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The scenery at Mantua is absolutely beautiful. The majestic mountains of the Wastach and Cache Ranges surround you completely. In the spring, snowcapped peaks can be seen in every direction. Autumn colors are also spectacular.
Located approximately five miles up "Sardine Canyon," it is nestled next to the small town of Mantua. The reservoir sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet and is generally open May thru October. But, I imagine you can paddle whenever weather permits.
The reservoir is about a mile across and a mile in length with a shoreline of about 2 miles. The shore has varied trees and rocks which are generally safe to paddle by. At the far east end, there is a small 200 foot hill that is fun but challenging to climb. The view from the top is spectacular.
During the Spring, you can expect abundant water fowl including, pelicans, osprey, coots and other migratory species. Throughout the summer, local gulls and birds of prey make Mantua their home. I have seen hawks, eagles and falcons cruising the water for lunch.
Power boats are allowed on the reservoir so weekday paddles are much better. Also, a lot of anglers make Mantua their home during the week. Generally speaking, it is a much better paddle in the early morning or on weekdays.
It's sandy beach and boat dock make the portage a breeze. Simply drop the boat into the water. It also makes a long day nice as you can pop into shore with little or no effort.
After you are done paddling, there are excellent picnic grounds. One fun activity for the kids is to stop in the general store. The place is old and dumpy but has a lot of charm. It also sells penny candy which your kids will love.
In all, Mantua is a great place for a quiet and easy flatwater paddle. If you like to kayak, you might find its smooth surface relaxing.