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The river walking trail gives you a good view of the Falls area. You can catch the salmon spawning in the Falls area of the river- I saw this when I was a child - interesting if you've never seen it!
I asked park staff a lot of questions about current river conditions on the Rankin and Sauble Rivers. I was going to paddle a longer day on the first day to do the Rankin...staff said it was almost impassible in a lot of areas and recommended just doing the Sauble. Apparently they had a nasty storm which felled ALOT of trees and the fire department used to clear them for the park but they no longer had them available to do the work so the Rankin will be difficult to paddle and portages are not practical.
I put-in near # 120 site - it's relatively flat at the shore there. A clay bottom made for an interesting put-in...my kayak wanted to get going and my body didn't! HAHA!! So I was slightly wet when I started out. No matter though, the sun was shining big time!! I got into the water and let out the BIGGEST sigh of relief! Ah to be up north paddling again!
There were thousands of small bugs whipping around the surface of the water throughout my paddle. I kept to the right of the waterway to remain on the Sauble; had I gone left and under the first bridge, I would have been headed up the Rankin! And I didn't want to go there!
I paddled through very calm waters - no wind in sight this morning! It made for some lovely reflections as seen in my photos! I noted there were no easy takeout areas ANYWHERE! The main composition of the riverbank was sand on top of clay which made for very slippery, ill-footed landings so I didn't go there!... the book said there were 3 swifts that I would encounter-didn't see any of them-maybe I was there at another time of year? Maybe I didn't make it as far as I thought and will see them on my next trip up the river?
I saw a couple of HUGE blue jays, some evidence of beavers in the form of sawed- down tree trunks, red squirrels and chipmunks, and of course, a HUGE cormorant (on a log behind my campsite later).
The riverbanks were steep and too dangerous for me to takeout on, what with my bad shoulder and paddling solo...I had a change of clothes with me but the what if thing kept popping into my head...what if something happened? I was alone so I was cautious. I paddled out for about 3 hours and back paddled for less than an hour it seemed…I paddled back with the current.
By the way, you can paddle either way easily here. I chose to paddle leisurely out and worked out by paddling feverishly on the way back. If you need a restroom while on this river you better have friends with you to help you take out and put back in..I took out closer to the bridge but still not far from site#120. You just need to stay to the left and take out on the flat rock area BEFORE the bridge. Don't venture any further unless you want to take on the Falls and whitewater beyond the bridge!
You can alternatively take out by keeping to the far right and paddling just under the bridge to the launch area (where you park to view the Falls).You may wish to enlist the help of a shuttle service through Thorncrest Outfitters to do different sections of the river.
By the way, I had the river ALL to myself! I will be going back sometime in September when the birch trees turn a golden yellow! The river's edge is lined with birches and pine trees! It'll be an awesome sight for sure!
If you wish to see all my shots from my trip go to my webshots and click on Sauble Falls Provincial park 2006 album.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Wabakimi Canoe Pack
URCHIN Portable Anchor