The Magnetawan River flows from Magnetawan Lake in Algonquin Park, all the way to Georgian Bay, but this section of the river makes a beautiful day-long, leisurely canoe or kayak trek, with chances to stop for lunch or swimming along the way.
Leaving from the Boat Ramp (at the end of Boat Ramp Road) on Sand Lake, or from a water access point at the end of Dinsmore's Road, and canoeing or kayaking across Sand Lake, follw the Magnetawan river as it exits at the western edge of Sand Lake.
There are several sets of rapids between Sand Lake and Little Beaver Lake, which vary in depth due to water levels from passable while remaining in your canoe or kayak to "time to walk down the river"!
Remenants of logging days gone by can be seen, and are evident in the piles of rocks and old timbers that made up holding areas and dams where logs were held back to be sent down-river.
Diverse animal and plant life can be seen along the riverbanks. From deer and moose crossing, to turtles enjoying the quiet solitude of the rocks along the banks, to frogs and salamanders collecting their daily insects, there is plenty to observe! As well, fox, wolves, raccoons, fisher, weasles and otters have been seen at the river's edge.
Many people stop at the cement bridge, where Hwy 518 crosses the Magnetawan River for lunch and a "break" from the rigors of their day. For those wishing only a 3 or 4 hour paddle, this area also provides a great pick-up site for those wishing to end their journey.
From Little Beaver Lake on to Beaver Lake, dams are sometimes constructed by beaver, and canoeists and kayakers may have to make their way across the dams.
Once in Beaver Lake, folks can choose to exit at the boat launch area, or continue on past the many visible homes and cottages which line the lakes and rivers. As there are no rapids, or dams, this part of the route may also be frequented by motorboats, water skiers, and wakeboard enthusiasts but offers beautiful shoreline views, and chances to observe the flora and fauna of the area.
The entire route serves as a race-route for canoers during the Sand Lake Regatta (race UP river traditionally held the last weekend in July) and the Kearney Regatta (race DOWN river, held on Civic Holdiay weekend each August).
8 km east from the Kearney Community Centre to Boat Ramp Road off Hwy 518, with the abllity to finish at the Magnetawan River Bridge on Hwy 518 east of the Community Centre, at the Boat Launch on Beaver Lake, at McManus' beach area just past the Kearney Community Centre, or "downtown" at the Town Dock (across from the corner of Rain Lake Road)
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