Have You Paddled the Entire Waterway?

Did you know? This past year work was completed on 17 access points to launch into the Shubenacadie Canal and Waterway.

This is a popular paddling route with a lot of history connected to it. Originally used by the Mi’kmaq for their annual migration between Shubenacadie and Halifax Harbour, when the British arrived, they began work on water control structures for an actual canal in 1826. That went on for 30 years, but the introduction of the steam railway made the canal works obsolete before they were finished in 1861. Over time, those water control structures have deteriorated and the route has reverted to a very natural waterway.
• Rating: Easy - Intermediate - Difficult.
• Length: 114 kilometers.
• Portages: Eight (depending on water levels) – longest is 400 metres.
• Access Points: There are 18 locations where small boats can be launched.

Main bodies of water: Lakes Banook, Micmac, Charles, William, Thomas, Fletcher, Shubenacadie-Grand, plus the Shubenacadie River. Water levels vary throughout the season and it is advisable to travel the route early in the spring. Later in the year, it is advisable to wait until after a heavy rain.

Suggested Start: Public dock at 10 Nowlan St., at the south end of Banook Lake in Dartmouth

Overnight: Almost all of the canal route is bound by private land, so camping is limited. There are a few government and private campgrounds along the route. Uninhabited islands are sometimes used for camping in the rough. Total travel time for the whole waterway would be a minimum of 18 hours.

Preferred Finish: The wharf at the Village of Shubenacadie in Hants County. Alternatively, when the tides allow, the Minas Basin mud flats at Maitland. NB If you chose to follow the river all the way down to the Bay of Fundy, be aware that the only take-out point below Shubenacadie is the mud beach in Maitland. Knowledge of the daily
tide schedule is a MUST.

Once you have completed the paddle, take a picture and send it, along with your name and mailing address, to [email protected]. The SCC will mail you a sticker and a certificate celebrating your accomplishment.