Here is a printable guide to Beaver Creek
Double Drop is encountered just shortly after putting on, and is considered to be one of the more difficult rapids on the Beaver. As the name suggests it has 2 drops. The first drop is about 4 feet and the second about 8 feet. They are linked together by some fast water, so it’s nice to be right side up here. Scouting and portaging is available through a track on river left. After making Double Drop, don’t forget to do a short portage across the narrow neck of land, located on the other side of the bay. This saves a 30 minute flat water paddle.
Diamond is a name used by some local paddlers, but not known by all. After paddling some longer canyon style rapids which are easily boat scouted, Diamond creeps up on you when the river turns 90° to the left. A river wide cascade, Diamond has a couple of different lines, depending on water levels. The meat of the rapid is followed by a bit of a rock garden. There is a good track for scouting on river right.
This rapid takes you under a small cottage road. The Bridge is low, so watch the water levels here. You can take-out at the Bridge to scout. There is a cottage on river right, and the land is private, so be respectful when scouting. The rapid is a one line drop with a small pool, then a smaller rapid immediately after. If you don’t like the look of this, you can walk up the road a little on your left. There is a fun chute to run here as well. Watch the Bridge on this chute, it is even lower.
After a narrow start, Ugly opens up into a river wide rapid. Depending on the levels, you could run 3 lines here. A river left shoreline sneak, a center rock slide style line, or river right which deals with the meat and a couple of holes. You know you are coming up on Ugly when you see a cottage gazebo on river left. You can take out and scout from either side of the river here.
If you wish to make a longer day, by-pass the traditional take-out and paddle down to Fiddlar Rapid. Fidlar Rapid is a long, Class III Rapid, which is great fun. You will need to use the take-out point below Fidlar’s to do this.
Black River (Upper Black)
The Upper Black is another rustic Hwy #7 run that is popular with spring time kayakers and open boaters alike. Much like the Beaver, Upper Black has Class III Canyon runs, two Class IV drops all seperated by lesser rapids and flat water. Some of the canyon runs are longer and hard to scout, so some eddie hopping boat scouting skills are required. During the first part of the run, the rapids come fairly quickly and after the second drop they are more spaced out. The run ends with a small drop over the Old Mill Dam in Queensborough. Be sure to bring a couple of dollars along for the local Ladies who provide coffee/hot chocolate and homemade baked goods at the take-out. Although most of the rapids are named, most people only agree or know the 3 Drops. Bare Bottom Beach Falls (3 “B” Falls), Particle Accelerator and Mill Drop.
Low: 12.4 (MNR Online Gauge)
12 KM; Approximately 4 to 5 hours of paddling, including some time for scouting
Intermediate to Advanced; Class III/IV with two Class IV Drops
Take Hwy #7 east to Norwood and continue east past Madoc until you pass the Black River. The put-in for the 1st section is at the bridge on the river. It’s on the concession road northeast of Cooper. For the 2nd section, the put-in is at the dam. As for the take-out, the 1st section is the dam and the 2nd section is Hwy #7. This is a spring run, so as long as there is no ice paddlers should be fine.
The first rapid is just down stream of the put-in. One of the canyon run’s and the rapid can be viewed if you take the short walk down the trail on theEast side of the river at the put-in. It is probably a class II or low III, it’s basically run centre at the start, and work your way river left on the way down. At the bottom there has been a small strainer on river right in the past. It is not much danger, just be aware it’s there.
Bare Bottom Beach (or 3 “B” Falls) is the first large drop on the Upper Black. Take-out and scout on either side of the river, although the house on river right is most popular and the best view. The land is private, and the owner has portage signs up. Please stick to the route posted. The line is river left, with a small bump & grind to deal with on the approach at lower water levels. In higher conditions, there is a strong recycle on river left at the bottom of the drop. The water tends to shoot you to the centre of the river, so for the most part, it is easily avoided. After 3-B falls the river has a couple of significant rapids, some of which are long and narrow. Be aware of lumber in these sections and the chance of a swim could be long and cold. There are approx 6 to 8 class III rapids after 3-B falls.
This rapid occurs above Particle Accelerator. The rapid is easily boat scouted from the top. On the way down, aim for the large rock, boat angled to river right, and punch the hole at the bottom. The hole is a little sticky, so be prepared for a flip and keep paddling.
