Where the Shuswap meets the Okanagan
Paddle the Shuswap River
Photo Credit: Patrick Fitzgibbon
The Shuswap River runs through Enderby and the surrounding rural area. It offers great recreational opportunities for novice and experienced canoeists and kayakers.
The Shuswap River, like any other body of moving water should be treated with respect. There are many hidden hazards for which canoeists and kayakers need to be prepared. The hazards change almost on a daily basis and vary in difficulty depending on the level of the water and location in the river. The greatest hazard are sweepers (trees fallen from the river banks into the water) and log jams. The river can be divided into four sections. Each section may easily be completed within one day.
Skookumchuk rapids to Trinity Valley Bridge (Ashton Creek)
This is the longest section of the river containing many little “rapids” when the water is low. One of the greatest hazards is before the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre where the bank erosion requires you need to pick up your canoe and carry it across the rocky shore. The hazard has been well marked.
Ashton Creek to Enderby
The greatest hazard in this section is the “sweepers” as the river twists and turns many times before reaching the Enderby Bridge.
Enderby to Grindrod
This section is recommended for the less-experienced canoeist or kayaker. It takes 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the speed of the current as it twists and winds through many acres of farmland.
Grindrod to Mara Lake
This section could also be recommended for the less-experienced canoeist or kayaker. It is longer than the Enderby to Grindrod route, running 4 to 6 hours. This section is free from rapids or snags, but one hazard to watch for is meeting a ski boat on a blind corner as they run up the river from Mara Lake. The wake from these boats is quite considerable and can easily swamp a smaller boat.
A map of the river with the distances, access points and travel times is available at the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce.
With thanks to Kathy Fabische, who contributed this article.