April to Mid June
Spring has the highest water levels of the year which means water runs faster causing, at best, exhaustive currents to paddle against and rapids to portage around that may only exist in the spring. At worst, high water can mean very fast moving water, making the canoe ride difficult to maneuver and less forgiving. That means swamping is more likely and much more dangerous. The first reason for all the water is the melted snow, which also means the water’s still pretty cold. Secondly, it’s the time of year when it rains the most. I have no real evidence of this, but I find that the spring is when weather is at its most unpredictable so spring trips must include rain gear no matter what the weather man says. With all that water, means mud and swampy areas that will dry later in the season. The biggest problem though, is that this is the worst time of year for bugs.
Let’s face it, Spring is the first time you can get out after the rivers thaw. After waiting all winter, spring’s most compelling attribute is that you don’t have to wait any longer. You can’t really beat that, and this alone may trump all other times of year, and any hardships that come in spring. One definite advantages of spring high water levels is that some areas not accessible the rest of the year are fair game. There are also areas that would normally require a portage to get around have enough water to paddle through or at least line around. Excessive heat usually isn’t a factor as it can be pretty mild. Finally, this isn’t the most popular season because it hasn’t warmed up yet and the vacation season hasn’t started, but you won’t exactly be alone out there either. Other people have been waiting all winter to get out there as well, so be careful to make reservations if you’re heading out on that first long weekend.
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