By Bill Ness and Gary Ataman
The Moira River is one of southern Ontario’s finest intermediate spring whitewater trips. The club has hosted trips on it annually for over four decades.
Traditionally, paddlers running the lower Moira River took out in the village of Latta at a broad, flat field at a bend in Hoskin Road on river right. The site, which is part of a farm, was recently sold. Paddlers have been told by the new landowners that they cannot park at the side of the road there or take out at that spot. Some have experienced unpleasant interactions with the new owners. Since there is a dangerous, unrunnable dam downriver, this prevents paddlers from exiting and effectively closes the river to us.
To preserve this important paddling resource, the WCA has been in contact with local property owners in the hope of finding an alternative take-out.
Gary Magwood, who owns a property with river access downriver from our traditional take-out spot, has generously allowed us to use a path from the river that’s a little upstream of his house. We are very fortunate to find such a welcoming landowner who will make it possible for us to continue to paddle the Moira.
On the satellite image – zoom in view, Gary Magwood’s house is the white roof in the middle of the photo, right next to the dam (which he owns).
On the Street View image, his house is the red building on the right. The path is on the left side of the image.
The old bridge pilings in the river make a good landmark for paddlers. Pull into the right shore at the pilings. Use caution at high water because it’s not a large beach like the old site and it is closer to the dam. Groups will have to carry boats up one at a time. It’s often overgrown, and Gary suggests users might want to bring their weed cutter to clear it out before their trip.
Park farther down the road (southward) towards the intersection of Hoskin & Scuttlehole Roads. Avoid parking upriver where the unfriendly landowners areas they claim they own the shoulder. That’s questionable, but there is no need to antagonize them unnecessarily. Their property starts at the beginning of the road guardrail in the photo. At the end of the trip, drive up and briefly park near Gary’s place to load up and leave. Please don’t hang around or change in front of the houses. Gary is a nice guy and we don’t want to wear out our welcome with him or his neighbours. If you want to show your appreciation with something like a Tim’s gift card or a little wine or beer, I’m sure that would make a positive impression. Landowners like Gary are hard to find and we depend on their continuing hospitality to access our favourite rivers.