By Dorothy Mitchell — Ever since I moved to Napanee 5 years ago I have always wanted to kayak on the Salmon River. We have driven by the boat launch so many times and almost every time I went by I would say “Kayaking on the Salmon River is on my bucket list”. I had only kayaked on the Napanee River from my house and from the King Street boat launch.
Recently some of my girlfriends and I decided to try this new adventure and check Salmon River off my list. I loaded up our kayaks in the back of the truck and off we went. It is only about a 15 minute drive from Napanee. The boat launch can be found just south of Roblin on the east side of County Road 41. Watch of the boat launch sign just before you go over the bridge. We are so lucky to have such beauty so close to home.
We met up with a group of ladies that go out exploring regularly so we were very happy to be invited along. The plan to kayak 3 to 4 hours and stop somewhere along the way for a picnic. That is a long paddle for someone that does not kayak often enough. My longest distance at this point was about 6 km. This sounded like a lot farther to go based on the amount of time that was planned but we were game to give it a try.
The boat launch was easy. You can unload right on the river so there is no need to carry the kayaks too far.
Have you ever dreamed of kayaking in some exotic place like the Amazon? Well this trip up the Salmon River felt just like that, at least in my vivid imagination. There are all kinds of sounds of birds beckoning you to explore. You can’t see them but you hear them all the time. Music to paddle by. The scenery is stunning, nothing but trees and paddlers.
After about 6 kilometres I headed back towards the launch with one of the gang, but the rest continued on. My kayak is a 10 foot sit on kayak. It makes it very easy to get in and out of but it is not very fast or streamlined . I struggled a bit to keep up with the longer kayaks that all had rudders on them. That said, my friend and I did paddle almost 12 kilometres in 3 hours, which was a new record for us. We did it a very good pace and were quite proud of ourselves.
When I got home I immediately started shopping for a sleeker kayak with a rudder so I could stay on course and of course keep up with the others. Make sure if you plan to take up kayaking get advice from the experts. Longer kayaks with rudders do much better then my wide and short version.
But for anyone that enjoys kayaking a trip up the Salmon River is a must. Next time I will go farther.
About Dorothy Mitchell:
Dorothy grew up in Ajax, Ontario and moved to Napanee in 2016. She loves to hike, bike, kayak and explore beautiful L&A County. She retired in 2009 after 33 years with Canada Post and enjoys travelling with her husband to exotic places around the world.