King Fisher Route, South Nation River
|Character:||Shallow Start, One Portage|
King Fisher Route
By South Nation Conservation Authority
The King Fisher Route starts in the Village of Chesterville beyond the Eric T. Casselman Dam. To access the Dam by car, follow Highway 43 to the next right after Queen St., follow to the end, turn right onto County road 7, turn onto William St., and locate the parking lot.
During the summer the water is quite low and towing your canoe or kayak may be necessary for up to 4 kilometers before deeper waters are found. You will have no trouble canoeing the waters from further downstream as you pass Berwick and eventually arrive in Crysler. A set of floating orange and white buoys indicate the approaching weir, from this point you must portage to the former site of the St. John's Anglican Church. Take your canoe or kayak out of the water at the Crysler Village Park on your right. Portage North along Second St., turn left onto Queen St., go over the bridge and turn right on the first street after the bridge. There is a gravel path that leads down to the river. This is your access point. The water level is good all year around from Crysler to Casselman. A rest stop can be made at St. Albert Conservation Area where you can also sample some of Ontario's finest cheese and curds at the St. Albert co-op cheese factory.
Downstream from the village of St. Albert you will reach Casselman where you will find High Falls Conservation Area. There, you must remove your watercraft at the boat launch before the weir just downstream. High Falls offers a picnic area, outdoor toilets, garbage cans, and a boat launch.
Artifacts dating back to 300 B.C. have been discovered along this particular route just south of Chesterville. Pottery shards have also been discovered and are believed to be of Iroquoian origin!
The Belted Kingfisher, which has been spotted along the SNR can hover over water and then plunge in to catch its fish. The Kingfisher can be identified by its large head and rattling call.
The White Pine is Ontario's provincial tree. The White Pine tree (featured as the logo for South Nation Conservation) has played a major role as a source of soft wood lumber in Eastern Canada. The SNR was once lined with majestic forests of this magnificent tree.
Constant erosion of the SNR banks can pose water quality problems. Silt and sediment build up are the results of bank erosion. Erosion also means a loss of property to the landowner. Rocks have been strategically placed on the river banks in heavy risk erosion areas to prevent extensive erosion. These rocks are called rip rap.