Black River at Washago

The Black River empties into Lake Simcoe south of Washago. There is a fun short section from the HWY 169 bridge crossing to the next concession road crossing to the west where the river loops around through many small rapids separated by flat sections. The section ends with an optional more challenging technical chute, followed by a Class 2 rollercoaster ride. This is an ideal spot for budding moving water paddlers to get some experience, and practice ferries and eddy turns. I'm happy do give informal pointers, and we're in no rush. The section of river is short enough that if you get cold or wet, you can quickly paddle out. However, if you want to work the section, you can play all afternoon. As a bonus, we meet at 11:00 so you don't have to haul yourself out of bed early to get there. We'll also finish around 3:00, so plenty of time to get back to the family dinner. Bring a lunch and we'll eat on the river. As the water will still be cold, you will need a dry suit or wet suit. This is a relaxed day of paddling play & practice on a fun, forgiving stretch of river.

Optimal water flow is around 40-60 CMS. If it gets much above 60 CMS, the river gets washed out and is not much fun. In that case, we can move the date to the following Saturday. The river does come down relatively quickly. You can check the online gauge to see how things are shaping up as our trip date approaches.

As this is one of the best sections of easy moving water for learning whitewater paddling skills that is convenient to the GTA, if people want to come back at a later date when it's warmer for a day of skills drills, we can arrange that.

The Basics
Event Location: 
Black River, south of Washago
Date(s) & Time: 
Saturday, May 6, 2023 - 11:00
Event Duration: 
1 day
Difficulty Rating: 
Participant Info
Maximum Group Size: 
12 boats
Itinerary description: 

Please see above.

Required Items to Bring: 

Whitewater boat with air bag flotation. Drysuit or wetsuit. Bring a lunch in your boat as we will stop to eat on the river.

How to Get There
Event Directions: 

Those coming from the eastern GTA will take HWY 48 north to HWY 12. Then north on 12 to just past the village of Brechin, where you exit right onto HWY 169. Follow HWY 169 north for about 10 minutes to where the Black River goes under the highway.
Those coming from the western GTA will go north on HWY 400 to Barrie, and then continue north on HWY 11 to the exit for Washago at the north end of Lake Couchiching. Exit right onto HWY 169 and follow it south to the river.
For a signpost, look for Black River Wilderness Park on the west side of the highway. The park is just north of the river.
We put in on the northwest side of the bridge. Then, we do a quick 5-minute car shuttle to the bridge at the first concession road to the west.

Event Coordinator/s Contact Information
Contact (Name): 
Bill Ness