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Moon River Bay, Basin & Falls - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: MacTier, ON, Canada
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: Robert Keeler

Description:

Moon River is a spectacularly scenic river that is only one of the many inlets into the eastern Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. What makes Moon River different is how it enters Georgian Bay, with a huff and puff cascading down about 10 meters of very rocky terrain that at times the flow is thunderous and you canít hear someone just a few feet away from you, at others times you can ride the cascade in a tube.

The day I visited I wouldnít have attempted any method of riding the water down over the cascades. The trip to Moon River Falls is an easy day trip from Moon Bay Marina at the end of Lake Healy Road. The ride is very flat and only at the base of the falls is there obvious current. It is about 4 miles from the marina to the falls passing through a few channels and the Moon River Basin before starting up the estuary for the river.

On this trip I saw many loons and several loon chicks with their mothers. It always amazes me how different the chicks look compared to the adults (brown and fluffy compared to the black and white speckled almost regal looking adult birds).

I noticed at least 4 campsites carved out into the east side of the Moon River channel about 1 mile from the Marina. None were occupied although all seemed to be used relatively frequently. A few of them have very sandy beaches and make perfect lunch stops. The Moon River Falls are also a good day trip if you are camping the lower section of the Ontario Massasauga Park. The 4 campsites I noticed are not a part of the park being beyond the southern boundary. The catch basin for the falls makes a wonderful swimming hole (itís quite large about 6 acres in size) and Iíve heard it can get crowded on summer weekends but I visited during the week and saw very few people anywhere.

I could hear the falls long before I could see them. Thatís always a wonderful feeling when you are paddling in a direction that you are sure is upstream.

This is wonderful day paddle being a little less than 2 hours north of Toronto. Being so close to the Ontario Massasauga Park itís a place not to be missed if you are doing an extended trip within the 30,000 island region that encompasses the area.

It is a trip not to be missed while exploring Ontario from the Toronto area.

Accommodations:

MacTier which you will pass through has a modern grocery store which is very visible. The Moon Bay Marina also has a convenience store.

Fees:

5.00 to park at the Marina.

Directions:

Exit 189 off Hwy 400. 4 kms to the left to MacTier. Through Mactier, another 4 kms to a left on Lake Healy Road. Follow it to the end of the road where you find Moon Bay Marina.

Launches:

Moon Bay Marina charges only $5.00 for parking and has a nice kayak launch. You can also launch from Pete's Place the southern access point to the Ontario Massasauga Park but this will add about 4 miles to your paddle.

Contact:

Ontario Tourism


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