Mostly a point and shoot, Particle Accelerator is encountered about half-way down the run. There is a take-out and scout on river right. Particle Accelerator is an approximately 50 foot rock slide, with very little consequences. There is a rock in the centre of the river, about 50 yards downstream of the drop. There can be a hole on river left, so error to the right on the way down. After Partical Accelerator, there is at least one significant canyon run with a dogs leg corner from right to left, 1/4 of the way down. Expect a quick turn, and a large hole. Be aware that the water does not push you towards river left.
Mill Drop is the last rapid on the Upper Black. Line the dam up about 50 feet left of the Mill Building. Don’t start paddling hard too soon, as you will run out of steam before the dam. At lower level’s you will bottom out on the dam, and pencil into the shallow rapid below. Boof off of the dam at 45 degrees if possible or take-out on river right. Avoid the drop and enjoy the home baked goodies.
Black River (Lower Black)
This section of river is a little shorter then the Upper part of the river and the whole river could be done in a day if an early start was made. The put in for the Lower Black is in Queensborough, and is the take out for the Upper Black.
The first stretch of this river is small current and flat water paddling. But once you get to the first rapid, the river picks up and is comparable to the Upper Black. The first significant rapid is a narrow series of chutes that is boat scoutable. You will know when you are at this rapid, as there is a farm house on river right.
The next significant rapid is a medium sized falls. A small hunting cabin is on river left, and it is easiest to scout and walk this rapid from river right. The last major rapid on this section is a long canyon run that at higher levels can have some meaty holes in it. Scouting options are not great with this rapid, but it has been scouted and walked on river right.
There are several other smaller class II/III rapids along this river dividing up the bigger drops.
The take out is Hwy #7.
Don’t forget about the Class V drop south of Hwy #7. Often overlooked, there is a significant drop a short paddle past Hwy #7. Scout on river right, as river left is a high rock wall that most of the water is pushing into. There is not a known take past this point to park your car. But a quick shuttle can be run at the end of the day.
The Moira River has 2 commonly run sections that are separated by a large stretch of flat water. Both can easily be run in a day. Most people run the Lost Channel, then take out and move downstream to run the Chisholm’s Mill Section. The Moira can only be paddled for a short time during spring run off. The river is wide and shallow, it requires quite alot of water to produce sizeable rapids. The riverbed is a combination of large rocks and limestone shelves.
Low: 7 (Online Gauge: Foxboro Station)
Max: At levels above 8, some of the smaller rapids will become washed out
5 KM; Approximately 2 hours of paddling, including some scouting.
Beginner to Intermediate; Class I to III.
Here is a printable guide to the Moria river.
Approximately 40 Minutes from Marmora.
To Put-In: From Marmora, travel east on Hwy #7 to Hwy #37 Tweed. Follow Hwy #7 south through Tweed until you reach Roslin. Turn left onto Shannonville Road, follow until you pass Chisholm’s Lumber, go over the bridge and park in the lot on the right hand side.
Go back out to Hwy #37 and continue south on Hwy #37 to Plainfield/Latta. Turn left onto Latta Road, follow to the Plainfield Store. Turn left right at the store on the small laneway. Park along the road, above the dam.
Put-in anywhere along the shore shown in the picture. You can put-in below the meat, and use the eddy line to paddle up and peal out into the wave train. It is not advisable to run the dam here at any point.
River Wide Wave Train:
Follow the current down and just around the left corner shown here, is the 1st rapid, a river wide wave train. Avoid the big hits, or take it in the face, the river is wide here, and you can pick your way down.
The river splits here. On river left is a channel known as the Scuttle Hole, and river right (shown here), is a channel wide ledge with some holes and large waves. Scout on river right.
Scuttle Hole Channel:
No real scouting is necessary here. There is not a whitewater paddler’s “hole” on this channel. It is just a very fast channel of water, with a sharp right hand turn at the bottom and a small bit of white water.
Salmon River – Class II/III/IVdepending on the level
Length: Approx. 9.1 km
The Salmon River is one of the earliest rivers in the area that becomes ice free, and usually the flows last the longest on this river. It is located a short drive from Marmora just north of Tamworth off Hwy 41. It is known to be a less demanding run then some of the other Hwy #7 runs. The levels range, with no maximum flow. Known hazards are potential for downed trees, cold water, and low bridge just after the takeout.
