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Canal Slides, Isle La Fontaine.
Grant Settlement Road
The Canal Slides are marked on Ontario Topographic map
"Cobden 31F/10" at GR 364E, 5066N. Do not attempt this trip except at low water
(July/August) and you must be an experienced canoeist and have map, compas and
survival training and gear. The Historical Society will happily
recommend guides who
know the area if you wish to be taken to this site.
Take Foresters Falls road east out of the village until you
come to the first intersection.
Turn North onto the Grant Settlement Road and proceed 6.3k
until you reach "McCoy Road" on your left. Immediately turn right onto the
unnamed river access road and proceed to the parking lot. Access to this area
is by kind permission of Wilderness Tours.
Travel by canoe immediately upstream from the put in up the
short carry-over on river right. Once upstream and away from the current, cross
the river to Isle la Fontaine and proceed around the downstream edge of the
island until you reach the Black Velvet Rapids of the "Middle Channel". Carry
over the causeway that creates these rapids,and proceed about .3k keeping the
Island on your left, until you come to a dry runout choked with bush and
grasses. Disembark on the opposite side of the channel and hike upriver until
you come to a lake. Keep the lake on your left as you skirt around, rejoining
the slides at the top of the lake. This is where the slides begin.
For any hardcore logging buff, this is a worthwhile trip.
The Canal Slides were created when even the mighty Ottawa River was not big
enough to get the logs to market quick enough, and so channels were widened to
increase throughput during high water. In canal Slides, the rocks choking the
shallow channel were lifted out and placed on the shoreline to make a canal and
towpath which is clearly visible a hundred and fifty years later. This is one
of the few lasting testaments to the days when almost everything was made of
wood, thereby leaving no lasting record.