The Tay River is located in Lanark County and is a tributary of the Rideau River. The river starts at Bobs Lake in Tay Valley and proceeds northeast to Perth. It covers 95 kilometers of stunning countryside, through the historic town of Perth, Ontario, and drains into the Ottawa River.
The Rideau Canal, built between 1826 and 1832 as a safe inland military route from Kingston to Ottawa, and included the Tay Canal, an off-shoot of the Lower Rideau Lake. After commerical uses waned, the area became a mecca for recreation.
Today, the Tay Canal is home to the Tay River Trail, an historic pathway and portage site that wares back to the military settlement of Perth-Upon-Tay. It is also home to wonderful events, including the Stewart Park Music Festival.
For those who enjoy canoeing and kayaking trips, the Tay River may be considered in three distinct sections:
- The ‘upper’ Tay River, which runs six kms. (four miles) from near the outlet of Bobs Lake, at Bolingbroke, to Christie Lake – this section is largely uninhabited and optionally includes crossing Christie Lake (six kms.).
- The ‘middle’ Tay, covering the 17 km. (eleven mile) section from Christie Lake to Perth – has a magnificent mixture of isolation, historic mills, and, near the end, houses, a golf course and small dams (take out in Perth at Haggart Dam or portage to the Perth Basin and have lunch at a great restaurant).
- The ‘lower’ section, which is the ten km. long, Tay Canal, from Perth to the Beveridge Locks at Lower Rideau Lake, through the Tay marsh.