At the take out before the low bridge, please respect the ‘No Parking’ signs and refrain from parking on private property. In particular please do not park in front of the green house on river left. Please pick up your litter and ask those with you to do the same.
There are two Class II warm up rapids at the start of the river.
SternBanger – Class III: The first significant drop on the river is a drop rapid with a smallholeatthebottom that can be easily punched. It is best to scout / walk this rapid on the right.
The Gorge– Class lII + : The second major rapid is a long canyon . You will know when you get to this rapid as the river does a quick left then right turn. The best scouting and walking is on River Left. Directions – Paddle straight across the river where it turns right to flow into the gorge which you will hear and follow this flow as it turns right along the shore and there is plenty of room to park boats on the left bank. The water on this rapid gets funneled down between the two shores and makes a large diagonal wave that can shoot you in to the river right rock shore. If the level is high, there will be three stacks and another large diagonal wave following this wave as well. There is an easy put in spot after the diagonal waves on River Left or a portage to the bottom of the gorge. There is a long wave train to the end of this rapid.
Note: There is a portage sign on River Right before the righthand turn into the gorge. It is more difficult to put boats in from the right side than the left.
Mix Master– directly following The Gorge – is a little slide funneling into some big diagonal waves and boils, depending on the water levels, with a fun jet ferry wave at the end of it.
Surprise– a longer rapid with some big waves, holes to punch and boils on River Left at the end of it. Sneak route on River Right when level is high.
Reversing Falls– Class lll+: The last rapid that warrants a mention is a ledge rapid that drops off and creates a very sticky hole at most levels. This rapid makes a sharp righthand turn before it drops. You will hear this rapid first and be prepared to paddle left to take out as it will sneak up on you. Great jet ferry wave to play in. Both sides are easy to walk and scout from. Safety is best set up on river left.
No Name– immediately after Reversing Falls – has some little wave trains and interesting holes at the bottom of this rapid that are river wide at higher levels. Paddle around two bends to the last rapid.
Play Pen– a little surf wave that is in at pretty much all levels, a small but friendly play wave appears near the bottom of this run. Stop and get some surfs in because the take out is just around the corner.
Take Out: Note at the take out keep an eye on the river right side for the trail or vehicles. If the river is high the water can be flowing quite fast under the bridge and there is not enough room for a kayak to fit under. It is best to take a look when you drop your car off. The take out is on river right in a large eddy. 200 meters from the surf wave. River Right before the left hand turn rapid and bridge. You will see the house across the road. Paddle towards it to the shore. You will see the path.
Please note that access to the Salmon is currently being negotiated by Whitewater Ontario’s Advocacy Committee. We request that paddlers use the only public paddlers’ access (via Gull Creek) to Sheffield Lake rather than the using the previous putin on the sideroad with the parking fee. It is in good shape, with adequate parking on both sides of the new bridge on CR#15.At the take out before the low bridge, please respect the ‘No Parking’ signs and refrain from parking on private property. In particular please do not park in front of the house on river left. Please pick up your litter and ask those with you to do the same.
Map of driving from take-out to the put-in:
The Skoot is typical of other Hwy 7 runs, with narrow drops through small gorges mixed with easier rapids and flatwater. This Class I-IV river is suitable for novice to expert paddlers come spring. Many of these rapids are chutes and can be run in low water conditions as well as high, but should be scouted first. Apparently the more difficult drops on the Skoot are difficult to scout, so good boat scouting ability, or an experienced guide is useful. The narrows drops are through rocky walls, which can be touched with the paddle on either side.
Skoot looks to be one of those often over looked runs. This may be a good run who want to try something a little more unknown and less busy.
The distance is about 20km.
Class I to IV
Take Hwy #7 east to just past Madoc. Shortly after the junction of hwy #7 and Hwy #37, go north on Hastings Rd. #2 to Flinton. The put-in is at the bridge in Flinton. The take-out is in Actinolite, below Hwy #7.
Here is a printable guide to the Skootamatta.
The Photo Points are co-ordinated to the Topo Map at the end of the picture series. BIG Thanks to Jeff K. for the Pic’s
GPS Photo Point # SKT008:
PS Photo Point # SKT009:
Upper Skootamatta Creek
This is a great run, with less flatwater than any other Hwy 7 run, and comparable in difficult and quality to the Lower Black.
