Trip Reports

Tay Canal to Beveridges Locks 2021

IMG 5189 Edit EditTay Canal to Beveridges Locks

Sunday, June 20 2021 was a perfect day to be on the water and we had an expert leading us on Tay Canal from Perth to Upper Beveridges Locks. Mark S. welcomed a group of old-timers and new members, a nice mix of solo, tandem and kayak paddlers.

The Tay Canal is the portion of the Tay River providing a connection between the town of Perth and the Rideau Canal at Beveridge Bay on Lower Rideau Lake. The canal is 9.8 km in length and is run today by Parks Canada as part of their Rideau Canal operations. It has an interesting history of entrepreneurial ambitions of Perth 19th century residents, who wanted a navigable connection from Perth to the Rideau and somewhat succeeded after two attempts. For a time, the canal from the Beveridges Locks to Perth was known as "Haggart's Ditch" - Wikipedia has a good entry on the topic.

 

We started at Last Duel Park in Perth, which has nice grounds, lots of parking space and a set of well kept docks. We paddled downstream, first on the narrow part of the river bordered by lush vegetation, then through open expanse of Tay Marsh, eventually turned right at the dam into a dredged narrow shortcut to the Beveridges Locks. We stayed at the Upper Locks for lunch and lively conversations. Everybody who paddled with Mark S. knows that the jokes were dispensed freely and regularly.

On the return we stopped briefly to visit Perth Wildlife Reserve with its small observation tower, and then again for a short (muddy) swim. One remarkable feature of the Tay Canal shoreline is a complete lack of riverfront mansions, with an exception of a lonely beautiful old stone house with well kept grounds.

Historic downtown Perth was teeming with joyous "one-shot summer" traffic. We could not resist sampling the local ice cream. Altogether, a great day and thoroughly enjoyed.

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