Water bonding is a part of life for those in Southwest Nova Scotia. Residents either pursue the honourable profession of fishing, have a relative who does, or they've got a small boat of their own that that they like to paddle or motor about in.
There's a wealth of lakes and waterways to explore in the region. It's a paddler's paradise. Each spring, canoe rallies attract hundreds of participants, whether it's the Forest Glen Fun Run that's been taking place the last Saturday in April for close to 30 years, or the Barrington River or Clyde River runs that take place in May.
Andrew Smith has written an excellent reference book for the area - Paddling the Tobeatic - available through Amazon. He is a member of the Southwest Paddlers.
The coastline of Southwest Nova is spectacular for sea kayaking as well. Paddlers can experience the excitement of smashing through choppy waves or rock hopping off the coast. Others might prefer the more serene environment that deep protected bays and coves provide. Check out the South West Paddlers website for valuable information on many different access sites including topographic references, and lat/long coordinates.
This year is the first for a sea kayak symposium, taking place Sept. 20-23 in Lower Argyle. The event is drawing close to 100 registrants from across Canada and the United States. The symposium coincides with the larger tides of autumn and will also bring visitors to the area when they might not normally visit.
As for tours and rentals, the Song of the Paddle is a Yarmouth County business specializing in kayak and canoe boats and accessories. Owner Becky Cottreau offers guided paddles through the serene wilderness of the Tri-County inland waterways.
Hinterland Adventures & Gear, located in Weymouth Mills, specialize in kayaking tours on the tidal Sissiboo River and in St. Mary's Bay, as well as wilderness canoe tours. They also rent kayaks and canoes, complete with life jackets, bailers, throw lines, and foam carriers for your vehicle.