A Winter Canoe Excursion
It was a sunny, warm winter afternoon and the original plan had been to hit the slopes. But the idea of launching the canoe for a winter paddle had come up a few times, and we decided this was the day. We loaded up our Swift canoe and aimed for our usual launch spot in Epping. En route, we started considering what would be different about paddling past snow-lined river banks. What we hadn’t considered is what would be different about just getting there. A few of our usual roads are no winter maintenance, the parking lots we rely on were thigh deep, and the launch at Epping was totally iced in.
Not to be discouraged, we headed to Heathcote, which was also totally iced in. We settled for a sideroad between the two, where we could see there was enough open water to paddle upstream for a while. After finding a spot where the ice wasn’t too thick along the shore, we slid the canoe, toboggan-style into the river. The toughest part was choosing a section of shore to stand on that was actually ground, not ice or snow. Once on the water, we quickly learned some key things about winter canoeing. Check out the photos below for a look at a beautiful afternoon on the Beaver River.