Hello and thank you for the information on Canoeing the Tay. It looks very good.
I was an avid canoeist for many years and have paddled the Tay River from Crow Lake to the rivers mouth. For several years I belonged to a group of canoeists and kayakers who would paddle the Tay and other local rivers as soon as the ice went out. There are some sweet rapids to be run in late April: the short rapid at the trailer park; the rapid above and at Bowes dam and, of course, the rapid called Pikes Falls @ Port Elmsley. However people need to know what they are doing if they are going to run rapids and we all wore wet suits and had whitewater training. One year I even paddled Scottís Snye (not recommended).
The Tay is not a deep, powerful river as the rapids are often shallow and the river can be quite narrow. The Tay does represent an excellent balance between natural beauty and historical significance. I commend the work of the Association to watch over and promote this eastern Ontario jewel!
I have included information below regarding the section from the Beveridge Dam to the mouth of the Tay.
You are welcome to use any or all of my comments.
*Please note that this section of the river does have some rapids and it is recommended that you scout any fast water prior to running. It is also recommended that you always wear a pfd when paddling rapids. In the spring time these rapids can be difficult, particularly at Pikes Falls, near the mouth. In late summer, there might not be enough water to paddle the shallower parts of this section, and paddlers may find they have to wade the canoe in places. There are good aerial photos on this website for some parts of this section (click on 'Gallery').*
Trip Notes: Instead of proceeding down to the locks from the Tay marsh, simply portage around Beveridge Dam. (While portaging, you might take the short walk back along the trail from the dam, to the 'Viewpoint' for an excellent scenic view of the marsh).
The original Tay Canal was along this beautiful stretch of river, which offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing. For the next few kilometres there are several sections of shallow rapids (easy Class 1), which can be paddled with a bit of care to find deeper channels (or wading, especially in dryer years).
Towards the end, you will come to the rapid known locally as Pikes Falls which is where the bridge at Port Elmsley crosses the river. Should you wish to portage around the rapid, take out on river left (on the north shore before the house situated at the rapid) and travel down hwy 43 approximately one km. to where the road meets the river.
Pikes Falls is really an easy Class 2 rapid, but should be looked over carefully before you run it (the rapid begins as a blind corner which means you canít see the end of it). If you choose to run this rapid there is a large rock in the middle near the start of the rapid. After that, the fast water goes under the bridge and then it becomes quite shallow and you will have to look for the narrow deep water channel, on the right, to get through.
Once past the shallow water after the bridge, it is a couple of kilometres of flat water paddling to where the Tay empties into the Rideau.