Aug 22, 2012

Poonamalie, Smith Falls and Kilmarnock

What the heck are a Poonamalie and a Kilmarnock you ask?   They're lock stations on Rideau Canal of course!  But if your an avid follower then you know that already ;-)  Not my first visits.  Poonamalie is here    and Kilmarnock is here

But, I had never paddled north of Poonamalie to Smith Falls before so we decided to give that one a go.   Not a very long paddle but given that we hadn't been on the water in almost 2 months there was no complaints from us or our muscles.

For the "details" of Poonamalie Lock, go here.   (Click image for bigger view)

The Poonamalie Lockstation.  This is a very pretty lockstation located just minutes from Smith Falls.  Very easy put in for the canoe, a lovely canal and friendly staff.
The lock is only 1 of 3 that still has a used lockmasters house.   I couldn't image a nicer spot to live.
Looking north along the canal, the direction we're headed this time.
Someone at the lock has a green thumb, planting flowers this year.  A nice touch.
The paddle from Poonamalie to Smith Falls was a pretty typical stretch of the northern part of the Rideau, swamps, lowlands, marsh, twists and turns, nothing that we hadn't seen before.   Along the way we spotted Herons, an Osprey, a baby Loon, Ducks and a water snake of some type.   I didn't bring my big zoom so no photos of any of those, or in the case of the snake I couldn't get the camera out soon enough.  Has me thinking I should be using my 18-200mm for these trips vice my 17-50mm.

You'll know when you hit Smith Falls lock, this monstrosity suddenly appears;

This is a  raised bascule bridge. This Scherzer rolling-lift railway bridge was built in 1912-13 and was used until the rail line ceased operation in 1984. Since then it has been permanently kept in the raised position. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1983.  It's in pretty rough shape with trees growing out of it and most of the wood now gone but still quite the sight.

The paddle back was pretty uneventful.   We poked around and did a very slow paddle for the entire trip and we were just under 2 hours.  It could be done in an hour if necessary.  I didn't have my GPS but I would judge 5-6km's round trip.

We poked around Poonamalie for a bit and took most of the above lock photos before starting back through Smith Falls where we stopped for an after paddle tradition - Timmies Ice Cap's ;-)

I've always found the Kilmarnock Lock to be kinda interesting and Jen hadn't seen it before so we made a stop.   It's a kinda unknown and over looked lock in my opinion.   It only has to raise and lower boats about 2.2 feet, definitely the smallest on the canal but it has an interesting swing bridge right in the middle of the lock.

The lock station is set up the hill a bit from the lock itself.   As it was a weekday, boat traffic was pretty light, thus the lockmaster chilling out a bit ;-)
Looking East from the lock.
The swing bridge right in the middle of the lock.   
So that was our day trip, nothing to stressful ;-) given that we're on vacation.   Looking at a trip over to Gatineau at some point and down to Kingston as well.  Hope to visit some of the locks on the south side of Smith Falls during that trip.


  1. What a lovely place. Having grown up in Minnesota, I know it always like this but it's sure lovely when it is, isn't it?

    I noticed you added me to your list of favorite blogs. Thanks so much! If I ever get one of those lists started, you'll definitely have a place on it. You take lovely photos and I love your writing style.

    1. Thank you Cynthia for the kind words.

      I'm enjoying following your blog as your a lot more regular in your writing then several of the other Ecuador blogs. Your posts have been extremely helpful and enlightening about life in Ecuador for expats.

  2. Beautiful!

    I love the clouds reflecting on the water. :)

    So happy for you both, that you're able to get out paddling again and the move went well and you're on holiday. Excellent, all around!