I have been camping almost every weekend since I moved up to Muskoka. It’s been amazing but on this weekend I’d decided to take a break and head home to see my family. That left the Sunday open for a day trip though and I had been hearing about this place called Moon River since I’d arrived, so I figured it was time to check it out!
I put my boat up on my truck and followed the directions I’d found online to Moon River Cottages. I had heard that this was a good place to park and launch your boat from (Thanks Jan! ) so I figured I would look into it.
The last 5 km’s or so are on a dirt road that is very narrow. I had to take it really slowly as there were many twists and turns and I didn’t want to hit someone head on coming from the other direction.
Eventually, I came out to the Moon River Cottages and made my way to the office to pay the $10.00 parking fee and launch my kayak.
I had heard that Moon River had crown land sites on it and I also wanted to see what they were like. This area is about a 45 minute drive from where I live and if the sites were good, I would come back another time and do some camping here.
I set off to head towards the falls first and check them out, paddling alongside some pretty scenery en route.
After paddling for a bit I came up to my first campsite. It looked pretty nice and I docked my boat on the rocks and got out to take a better look!
It was a lovely site, the sign mentioned there might be a privy but I had my flip flops on atm and didn’t want to walk too far into the bush to look for it. I did take a look but didn’t see one. What I did see was lots of trash! How disappointing. As I always carry a few plastic bags with me in my backpack, I got one out and started cleaning up the garbage.
I decided since the day didn’t have much of an agenda except exploring, my favorite thing to do, I would spend the time here cleaning up as many campsites as I could while I was here today. I couldn’t believe that people could come use these amazingly beautiful campsites, that were free, mind you, and just leave garbage everywhere. It shocked me that people could do this!
After I cleaned up I continued on my trip towards the falls and found them just after the next bend.
There were lots of people climbing all over the rocks and playing in the water and even a few fishing. I did my best to get some shots in between all of that and catch the beauty of the falls.
I stayed for a bit and then decided to continue on my mission of finding campsites and cleaning them up if need be. The next one wasn’t too far from the falls and I once again, found it littered with trash. This one had mostly cigarette butts EVERYWHERE and lots of cans, metal, foil and even some glass.
I cleaned it up as best I could then explored a little finding 2 privy’s not too far from the site.
I also found some sort of skeleton… crab maybe?
I headed onwards out of the bay where the falls were located and back in the direction of Moon River Cottages but on the opposite side of the shore. I found this cool area that was closed off by rocks, and stopped here for a swim and to take some pictures.
I also picked up more trash. I was up to two grocery bags now and a firework thingy I’d seen in the water that was about the size of my pump.
I had a refreshing swim as the day was pretty hot, then I jumped back in my kayak and continued on my exploration of the river.
I came across another site but thankfully there was no garbage on it which made me happy. I kept paddling enjoying the day and the views.
I crossed the river and saw a few really nice sites and stopped in to explore one of them. There was a bit of trash but it wasn’t too dirty and the site also had a privy on it. I took a look at the map and noticed there was a bay just around the corner from where I was and wanted to check it out, so off I went to do so!
The bay was really really awesome. It was full of water plants and there was only a small opening into it. There were no motor boats here or seadoo’s and it was exactly what I was looking for! I was a very happy camper!!!
I followed the water trail in and kept padding as far as I could go.
According to my GPS I was actually on land right now and there was no water showing where I was. So incredibly cool. This is the type of paddling I really love to do. Small little creeks and streams where the water is calm, there are no motor boats and the possibility of seeing wildlife is a bit greater. Not that I was rewarded with any sightings but you never know unless you try!
I paddled on still going deeper into umm, well, I’m not really sure as there wasn’t anything on the map, but I wanted to go as far as I was able to.
It ended up as far as I was able to was the area I was in. I turned around carefully as the waterway was not very wide and sadly headed back out from where I came.
Eventually I made it back to the bay I came into and started on my way back to the Moon River Cottages.
About 20 minutes later I arrived back at the Moon River boat launch. It was a bit congested so the owner came out and helped me carry my boat to my truck instead of driving the truck down to the water to load it. There were a few parties exiting and this was just an easier option. I tied Tangii back up on my car and headed back out the windy bumpy one lane road and back to Port Carling.
It was the perfect spot to do a day trip and I enjoyed my time on Moon River very much. I managed to pack out 3 grocery bags of garbage as well and that made me feel good, although I was sad that it was necessary. I will definitely be back to explore the area a bit more and go back into that lovely creek.
I hope you enjoyed our paddle together on Moon River and you come back and visit again soon. If you have any questions, comments or stories to share, please leave a comment!