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Salmon River

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From MACKFest Website:



Salmon River is one of the earliest rivers in the area that becomes ice free, and usually the flows last the longest on this river. It is located a short drive from Marmora just north of Tamworth off Hwy 41. It is a less demanding run then some of the other Hwy #7 runs.


Please note that access to the Salmon is currently being negotiated by Whitewater Ontario's Advocacy Committee. We request that paddlers use the only public paddlers' access (via Gull Creek) to Sheffield Lake rather than the using the previous putin on the sideroad with the parking fee. It is in good shape, with adequate parking on both sides of the new bridge on CR#15.

Google Map of Putin[1]

At the take out before the low bridge, please respect the 'No Parking' signs and refrain from parking on private property. In particular please do not park in front of the house on river left. Please pick up your litter and ask those with you to do the same.

Put In

-From Tamworth drive 12.5 km N on Arden Rd (CR #15). -From the Take Out on Woodcock Mill Rd, turn Left onto CR #15 and drive 8.5 km. -Turn Right into a parking lot. -Paddle down Gull Creek to Sheffield Lake. -Turn left and paddle approx. 2 km down lake to mouth of Salmon River.

Take Out

-From Tamworth drive 4km N on Arden Rd (CR #15). -Turn Left onto Woodcock Mill Rd and drive 2 km. -Leave as few vehicles as possible on the side of the road before the “No Parking Beyond This Point” signs. -There is a turn-around after the bridge over the river with a sign stating “Drop Off and Pickup Permitted / Do Not Block Driveway”. -Vehicles should NOT be parked here.


There are some nice class 2 warm up rapids at the start of the river.


The first significant drop on the river is a class 3 double drop rapid with a small hole at the bottom. That can be easily punched. It is best to scout / walk this rapid on the right.

The Gorge (Buffalo Jump)

The second major rapid is a long semi canyon run. You will know when you get to this rapid as the river does a quick left then right turn. Hop out on river right for best scouting and walking options. The water on this rapid gets funneled down between the two shores and makes a funky curling wave that can shoot you in to the river right rock shore if you are not paying attention. There is a long run out to this rapid as well and several less intimidating spots to put in further down this rapid.

Reversing falls

The last rapid that warrants a mention is a small ledge rapid that drops off and can sometimes create a very sticky hole. This rapid is right on a left turn in the river and will sneak up fast if you are not paying attention. Both sides are easy to walk and scout from. Safety is best set up on river left.

There are several smaller class 2 to 3 stuff along this river as well and makes for a nice warm up run or great first time spring run for paddler’s not quite use to the weather. At higher level a small but friendly play wave appears near the bottom of this run. Stop and get some surfs in because the take out is just around the corner.

Note at the take out keep an eye on the river right side for your vehicles. If the river is high the water can be flowing quite fast under the bridge and there is not enough room for a kayak to fit under. It is best to take a look at when you drop your car off. The take out is on river right in a large eddy.

Water levels

Water flow information can be found at the Environment Canada Real-time Water Data site, gauge 02HM010 Salmon River at Tamworth.

This river is usually run at higher levels and no maximum flow has been suggested. At 8.6 cms there is still enough flow to navigate the rapids and the flats.

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