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Paddling the Rideau Canal
Jones Falls to Morton Bay
by: Don MacKay

Route: Jones Falls Lockstation to Morton Bay
Time: 0.5 - 1 day
Best Map: NTS 31C/9 and/or Chart 1513
Online: Regional Map - Paddler's Trip Planner (use BACK button to return)

Directions: Turn onto Jones Falls Road off of HWY 15 roughly half-way between Kingston, Ontario and Smiths Falls, Ontario. Approximately 5 km from HWY 15.

Put-In: At the bottom end of Jones Falls Lockstation onto White Fish Lake.

Take-Out: Same as put-in.

Duration: A half-day or an entire day.

Difficulty: Easy. This area is fairly protected from winds.

Route: Travel south along the west shore and back on the opposite shore.

Natural Features: This area is in the heart of the Frontenac Axis (an area of Canadian Shield that rises up). The terrain is rocky shoreline with a mixture of vegetation. The highlight is Morton Bay. This bay appears after going through a narrow marked channel. As one passes down the bay on the right side, two large rock features rise skyward: Rock Dunder and Dunders Mate. This is a popular place to swim, fish, and take a stretch. The paddling distance to the entrance of Morton Bay is 2.2 km. To the end of the bay, the distance is 6.4 km.

Historical Features: Jones Falls Lockstation was built from 1826-1832 as a part of a British military waterway connecting various rivers, lakes and beaver meadows. The Rideau Canal would allow men, troops, and vessels to travel to the Great Lakes in time of crisis without depending on the St. Lawrence River.

Jones Falls is comprised of four large locks, an 1843 functioning blacksmith shop, a 1841 period staffed defensible lockmasters house, the third largest dam in the world (at the time that it was built) and scenic beauty.

The Morton Dam, located at the end of Morton Bay, was also constructed from 1826-1832. This dam helps to control the water levels on White Fish Lake. At one point, a log guard house was erected to defend the canal during the Upper Canada Rebellions.

Alternate Route: If a longer trip is desired, park a car at Upper Brewers Lockstation or at Brass Point Bridge. Both of these Rideau Canal structures are located just off of HWY 15. They are located south of Jones Falls. Parking is available at both. It is best to start here due to the southern prevailing winds.

    The paddling distance from Upper Brewers to Jones Falls: 17.3 km.
    The paddling distance from Brass Point Bridge to Jones Falls: 10.8 km.
This canoe route produced by:
Don MacKay
Parks Canada Agency


Comments: send me email: Ken Watson

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