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 Thank you to all those who have supported us in the past, and welcome to those who are here for the first time.
Brian Legault

Kayaking and Winding Down.

     Bonnechere River "Just upstream from Couchain Lake"
Algonquin Park, Ontario

       Sandbanks Provincial 
 Park "West Lake", Ontario

      " March 5/2016 Paddling west, Dorval Island in the background, Lake Saint Louis, Dorval, Quebec "

March 5/2016

                               "On The Water again"

It was a brisk day on Lake Saint Louis, on March 5th, 2016. I haven't paddled since May of 2015. I see the forcast in Montreal, to be sunny, and plus 6. I called my friend Bob in Dorval to go down to the water in the morning and let me know how the conditions are. Noon on march 6, we were on the water, Bob, Brian (me), and Larry. We have been kayaking together for years, and if you are going out in cold water, it's best to bring your good friends with you. Left Pine Beach park at noon and paddled east past Dorval Island. A lot of geese looking for a place to rest. The water is really hi. 2-3 feet higher than normal. After fighting the current to get back, the sun was just starting to go down. Lake Saint Louis, in Dorval, still one of my favourite places to paddle. 
                                                                   " Keep your Paddle Wet "

December 6/2015

It has been a very long summer.  I was speaking to a fella from BC who has paddled all around the world, and we were talking about getting older, and you know, how Sh_t happens. Well this is the reason that I haven't paddled all summer. It was Jean Baptiste holiday in Quebec. So, I was invited to crusie around Lake Saint Louis in Dorval, Quebec, on a friend's houseboat, and take in the Fireworks in Dorval. Well, 20 minutes on the water, and out of the blue came this huge wave. I suppose that I wasn't hanging on tight enough. I flew in the air, and to make a short story long, I broke my Femor. I am now on a cane, and progressing, but it has been a long haul. I was booked in Achray, in Algonquin, a week after the accident, but obviously never made it.
I look forward to the spring, when I can get back in my boat.


April 26/2015

First day out on the water in 2015. Put in at Chute a Blondeau just east of Hawkesbury, Ontario. A little brezzy, but not enough to make any waves. Headed towards Voyageur Park. So many geese have arrived, they are mostly in the bays near the west side of the park. Had a otter pop his head out of the water. He seemed to be surprised to see a paddler this early in the year. The water levels are very low again this year. It seems that the people controlling the dam at Pointe Fortune can't seem to get it right, no matter how many years they try. I bumped over rocks in my kayak, and had to avoid areas closer to the shore. It is always tempting to get out on the water, but I would not suggest this area at all. You will find higher water levels in Montreal, such as Lake Saint Louis, or west of Ottawa. The river between Ottawa and Pointe Fortune should be left to the powerboats. These are not Sea Kayaking waters. After taking a break in the sun at Voyageur, it was time to head on back.
Feels good to get the paddle in the water again.


July 14/ 2014
I have had an issue with a torn muscle in my arm, so, paddling has been on hold for a while. Was in the country today, visiting a couple of clients in the Valley. The paddling on Golden Lake is fantastic. Water levels are great, the water is as clean as always. Blueberries are pretty well picked, by the tourists, and the bears. Another great place to paddle with shallow water and all sand, is Golden Lake on route 60. A couple of great places to stay in the area would be Bonnechere Provincial Park on route 58, about 25 minutes south of Pembroke. The Sands on Golden Lake now have kayak rentals, and the best food around. What a view from their dining room. Looking forward to paddling again soon. Plans are in the works to go to Achray campground in the fall.      

June 19/2014
Water levels in Hawkesbury are back to normal. Just in time for the tourists.
Water levels in the Bonnechere area, just south of Pembroke on Rte 58, are fantastic. Saw a lot of whitewater boats on the top of some cars last week, going towards Beachburg.
The bugs are another story. Bug spray on the smaller rivers would probably help a lot.

