Canoe Camp the Mississauga River

Added by Nathan Wheeler

This is an asome one day trip , or a two day camping trip , just outside Buckhorn Ontario

We start the trip with a stop at the take-out spot, at the bottom . If we can, we will leave a car at the take-out. There is a nice toilet at the take-out, and a detailed map showing the route.

We then drive the other car ~20minutes or so, to the top put-in location (optionally a nice friend of yours could drop you and the canoe(s) off at the top).

Just before we get to the top put-in, we generally stop at the first bridge that we will canoe under. This gives a chance to see water levels, and plan which spot is best to go under the bridge...generally to the west most side of the bridge. If a friend is dropping you off, have them stop here to catch you going by on camera. (Warning there is poison ivy besides the road at the west end of the bridge).

If you start with your canoes at the top parking area, you begin with a portage right away.... We actually try to drop the canoes just below the dam to avoid this (from a nice cottagers place).

When the canoes are in the water we load the canoes with lunch/water/camping gear, and get to paddling. After a little rapid trill, which may require some foot shoving and wading, you get to the first bridge.

There is a lot of calm and peaceful paddling but there is also a nice variety of fun rapids. There are small rapids for beginners and up to class 3 for more advanced paddlers. It is recommended to stop at the top of each rapid and check out where you would go and look for obsturctions. Logs occasionally will go down the rapids so it could be a bit differnet each year. This will also give you a chance to decide if you want to portage. There are nice Yellow Portage marks all along the way. We don't take most of them, but stop, check it out, and be sure you are confident before proceeding. There are some that you can "line" portage, a little walk can help you decide the best way to proceed safely.

With one canoe it will be 5-7 hours dipending if you paddle consistently. I have been down with a group of 6 canoes and it turned into a 10 hour trip, due to waiting at the rapid runs, portages, and a longer lunch.

There are 4 to 6 mandatory portages, depending on water levels.

There are camp sites (#600-605) along the river that you can book on the Ontario parks site Under Kawartha highlands. I have taken this trip 7 times so far, and have only seen people at a spot once, and I think they were only doing lunch...not camping.

I made two videos of the trip. A short trailer video which shoes some of the exciting bits:

And a longer one which gives a more complete view:

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A trip to remember!

What is the best time to canoe this river? We went in October and the water level was so low we had 12 portages. It was super fun but very dangerous if attempted.


Awesome trip. True Canadian Canoe trip. Nice mix of tranquil nature and exciting rapids. Awesome day trip with good water levels. Been on this trip multiple times

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