The Minden Wild Water Preserve is a beautiful 800m stretch of sculpted whitewater course on the Gull River near Minden, Ontario. Owned and operated by Whitewater Ontario, this spot has great campsites for overnight trips and is one of the best park-and-play spots around.
Minden Wild Water Preserve
The Minden Wild Water Preserve is a narrow stretch of whitewater on the Gull River featuring a perfectly sculpted slalom kayak and canoe race course. Operated by Whitewater Ontario, this great park-and-play site just 3½ hours from Ottawa features campsites with all the amenities and a perfect 800m stretch of Class II-IV whitewater, as well as an event hall that's available for day and weekend rentals.
Whitewater Ontario provides lots campsites with great amenities for rent. They have 100 acres of land set aside with trails for hiking and biking or cross-country skiing, and the campsites feature:
- well drained sites with picnic tables and fire pits
- large and small picnic shelters
- indoor and outdoor washroom facilities
- hot and cold running water
Campsites are $10 for Whitewater Ontario members or $15/night for non-members. They also have parking ($2) and firewood ($5/$8).
The river's whitewater section is 800 meters long and ranges from Class II to IV. The river is most difficult at the top ending in Class II at the washout. The class of the river is a result of the fast pushy water, especially at high levels and the nasty consequences of a swim on most of the river. The river is dam controlled and runs from a large eddy pool below the dam, through a small drop into a channel that runs to Earl's hole, a popular playspot. The river below the eddies of Earl's run's in a wide C-curve and ends at Whitehorse Falls. The top section of the Gull is for skilled paddlers only. The consequences of a swim are exceptionally nasty on the top half of the river.
Whitehorse falls runs into a large eddy pool, a popular starting point for open boats and intermediate paddlers. The middle of the river runs in through a number of bends, offering lots of opportunities to practice river running skill. Caution is required due to a number of rocks quite capable of pinning a boat in a broach pin. The river here is fast and relatively shallow. The middle section ends in a large eddy pool on river right, next to a footbridge and walking access to County Road #20. There is a large rock on river left that is boof-able into a smallish eddy at higher water.
While the middle section is relatively easier than the top section, the consequences of a swim are not pleasant. A solid roll is pretty much a requirement, especially given the upcoming Otter Slide.
The last third of the Gull runs past a large rock midline with a few micro eddies on river right and one large one of river left before coming to the Otter Slide. The Otter Slide is a fast shallow slide that ends in a few standing waves that can be surfable. Swimming or going over the Otter Slide is dangerous due to how shallow it is and the numerous small rock outcroppings at the base. If you find your self swimming above it, abandon your gear and swim like a maniac for the shore.
The lower lake and washout area is appropriate for beginners. The outwash from the Otter Slide can form a surfable wave and two strong eddy lines for practicing turns. At low lake levels a large rock shelf emerges on river left and a small hole forms. At lower lake levels, a ledge and hole appears on river right. Be cautious at these small features as the shallowness of the features can make an upstream flip disasterous.
River Flow Spring flows range from 25 m3/second - 50 m3/second (825 cfs - 1650 cfs). International races run with flows at 22-28 m3/second (725 cfs to 925 cfs). Usual summer flows range from 10 m3/second - 18 m3/second. Below 10 m3/second is too shallow and can be dangerous.
Gear Rental from BoatWerks
The best place to rent some boats is the Minden BoatWerks location. They'll have all the boats, paddles and other gear you'll need, plus some helpful expertise!
Local Weather Forecast
You can check out Minden for the closest weather forecast.
View Minden Wild Water Preserve in a larger map