May 19/2014
Monday of the long weekend, I decided to go launch at Voyageur Park just outside of Hawkesbury, Ontario. There didn't seem to be too many people on the water. No kayaks or canoes, only two small fishing boats. As soon as I put in, I saw that the water was pretty low. Within a few minutes I started to hit bottom. The rocks that were normaly a couple of feet under, were now very close to the surface. I also noticed a small island, that was not there before. The water had to be at least two feet lower than usual. I only paddled as far as the main beach, and then turned back. There were so many rocks exposed that it was not enjoyable at all. I was only out about a half hour when I took my boat out of the water. When I drove ouy to the main gate of the campground, I asked if they knew what was going on. They say that the powers that be are keeping the water low to compensate for the high water further upstream. It seems that it would make more sense to bring down more water to relieve that situation. Again, something very fishy going on. 
I would suggest that all paddlers stay away from this area until waters rise. It looks more like August water levels, and not spring levels. I am no expert, but if the control of the water level is not properly handled, the tourist industry will certainly suffer. On Wednesday, I drove up west of Ottawa and found the water levels there are nice and high. 
Looks like I will have to drive a couple of hours to get in some paddling. 

Keep your paddle wet,
Brian Legault.    

April 21/2014

Easter Monday looked like a pretty good day to to get out for the first time this year. I waited till noon, and then set out to launch on the Ottawa, just downstream from Hawkesbury,Ontario. The wind was coming out of the west, but was pretty light. I have never seen so many geese out on the water and also on top of the ice. The shoreline was still packed in with ice, so going ashore around Voyageur Park was not an option. As I floated by the park it started to rain. After about an hour I decided to head on back, and call it a day.   

Keep your paddle wet,
Brian Legault

September/October 2013.
July 14/ 2014June 19/2014                                      

It was a pretty good start for the month. Weather was a little unpredictable, and a little cooler but going paddling was never a problem. The Ottawa, around Hawkesbury, was getting a little quieter. The larger boats will not come out unless the sun is blazing down, so for paddlers this is a great time to take advantage of the calmer waters. Paddling around the Voyageur park is great now that the bugs have gone dormant for awhile. The geese have started to flock to the area, which tells us that it might be time to check out our winter gear like our wetsuits, gloves, and, Lifejackets. 
Sept. 20-23/2013  This past weekend, me and a couple of friends headed out to Trenton, and stayed not too far from the Sandbanks Provincial Park. Saturday was mostly a right-off, since the rain went on all day. In the afternoon, the wind picked up, so all we could do was wait it out till Sunday. A little cloudy, but soon after breakfast, we were headed for West Lake. Paddling along the dunes has to be one of my my favourite things to do in the fall. All along the shore, the geese were resting up, before the on flight boarding began again. As we worked ourselves along the shore, flocks of fifty and more would take off as we got closer, only to land a short distance ahead. Nearing the top of the northwest corner we were suprised to see a group of swans, as white as snow. We paddled some more and then took a break on the dunes, trying to catch as many rays as we could, since the sun was in, more than it was out. All in all, a great day paddling.    

On the monday, we headed back to Gananoque where we launched our boats at a municipal park near the main wharf. 
Heading out around 11:00 in the morning, we paddled around Sisters Island and then back around Ormiston Island. Then in a little bay, on the south side of Bostwick Island, we found Half Moon Bay. Here in a sheltered part of the Island, church services are offered to boaters over the summer months. The Chapel is the dock, and the pews are your boats. Very interesting site to boat to. Here is a link to their site with more info.  At about 4:00 we got back to our launch site after a great day, with lots of sun. 

Great places to eat in the area.
Trenton, Ontario: Tomasso's Italian Grill. Hands down the best place to eat around town.
Gananoque, Ontario: The Old English Pub. Great Fish & Chips.

Ahhh, never a bad day paddlin.      
  Thank to everyone for supporting Bonnechere Industrial. We are looking forward to introducing as many new products as we
 possibly can, to make your purchasing easier. Don't forget to check out our specials page where you will find many great products at fantastic prices.

Keep your paddle wet,
Brian Legault.


