Magnetawan River Whitewater Adventure Ep. 1 – Five Days in the Backcountry

Magnetawan River Whitewater Adventure Ep. 1 – Five Days in the Backcountry



In this video, Alex Traynor of Northern Scavenger and Brad Jennings of Explore The Backcountry show up at my place on Friday evening with plans of paddling the upper Magnetawan River. They’d reached out to me asking about water levels and I joined in. But my plan was to paddle from my house all the way to Georgian Bay, and I’d made some loose plans with my brother Ted who was going to solo out and find me camped on a lake part way through the trip after Brad and Alex had compleated the upper river. Of course, my dog Buck would be coming along as usual.

Alex and Brad showed up fairly late and we stayed up later than anticipated sharing stories and having a few bevvys. Our start the next day was a little slower because of it but, getting on the river at 9am, we still had plenty of time to tackle all the Upper Magnetawan River had to offer.

The water was already unseasonably high and the persistent rain had brought it up even higher. This was the latest in the season I’ve ever run the river but also the highest water levels. It made things really interesting. The bugs made things really interesting too. They are bad this year!

The Magnetawan River actually starts well to the east of me, with its headwaters deep in Algonquin Park. The portion referred to as the upper runs from Ahmic Lake to Wah-wash-kesh Lake, and the lower runs from Wah-wash-kesh Lake to Byng Inlet in Georgian Bay. It’s a legendary whitewater river that boasts deep, spectacular canyons, good camping, and good fishing too. A pool and drop river, with deep open channels, it can be paddled at any time of year but the whitewater is best early in the season. The river became more known when canoeing icon Bill Mason paddled Canal Rapids (which lies at the bottom of 100′ cliffs) in his film “Water Walker”

Here are these guys’ YouTube Channels. Check ’em out!

Northern Scavenger:–R-IJgCbUJ1gKEhJQ

Explore The Backcountry:

Ted Baird:

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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.