Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Lower Beaver Valley

A short distance north of us, the Beaver Valley broadens out into a wider landscape, beyond the scenic narrow valley here.  There are still steep slopes around the outer edges, but the valley itself becomes much wider, there is less forest and woodland, and more farmland.  And of course at the end there is Georgian Bay.

In the lower watershed, the valley is simply wider, with brief views you glimpse as you drive, of rolling fields, forests and fencerows in the distance.

Almost the same view, but actually not, a concession further north.  Here you can see the wide flat Silver Maple swamp down in the valley bottom.

That swamp is impenetrable except by canoe, and the Beaver River flows right through the middle.  Now it's a wide meandering river, quite different from the smaller torrent that bounced over the boulders (or fell over waterfalls) in the upper part of the valley.

The swamp floods high enough that you could paddle right in among the trees during the spring, as in this shot with the leaves just coming out.

And a little later in the season, the winding river makes a popular canoe route.

Soon after this the viewpoints give you a look at Blue Mountain in the distance, which marks the eastern boundary of the watershed.

And if the angle and season are right (here in early spring), you get a glimpse of the brilliant blue waters of Georgian Bay too.  The building in the lower right is the old Epping church, closed and boarded up for many years.

As you head toward Georgian Bay, you start seeing the apple orchards.  This part of the valley is known for its orchards, being the top producing area in all of Ontario.

It's the unique combination of soil and climate here that help the apple trees survive, and bear apples so productively.  I think I'll write a separate post on the details.

Finally you get to Thornbury, where the river empties into Georgian Bay and the Beaver watershed ends.  This is a very popular fishing spot especially for Rainbow Trout.

And today the river hitting Georgian Bay looked like this.  The river is open but Georgian Bay is still frozen.  The ice at the edge looked like crunched up mini-icebergs or 'bergie-bits'.

The small group of Mute Swans that has been staying around all winter here seem to be pretty tame, almost coming to beg for food.  And they bring you to the end of your introductory tour down the river.  Tomorrow I'll start on some of the other interesting features of the valley around us.


Still quite cold here in the mornings, and very windy outside tonight, with a brief blizzard of snow swirling around us at the moment!


  1. Very beautiful indeed. And those swans, they are simply lovely! :-)

  2. Stunning area and amazing photos - love the tours.

  3. You live in a beautiful place! Your pictures showcase it wonderfully.

  4. We enjoy using our two person kayak on streams and rivers. The little extra push we get makes the trips much easier. - Margy

  5. Great shots! Love the look of the swamp and the swans are so pretty!

  6. Amazing views of the valley. The swans are beauties.

  7. You have taken some great photos to show of the beauty of Beaver Valley. It's certainly a lovely area to live in!

  8. A nice trip down the valley. We don't have to many places where there are bottomland hardwood swamps like that, but a few.