Simpson Chutes is an exciting 800m long continuous rapid, narrow & winding. Not hard at med flow but pumping at higher levels.
12 – 17 cms is a fun, low runnable level; Higher is even better; It has been run at flows over 40 cms.
Approximately 5 kilometers and takes approximately 2 hours to paddle.
Class III to IV
In the town of Flinton – park just off Deer Rock Lake Rd, before bridge, near the broken dam. Parking area is easily visible.
Approximately 5 kilometers down river at Phil Kompass’ cottage on river right. It is very easy to see, following two back to back corners after 1/2 km of flatwater.
Driving Directions to Take Out from Flinton Put In:
- Drive south out of town on FLINTON Rd. for 600m. Bear RIGHT at fork in road to stay on FLINTON Rd.
- Drive for 1.5km. Turn RIGHT on to CLARK LINE Rd.
- Drive for 300 m. Cross bridge. Turn LEFT onto BOUNDARY Rd. and/or ELZEVIR Rd. (It has 2 names)
- Drive for 2.7 km. The road makes a 90-degree left corner but remains ELZEVIR Rd.
- Drive for approximately 1 km. Drive slowly. You are looking for small field on the LEFT with two gates.
- There is a small sign at the second gate marking 902 ELZEVIR Rd.
- Only park on the east side of Elzevir Rd. near 902. Do NOT park in any laneway.
- The laneway to the cottage heads out of the field in the back right corner. The cottage is at the river, 800m down the laneway.
Put In: Flinton, below the dam, just off Deer Rock Lake Rd on the Skootamatta River
- The first 2 km are fast moving class l and ll.
- Then there is a decent drop, class lll-lV, followed by a slide into a hole banking right
- Then there is a short 500m flat, followed by a class ll-lll chute.
- Then the longest flat section, approx 1 km.
- Next up is Simpson Chutes, an 800m long, continuous class lll-lV rapid, pretty narrow with a few corners in it. Scout for wood.
- After this there are 2 or 3 more class lll rapids.
- Then a long class II rapid with two noticeable 90 degree turns in it.
- In the next flat water section, the river will bend sharply right, and then left. Phil Kompass’ cottage will be visible on river right.
- Take out here. The cottage is brown, with steel siding, built on blocks. It has a red door on the side of the screened in porch.
- It is the only cottage on this entire section of river, so you can’t miss it. The two flatwater corners back to back give it away.
From the cottage at the river, walk 800m on the cottage laneway to reach your parked vehicles at 902 Elzevir Rd.
Phil’s cottage; river right after 2 back to back flat water corners
Take Out parking: on east side of Elzevir Rd, near gate at marker 902
When at the campsite you will see a 3 ft river wide ledge that depending on water levels will either tempt you or have you put in down stream. From here you want to get to the middle of the river. There is a horizon line that comes up pretty fast you want to make sure you a river center in the main flow. As you drop over the horizon line stay center through the first set of waves, this can be quite shallow before the wave. Past the wave, paddle river right to the eddy behind the island. This is the eddy that you will access the wave from. There are several other play features on this rapid with a very forgiving hole just meters down steam. There are no real hazards to a swim here, other then the cold. This play spot is a fast steep wave and seems to keep it’s form at lower water, when Crowe Bridges waves are getting smaller. The take out is on river right and there is a small path along the river that will lead you back to the campsite.
Class II to III
There are several ways to get to this location depending on where you are coming from. The one from Hwy#7, East of Marmora, is to take Tiffen Road South to Callaghan Rapids Road. Make a left and drive until you can’t drive anymore. This is where it gets sketchy. Some people can drive further than others. We do not condone this behavior. Take the trail that heads south (to the right) along the river down to the campsite (yes there is enough room to turn a car around).
This well known play spot can get quite busy in the spring. Depending on levels, the amount of surfable waves adjusts. However, in lower water, there are nice waves 100 meters or so down river (and a nice hole to teach kids to surf in on river left, accessed through the conservation area parking lot). In higher water, there are several waves for all boats, from long, flat, glassy waves, to steep crashing waves to holes. In higher water, the eddy access becomes more difficult to achieve, but with some practice, it is attainable. Note that at higher levels, swimming is not recommended, as down river there are rock shelves, as well as a low head dam. This play spot is great for spectators, as they can stand on the bridge to get an overhead view.
