Trip Reports

Stevens Creek Day Trip July 2020

Stevens Creek Day Trip July 2020

Stevens Creek4 EditOn Sunday, July 12th, five club members met at 8:30 am at the boathouse to drive to Kars, about a 35-minute drive south of Ottawa. The trip had originally been planned for Saturday but was rescheduled due to the poor weather forecast. Sunday was mostly overcast, and it was quite windy, and therefore cooler than expected, but we were fortunate that there was no rain, and the sun came out for the last few kilometers of paddling. We put in – two tandem canoes and a kayak – at Kars Recreation Area boat launch on Stevens Creek. We paddled approximately 3.5 km up Stevens Creek, as far as we could get before being blocked by thick plants and branches, trying to identify trees and water plants along the way. That part of the river flows mostly through farmland.


We paddled back down past the boat launch to reach the Rideau River. We travelled upriver to the W. A. Taylor Conservation area (which was a bit difficult to identify as there was no signage on the water side) where we had lunch and checked out the park. We then paddled a short distance across and downriver to head up Cranberry Creek, where we were surrounded by a marsh with high reeds, cattails and lots of water lilies in bloom, and passed by a number of abandoned duck hunting blinds. We headed back to the Rideau, downriver to Stevens Creek, stopping en route to view a lovely carving of three bears in a tree stump and a “houseboat” (which was actually a house built in the shape of a boat), and back to the boat launch.

While there were a number of speedboats and jet skis on the river, both creeks were quiet; we only passed a few other paddlers. We saw great blue herons, a turtle, red-winged black birds, ducks, either a turkey vulture or a red-tailed hawk, and what was possibly a small muskrat slipping into the water (and an unfortunate number of hungry deer flies). In both creeks, our paddles got caught frequently in weeds, and we agreed that it might be better to do this route earlier in the year the next time, when the water level is higher and before the plants have time to grow.

The total distance paddled was about 11 km. Many thanks to Mark S for organizing the day.

Written by Tracey V

Kars Trip

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