Sky, Isaac, Boat Lake and Rankin River Paddling Route
Access/Launch: This river system has multiple options to start or finish from open lake to river travel or a combination of both. Paddlers can choose the option most appealing to their time frame and paddling level making the most out of this unique lake and river system.
Sky Lake Access #1: Is the start point if the total 18 kilometers of paddling available is desired. It can be accessed at a boat launch on the south base of Sky Lake off Highway 6 turning west from Mar and heading towards Lake Huron to the west on Red Bay Road. The Sky Lake put in is located on your left hand side as you drive past the southern shore of Sky Lake a boat launch and portable toilet is visible at this location.
Isaac Lake Access #2: The Isaac Lake area can be accessed via Isaac Lake Road west off of Highway 6 at the Isaac Lake Management Area (or locally known as the old Isaac Lake Fire Station) a dock, parking and a boat launch is available here.
Boat Lake Access #3: To shorten the trip or to just paddle the lake systems (Sky to Boat Lake) follow Hwy 13 from either the town of Wiarton heading west towards Oliphant or from Oliphant heading east one can park at the old bridge located before the new bridge heading west or after heading east. Parking and washrooms are available here at no charge.
Rankin River to Sauble Falls: The Rankin River route is best accessed via Boat Lake access at off Hwy 13 from here a short paddle to the northwest base is required where the entrance to the Rankin River begins. NOTE: Currently this section is not recommended. Multiple log jams makes this route impassable do not attempt.
Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate ** (Caution must be exercised while traveling the Rankin River as in spots trees obstruct this river, please contact us before traveling this route for details). **
Length: A total of up to 18 kilometers of paddling with shorter options also available. Sky Lake to Isaac Lake paddle approx. 7 km Boat Lake access to Rankin Dam approx. 7 km Rankin River to Sauble Falls approx. 4 km (Please contact us as this portion of the route has many downed trees, we will be scouting this after the spring run off ceases and update this page).
Description/Trip Background: The Rankin River is an 18-kilometer canoe route and is located in a unique setting where the interplay between geo physical features of drumlins, limestone plains and secondary escarpment features and water, provide for a river system quite unlike any others. The upper lakes (Sky, Isaac, and Boat Lake), marshes, and wetlands feed the south flowing river that joins into the Sauble River above Sauble Falls which eventually empties into Lake Huron.
Maps/Charts: Federal Topographical Maps 31 A/14, 41 A/1
Fees: No Launch fees, Shuttle fees start at $15.00 to $25.00 dependant on requirements and the number of boats. Parking at Sauble Falls Provincial Park is available for a fee. Alternative parking can be sought at the base of the Rankin River at no charge. All other access points have no parking fee. There are quite a few campgrounds in the Oliphant and Sauble Beach area check availability in advance as the sites fill up quickly during the summer season.
Other: Caution must be exercised on Boat Lake as strong winds can make for rough travel on this water body. Portage skills in the Rankin River portion are a must. Birding, fishing and wildlife make this trip a great nature safari. The Rankin Dam must be portaged exercise caution when approaching the portage is on river left and offers a good place for a rest.
Guided Option: Join us on a relaxing day excursion where you will paddle the chain of lakes, marshes and two rivers while taking in the natural beauty of this unique watershed. This route is known locally as the Bruce Peninsula "Portage". Before highways existed this was the main route for travellers traversing between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Not only will you be travelling a historic river but also a lake system that boasts iconic wildlife known to Canada. The beaver, muskrat, as well as, many other animals and a wide variety of birds make this area home providing a perfect setting for enjoying wildlife and a unique river ecosystem. The tour will begin at Sky Lakes boat launch, located just west of Hwy 6 after the town of Wiarton at 9:00 AM on the day chosen. From here, after a quick review of safety and paddling skills and any other questions or concerns, the group will depart. We will begin our tour through a variety of lakes and wetland areas where an abundance of wildlife and aquatic species provide an interesting and opportune moment of nature viewing. After a morning of paddling the group will break for lunch then our journey will continue down the Rankin River (dependent on river conditions) were we will finish at our Sauble Falls location. NOTE: This tour may be shortened if river conditions are not acceptable for travel check back for updates.
Please contact us for details or use button below to book: