Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Claybanks

It was long past time to wash the dust off my canoe, and I have been wanting to see the claybanks from the water where you actually get a good view of them.  So we put in at Christie Beach, and paddled west on Georgian Bay, picking a sunny day with little wind so the bay would be calm.

The long delay in getting my canoe on the water this year reflects how busy we've been.  This won't be happening next year after we move!  More time for this sort of stuff!

You can see the high steep claybanks along the shoreline from the beach where we started.  Most of the beach is private, but there's a small public park where the road meets the shore.  I've only seen them from standing at the top, when we walked in the trail to see them.  But you get a VERY different view from the shore or the water!

We paddled for quite a distance, probably over 2 km, with the claybanks on our left, ...

... and Georgian Bay on the right.  You can see the Bayview Escarpment above the tank range in the distance and a tiny bit of white on the water at the left which is the sailboats and tiny lighthouse in Meaford harbour.

The claybanks are more varied than I expected, with shallow gullies, trees growing on some parts of the steep slopes (often leaning downhill) and erosion creating an uneven appearance.

The gully on the left in the upper photo seemed to have a small waterfall or seepage eroding into the shale.  You can see the bluish-grey colour of the shale where it's eroded here.  The claybanks are a huge thick layer of shale, below the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment known as the Georgian Bay Formation.

Then you come to the broad open slopes of the highest, steepest part of the claybanks.  This is the only part I had seen, and only from the top.  If you want to read about that visit, check it out here.

I actually spotted two people standing at the top, presumably where the trail comes out to the edge.

Can you see them in this photo?  They're about 2/3rds of the way across the top from the left, in a clear spot to the left of two white birch trees.  You can use their height to estimate the height of the cliff.

This formation is almost pure shale, with only a few very thin layers of limestone.  I'm not sure it would be physically possible to climb this slope unless you were outfitted with spikes and an ice axe for mountain climbing!

After nearly an hour we pulled into a tiny narrow beach beyond those open slopes and enjoyed our lunch, before paddling back to the east.  A good adventure - a beautiful day and a new place I've been wanting to see.  And the dust is now washed off the canoe.

 Linking to:


  1. I bet this sure was an enjoyable day...

  2. A fine day to be outdoors and in the water. Lovely photos indeed.

  3. Beautiful! I really like the one of the gully, for some reason. It almost looks like a broken heart?

  4. Gliding along in a canoe, without a headwind, is one of life's serene pleasures.

  5. Hello, beautiful views from the canoe. The claybanks are interesting. A lovely day out on the water.
    Happy Friday! Wishing you a great day and weekend!

  6. What an incredible day! Lucky you!

  7. So nice to get out on the Bay, always enjoyed the views form the water, like you said so different. Great photos again as usual.

  8. It is interesting how the view changes from the water level. Glad you got out for some paddling.

  9. It sounds like a great adventure. The clay banks are impressive and on the water you do get a different perspective.

  10. More paddling to come,and what a view from the water. That would be a massive slide if those people ventured out a little further.

  11. Interesting trip on a beautiful day.

  12. Now this is the life! I like taking trips on the water like this, especially when someone else is doing all the work. :-)

  13. That sure is one nice looking red canoe.

  14. I enjoyed over read your blog post.
    Your blog have nice information, I got good idea from this amazing blog.
    I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again…