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Bob & Diana McElroy / News / archive / Exploring Cache Rapids on the Barron River.

Exploring Cache Rapids on the Barron River.

2018 May 23

Our original intent was to start at Squirrel Rapids and paddle upstream on the Barron River through the Barron Canyon and return. But it was too windy for that to be a pleasant paddle. So we improvised.

We spend most of our time photographing the southern channel of Cache Rapids. The access is via the upstream end of the rapids. (It might be possible to do it starting at the bottom, but we know that the obvious route, working your way upstream along the shore doesn't work. Perhaps somewhat away from the river ... ) The ground on the south side is very rough; lots of broken rock, discontinuous rock ridges and downed trees. But we felt that the hard work was worth it. (We would love to see some lidar images of this area.)

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - explore

Getting ready to launch at Squirrel Rapids. (It seems that we always include this shot when paddling the Barron River.)

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Heading out.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Columbines in flower on the rock faces.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Aquilegia canadensis, Wild Columbine.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Approaching Cache Rapids.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The outflow of Cache Rapids.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

We photographed the northern channel from along the portage. But the flow in this channel is less and it is hard to get an unobstructed view of the water.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Northern Channel of Cache Rapids.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The intrepid photographer.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Fiddleheads. But I don't think you would want to boil these ones up for your supper.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

At the top of the portage.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Time for a snack but sitting on the bare rock to avoid the emergent poison ivy.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

We paddled over to photograph the southern channel. The flow here is somewhat more serious.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Down it goes.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

No line through there.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Southern channel of Cache Rapids on the Barron River.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Southern channel of Cache Rapids on the Barron River.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

Diana at the top edge of the mini-canyon that contains the southern channel.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

What Diana saw.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The river falls into a crack in the bedrock. No doubt this is part of the fault system that that gives rise, upstream and down, to the upper and lower Barron Canyons.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The crack / fault.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The outflow below the crack.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

The outflow below the crack.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

There is rock gully to the south of the southern channel. We used this gully to work our way down river. (This gully may also contain flow at higher water levels.) This photo shows the rock spine that separates the gully from the southern channel. The previous photos were taken from atop the rock spine.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Bob: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

After we returned to our canoe, we traveled upriver to the first campsite for lunch.

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

A rock profile. But this is "fractal" profile ...

Day trip by canoe  Cache Rapids

(photo by Diana: 2018-05-23 - map - explore

From a more distant view, the previous profile is just the nose of a larger profile. We know, that doesn't quite fit the definition of fractal, but we like the concept even if it is wrong.

A short video by Diana of the south channel (main channel) of Cache Rapids on the Barron River in Algonquin Park.

On our lunch break, we decided that rather than fight the wind paddling up to the canyon, we would return to our vehicle and check out the small pond east of the Achray road less than a kilometer beyond the Squirrel Rapids parking lot.

day trip (canoe) video

Algonquin Park Barron River Cache Rapids (Barron River) Squirrel Rapids (Barron River)