Paddle & Experience
There is no better way to appreciate the Tay than to experience it first hand. The river and its lakes present the canoe / kayaker with a variety of downstream trips which are fun and will show the beauty and history of the waterway.
These are three suggested trips - there are many variations to be enjoyed. The information provided here should be supplemented with a more detailed trip plan and maps. At times, water levels in the river are very low, especially during high summer.
Main channel through the middle of the marsh
Christie Lake to Glen Tay (+/- 4 hours)
Put in at the public boat ramp on the Hanna Side Road, paddle through the Christie Lake wetlands, the lake, then onto the main Tay at Jordan's bridge. The old timber farm bridges along the way present difficulties but enjoy them, they are fast disappearing!
Past Menzies-Munroe Side Road culvert bridge are the Brady rapids - approach and navigate with caution. Portage on the left bank about 90m down, at the defunct Adam's Mill dam; the old sawmill, using river current, was operational until the 1970's.
Then, Clark's Mill, on a shallow stretch followed by a long run of several small rapids; watch for osprey nests - they know there is good fishing here! The unassuming approach to Bowes' Mill gives little indication that the mill provided Perth with half its electricity up until the 1920's. Take this part slowly, it is tricky and has been the undoing of many an experienced paddler.
On the final run into Glen Tay is the OMYA intake site, stay well to the right side of the river. After passing the broad wetlands above Glen Tay, move to the left after Adam's Mill and be ready to land at the small park just before the bridge. The current under the bridge is fairly strong, so don't overshoot the landing.
Perth to Beveridges Locks (+/- 2 hours)
Put in below the Haggart dam on Mill St. in Perth. This is a leisurely but interesting paddle which goes through the Town of Perth, the historic Tay Basin, Canal and Beveridges Locks. Interpretive panels near the Crystal Palace at the Basin give the history of the Canal. Once out of the town, a short paddle down the canal brings you to the Tay Marsh - an amazing extent of marshland through which meanders the main channel of the canal. Watch for the rare black tern, golden eagles, herons and all manner of water birds. The canal through to the locks branches to the right shortly before the dam. If your timing is right, you can hitch a free ride through the locks.
Bobs Lake Through Crow Lake (+/- 5 hours)
This is a flat water trip that shows off the two deepwater, Canadian Shield lakes that are the main reservoir for the Tay.
This is a long trip that requires some navigating - It is strongly suggested to be guided by topographical map 31 C/10. Put in at Mill Bay on Bobs Lake (at Bolingbroke go west on Crow Lake Road 5km to Bardour Road, left to residence #392A/392B. Just 10 meters past this residence, the road narrows between two bodies of water. Park here and put in on the east (left) side). Head east to the dam at the end of Bobs and enjoy the view of the head of the Tay, then head back to Crow Bay and from there into the small (often beaver-infested) creek that runs through into Crow Lake; follow the south shore up to the public beach at Crow Lake Village.
A family outing on the Tay
East end of Christie Lake at the entrance to Tay River
Refer to current boating legislation, standard boating precautions apply, including PFD's and always take time to reconnoiter unknown water. The trips indicated are a one-way, downstream estimate. Respect private property along the way and pick up any stray trash.
Enjoy this beautiful river and spread the word that it is worth caring for.
Friends of the Tay Watershed Association
P.O. Box 2065, 57 Foster
Sponsored by Valley Heartland, Tay Valley Township and Lanark Highlands Township
double-sided brochure format.