Class III to IV
West of Marmora, take County Road #50, south of Hwy #7. Turn Left on 12th line. Follow to Stop Sign. Make a right and follow to bridge. Please respect No-Parking signage.
I thought all the play-spots in the area were discovered, but this play-spot was brought to my attention last year. A friend of mine had been paddling it for years and kept saying I should come down and try it. The reason it took me so long to get there is I had to drive right by Crowe Bridge to get there. But last year I took the pilgrimage twice to “Big Frank” once just to see what it was all about, and the other to go back because it was just so fun. I would not say this play-spot is the best in the area but it is defiantly worth the trip if you are looking for something different or lass daunting then Crowe Bridge, especially during high water. Like many waves in the area “Big Frank” goes thorough a series of formations depending on water levels coming through the Trent System. When I paddled it last year it was a large crashing hole that you could front surf in a stubby boat and throw down if wanted. The thing that makes this wave really nice is its location and ease of access. You are in a park setting meters from your car for cold weather. The wave is super easy to drop into as there is a eddy all the way up left shore and at right levels the water trucks you right back to the hole with out paddling. I would say this playspot is great for those wanting to play boat with no fear of what is down stream if you swim, or those just getting into spring paddling as it is super friendly and close to the warmth of the vehicle. If you are on a playboting mission at M.A.C.K. fest hit Big Frank’s after Crowe Bridge and Callaghan Wave, on your way to Electric Chair.
Novice to Advanced, Class II to III
At the lights in Marmora head south towards Sterling on County Rd. #14. Once at the lights (T in road) in Sterling turn right on West Front St. Not more then meters look for a sign to Frankford on your left and turn on County Rd. #33 heading south. When you come to the stop sign make a right. Drive over the canal and make a quick left. If you go over the river and see a large dam to your right you have gone to far. Drive down the road and you will see a park and a large open building structure. Drive around the building and park on the other side, as it will be closer to the wave. You will not be able to see the wave until you walk right up to the shore.
Here is a printable guide of the Big Frank playspot..
Back to Top
Electric Chair is a relatively new, beautiful play wave, almost like a mini Garb. It has easy eddy access and safe downstream conditions.
Class II to III
If you are coming on the 401 exit at highway 37, Belleville. Coming from the west turn right from the off ramp and go over the overpass. At the first set of lights turn left onto Cannifton road. For those coming from the east go straight through the lights when you exit the 401 east bound ramp. You are now on Cannifton road. Follow Cannifton road until you see the Stop sign. On your left before the stop sign is Holgate Tire and Battery. Turn left between Holgate tire and Rosebush Fuels. The parking is lot is behind Holgate Tire and Battery. Carry down river bank from parking lot, easy access. Wave is close to shore, river left, no need to ferry, drop in. Eddy service is river left. Wave is flushy with pronounced shoulder surfer’s left. Possible to spin and blunt, but water is very shallow in trough. Expect to hit bottom if blunting
Map, Google Maps, and additional information at PaddlingMaps
Although not a huge drop in gradient Lock 19 in Peterborough can be one of the best surf waves in the area, as well as one of the most finicky. Due to the volume of water that passes through the Trent System in the spring and the relatively low capacity of the bodies of water above and below this dam the water can change in a matter of hours changing a nice green wave into a meaty hole. Levels can change quickly simlar to the Ottawa. The problem with Lock 19 is that it is very dependent on the height or level of Little Lake above the dam, the level of the river below and the amount of flow passing through. However if you can hit Lock 19 at the right level it is one of the better waves in the area. Note that there are several levels that it can be surfed, but the holes can get very dangerous. Be cautions paddling here. Also this is a dam and by know means does M.A.C.K.fest endorse or recommend you paddle at this location. Be smart and sensible when it comes to locals and authorities.
Novice to Advanced, Class III to V
Heading West on Hwy #7 into Peterborough pass the 115 cut off and follow Lansdowne St. West. You will pass over the Trent on a bridge and be able to see the dam to your left. Follow Lansdowne St. to the next left, which is Sherburme St. make a left on one of the next two streets Morrow or Montgomery and follow around till you see the Trent lock. Park there and walk out to the dam to check conditions.