River Route 9: The Wild Cat River
|Record #: LQR0033||Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019||Last Full Update: 06 Nov 2014|
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lt is recommended that users approach all canoe routes, portages and campsites in a safe and responsible manner. Conditions can change through fluctuating water levels, natural debris, and logging activity. Arrangements must be made directly with the owners of the portages and campsites.
South Shore Connect.ca and Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association are not liable for any errors or omissions in this guide.
|Located In||South Shore Region|
|Where To Find Us||
|Areas Served||Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)|
|Contact||Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA|
|Description & Services|
|Information||THE WILD CAT RIVER RIVER ROUTE 9
Like the Pleasant River, the Wildcat is a short run with long stillwaters and exciting rapids in an isolated setting.
Where: West of Molega lake
Skill Level: Intermediate, Rapids- Class 1-3
Time: Two day trip in combination with the Pleasant River or Molega Lake
Distance: 7 km (21 for two day trip)
Start: Pleasant River or Molega Lake
Finish: Echo Lodge
Most of this twisty river flows through the Wildcat Indian Reserve, a Mi’kmaq community of 35 residents, before joining the mighty Medway. It connects two huge lakes, Molega and Ponhook. The only access on the river itself is at a bridge on the reserve but this is half way down the river. A better access point is from the Pleasant River or Molega Lake to make a longer trip (see Access Points below). A large island just past the reserve bridge is being developed by the Acadian Band Council as a campground with nature trails and a foot bridge to the mainland. Commonly seen wildife here include nesting loons, bald eagles and osprey.
Water Safety Notes - (See River Notes)
This route is not as isolated as the Pleasant River since it passes through the Wildcat Indian Reserve with homes next to the bridge. But the rest of the route is inaccessible so you are on your own. As with the Pleasant River, keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to run the rapids. Prescout the rapids to plan your route and check water levels. Allow plenty of extra time for scouting and portaging if necessary so you don’t get caught by nightfall.
Rapid 1 - Soon after you enter the river, you’ll see a dam at Tait Run with a short drop through a sluiceway that is runnable. If you don’t want to run it, take out river left for a short easy haul across. A small cluster of classy old cabins can be seen river right. Soon after heading south, you pass a sign that says Purgatory Cove and head into a wide stillwater.
Rapid 2 - Gloade’s Falls.Gloade (or Glode) is a common Mi’kmaq family name. This falls is a long, exciting rapid with big standing waves at the end. Go either way around a large island above the falls and pull over river left to scout the rapids or portage 500m.
Rapid 3 - After a very short paddle, you find a short set of rapids ending in an old eel wier that you can paddle through.
Rapid 4 - Wild Cat Falls.Take out well before the falls on river right. An easy portage of 75m takes you through an open forest of large trees to a good camping spot. The end of this run has a very tight turn through some large boulders. It is difficult for most canoes but may be done in a kayak or play boat if you have intermediate skills. Portaging is highly recommended for most boats but it’s still irresistible to stand at the end of the run and plot your imagined course through. From here, it’s a short paddle to where the Wildcat joins the Medway and easy flat paddling to Echo Lodge - unless of course the wind is blowing up river.
Tait Run- Wilderness camping
Wildcat Indian Reserve - A new campground is being developed on the island with pit toilets, tables and stone fireplaces. Call the Band Council at (902)682-2113 to arrange camping. The Band office is on the mainland just behind the footbridge to the island (looking at it from the river) and there’s a small grocery store next door. The Band also rents canoes and kayaks.
Wildcat Falls - Wilderness camping
Points of Interest
1 - Echo Lodge
This old log building built on a lovely spot where the river is wide and slow dates from around 1920. The colourful characters who built it are described in Guides of the North Woodsby Mike Parker (Page 44-46). Nevis was an American woman (no first name is given) who wanted to open a lodge and enlisted the help of local “all round woodsman” and bootlegger Jim McLeod. He was a tall man who liked his rum and she was a “big, hard woman.” On one occasion, she beat up a Mountie and inspector after they came to check on Jim’s still. The two were famous for their fights. Apparently, Nevis would shoot at Jim or set him on fire with kerosene causing him to jump in the lake. They ran the lodge for nearly 40 years.
How to get there
See Pleasant River- River Route 7
See Molega Lake - Lake Route 7
Exit Point 1 - Boat Launch
Just below Echo Lodge on the Medway River. Turn onto the Echo Lodge Road off Route 8 between Liverpool and Caledonia. This road is 2.7 kms. from South Brookfield or about 2 km past the Cameron Brook Provincial Park heading north. Drive 2.4 kms until the road splits in three. Take the middle lane and then the right lane when the road branches again. A small loop and ramp give access to the Medway River. Park off to the side so not to block other vehicles.
Exit Point 2 - Cameron Lake
Park at the Cameron Brook Provincial Park off Route 8. Exit Cameron Lake on the other side of the highway from the park south of the bridge.
The Christopher Lakes- Lake Route 3
Ponhook Lake- Lake Route 8
For more information
Wildcat Outfitters - 902-682-2822
Topographic map - Bridgewater 21 A/7
|Eligibility||Ages: 16 year(s) and up
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level
|Tags||Boat Launch ; Canoe/Kayak ; Maps ; NS Trail Guide ; Recreation Categories ; South Shore Connect|
|Categories - General||Canoeing ; Kayaking ; Maps ; Recreational Rivers|