Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Nonquon River
Ok, so the snow is ten feet deep outside and the canoe is hanging from the rafters in the garage. However if you are anything like myself, you are always planning the next paddle. So in keeping with the Port Perry theme, today I am going to talk about the Nonquon River. The Nonquon is a small river that begins just northwest of Port Perry and flows north through the villageof Seagrave eventually ending in the northwest corner of Lake Scugog. It is a gentle paddle at any time, no rapids or high water. You might have to pull your canoe over or around a beaver dam or two but that is it. No five hundred yard portages. No speedboats. It really is an ideal little stream for you to take your kids for a paddle on. The best part is that for most of the trip there is no sign of civilization. Lots of birds to be seen. Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers will fly up as you paddle along. The banks of the stream have lots of wildflowers to look at. Turtles will be up on sunny days. The best part is that it is only an hour or so from downtown Toronto. I have relatives in Seagrave and remember visiting my cousin Parrish Fisher as a kid and paddling the Nonquon forty years ago. It hasn't changed much since then. You still have the chance to see wildlife such as deer, mink, or beaver and flowers like Cardinal Lobelia grow on the banks. In the last few years I have paddled it with my daughters, and son and enjoyed it just as much. It is a great spot to introduce the kids to the canoe
You can put in for your paddle in the town of Seagrave, where there is a boat ramp just east of the Simcoe Street bridge on the north side of the river. Paddle west to go upstream and you can go for a few hours. East and you will reach Lake Scugog in a couple of hundred yards.
The other reason to talk about the Nonquon is to let you know (well in advance) about the 41st annual Canoe the Nonquon. This event is the longest running canoe race in Ontario and is open for all skill levels. You have the option of just the river portion(18 km) or the river and lake(26 km) finishing in Port Perry. The event is a fundraiser for the Scugog Shores museum. This year it is being held Saturday June 6th. I plan to enter in the father/son category with my four year old and do the river portion. See you there!!