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Explore the Waterways in Simcoe County

Come explore Minesing Wetlands—the crown jewel of the Nottawasaga River system. A short drive from the busy city centres of the GTA, the 6,000 hectare Minesing Wetlands is a wilderness next door. One day’s paddle will give you a chance to explore the swamp, marsh and forest habitats of this internationally significant wetland. Hundreds of different animals, birds, fish, flowers, and trees make their home in Minesing. Some are rare to Simcoe County, and some are rare in the province. As you travel through Minesing, you’re likely to spot bald eagles soaring overhead, herons wading through the grasses, turtles basking in the sun, and fish splashing alongside your canoe.

Changing water levels throughout the year make for new experiences for even seasoned Minesing visitors. The high waters of late spring create open lakes in areas that typically are grass-covered and give paddlers a chance to canoe through the forest. The low waters in late summer can be even more challenging, as portaging may be needed through logjams and low sections.

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Paddle the Nottawasaga River

Dip your paddle into the historical waters of the Nottawasaga River, where warriors, voyageurs, missionaries, soldiers, and explorers once traveled. The main branch of the Nottawasaga River is 121 km long, dropping 300 m from its source in the Oak Ridge Moraine and Niagara Escarpment to its mouth at Wasaga Beach. The river drains almost 3,000 km of land in the Nottawasaga Valley watershed. Paddlers can choose to start their trip along the “Notty” mid-way down the river in the Town of Angus, and travel through the Minesing Wetlands. The route through the wetlands can be challenging, with several portages required and attention to navigation required in the spring when high water levels create open lakes in areas that are usual river channels. The challenges are made up for by the amazing variety of plants, animals and birds this internationally significant wetland offers. Starting further along the river at either Edenvale or Wasaga Beach makes for an easier trip suitable for all levels of paddlers and those on standup paddle boards. Jacks Lake is favourite place to drop a fishing line orexplore with young children. During the summer months, paddlers are encouraged contact the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) at to check water levels along the river, particularly if they are heading into the Minesing Wetlands.


Simcoe county paddling guide


Prefer a paper copy? Email with your mailing address and we will send you a copy,​ at no cost.

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Paddling Activity Experiences

Severn Lodge

A Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Sports

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre

Swift Canoe & Kayak


Free Spirit Tours