Fernleigh Lodge is located on the Mississippi Canoe Route!

One of Ontario’s best canoe routes, the Mississippi River Canoe Route is well known to experienced canoeists!  And, Fernleigh Lodge at Kashwakamak Lake is the ideal place to use as a base for your journey!

A canoe trip down the Mississippi River is a journey through history. Scattered along its banks are reminders of the past: rocky shores scraped of their soil by advancing glaciers; potholes gouged out of the granite by swirling rocks and water; ancient painting by native peoples, old log slides, dams and mill ruins. Today, the Ontario’s Mississippi River is used primarily for recreation and extends  all the way to the Ottawa River.

Canoe or Kayak a part of the Mississippi or all of it!
If you enter the water at Fernleigh Lodge you have started your journey since Kashwakamak Lake is a major part of the route. You can canoe for hours around ‘Kash’ without going any further.  If you are adventuresome, go a bit further to a portage and the next lake.  The entire route starts on Mazinaw Lake- further upstream towards the headwaters.  Starting from Fernleigh Lodge as your base on Kashwakamak Lake you can canoe a large loop through several lakes with beautiful shorelines and islands.  Much of the land is Crown Land and pure wilderness.  Canoeing a loop starting at Kashawakamak will take about  4-6 days depending upon the weather, wind and your fitness level. For details see ‘Crotch Lake Loop Paddle Routes’ pdf below.

Plan ahead for a safe trip!
The Mississippi  River can be a dangerous river; only expert canoeists are advised to canoe the length of the river in the spring because of heavy water flows.  In the summer the river is often low and rocky. If you are inexperienced, travel with a seasoned canoeist. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • always wear your life jacket (pfd)
  • use portages where necessary – they are identified on maps
  • always check rapids from shore before attempting to run them, if in doubt, walk or line your canoe
  • leave trip plans and expected arrival times with a responsible person in case of accident or injury
  • obtain detailed topographic maps of the area
  • always carry a compass and cellphone
  • plan your overnight stay in advance as well as the distance you need to cover each day
  • treat all dams and water control devices with respect as they may be extremely hazardous.

Research Your Canoe Trip
Here are some resources on canoeing Ontario’s Mississippi River and Kashwakamak Lake:

Crotch Lake Loop –  A Partial pdf reprint of Land O’ Lakes Tourism Association Paddle Guide showing detailed maps of Kashwakamak Lake (4,43 MB).

Mississippi River Canoe Route – A pdf publication of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority with general information about the entire route (2.54 MB).

North Frontenac Parklands – A website for those wishing to experience back country canoeing on the Mississippi complete with campsite maps.

Paddling Ontario’s Mississippi – A detailed account of paddling the entire route on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority website.

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