  Favourite Places to Paddle;
  Tadousac, Quebec. Put in at L'Anse de Roche to paddle up the Fjord. Be aware of the tides and how they will affect your paddling.  
  Heavy winds and high tides can make a calm day turn into dangerous waters. Paddle up on your right to access great beaches to
  have lunch and watch the beluga's go by all day long. 
  Camping was best at Paradis Marin on the fleuve just east of Grandes Bergeronnes. Not fancy, but clean washrooms and if you
  are in a tent, you stand a chance of getting a site right on the waterfront. Many different whales passing this area. Just sit and wait, 
  or paddle out and get a closer look. Note: Wetsuits are a must in these frigid waters.

  Lake Saint Louis, Dorval, Quebec. Put in at Pine Beach Park on the Lakeshore. Paddle east to Dorval Island that is occupied with full
  time cottagers and continue to Bushy Island and then the larger Dixie Island where it is great to have a lunch. Following the shore will 
  bring you into Lachine where the boardwalk is busy in the summer, and right by the lighthouse is a Dairy Queen that the kids love.

  Hawkesbury, Ontario. Put in just east of Chute-à-Blondeau. You will see an old sideroad that straddles the water. From here you
  paddle east through Voyageur Provincial Park. Along the shoreline you can go through the many bays in the park, and when conditions
  are right, and you dare, you can take a swim at the beach. There are many campsites just through the bush at spots, so try and give
  everyone their privacy. Note May 2014 water levels too low to enjoy a day on the water.

  Barron Canyon, Ontario. Access from the 417 near Petawawa. Turn south on Doran Road for 1000' and turn right onto Barron
  Canyon Road. Drive about 30 minutes to the Sand Lake entrance to Algonquin Park. There you can get a day pass, or see if there is
  room to camp either at Achray Campground, or a remote site that you would have to paddle to. Stratton Lake is a good one, but very
  busy in the summer. Here you will find many place to explore, with more loons than you can count, and moose and Bear. Get all the
  info you need at the Sand Lake entrance kiosk. You will not be dissapointed.

  Bonnechere River. From Pembroke, Ontario follow route 58 south towards the Bonnechere Provincial Park. Pick up a day permit at
  the park and go back out of the park and turn right to Turner Road. Drive up to Basin Depot and put in just beside the clearing which is
  on the other side of the old homestead that has the graveyard out back. Don't worry it isn't full of bad paddlers, but, loggers that
  opened up the area many years ago. Paddling down from here, you can make it to the Bonnechere Park in about 6-8 hours, including a
  lunch break. Careful of Jack Chute Rapids right after Stephenson Lake. If you just want to have a relaxing paddle, drive up to Couchain
  Lake which is the last lake before the park border, and here you can go up the river a piece or paddle downstream to Beaverdam lake
  and back. When paddling up the river, watch for moose and their calves. If you see them, you will be at Moose corner. 
  This river goes for miles and miles, so check out a map and enjoy. 

  Sandbanks, Ontario. My favourite place to paddle here would be West Lake. Just north of the Sandbanks Provincial Park is a beach
  area, with parking lot where you can put in. From here paddle up alongside the sand dunes. You can spend all day exploring the dunes.
  On the other side of these Dunes is Lake Ontario. Paddling almost to the end will bring you to a small portage where you can cross and
  picnic on the sandy beach and then ride the surf that is always there. When winds are up, this can be a challenging place to paddle, so
  be equipped.

  Georgian Bay, Ontario; This is where Paddlers go when they want the ultimate experience, in a sea kayak. Up around Parry Sound
  you will find a place called White Squall Paddling Centre. Here they will offer you maps, kayak rentals, and also guide you out on the 
  water. Here you will find less motorboat traffic than you would further south. This is kayak heaven. Me and my friends stayed in a
  small fishing camp near Franklin Island, just outside of Dillon. From there we paddled out of our small inlet and around the Island 
  which is full of protected bays and inlets. Paddlers from everywhere, cherish it for the stunning scenery, world-class swimming, and
  quiet solitude. Trying to tell all about this area here is impossible. It just has to be be paddled, to be believed.