Eramosa and Speed River

Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Additional Route Information
45 km
2 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
290 m
Longest Portage: 
80 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

About 2 dozen roads cross the route. About 6 exits from Hwy 401 lead to the route.

Technical Guide: 

Start in Rockwood Conservation Area, 12 km east of Guelph on Highway 7.
Portage 80m right around dam, and left around island at put-in. At Eden Mills, portage left around dam 80m, from low flow spillway. Portage left 10m around weir. In Guelph, portage 20m around dam when gates are down in summer. At Hespeler, portage 50m right around dam. At Preston, portage 15m left around dam. Arrive at confluence with Grand. Take out 4 km downstream on right at dock in Riverbluffs Park in Galt.

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
Guelph, Kitchener
Special Comments: 

Go to Grand River Conservation Authority web site for on-line flows (River Conditions/Speed River)You need at least 2 cfs for Rockwood to Eden Mills, 1.5 cfs for Eden Mills to Guelph, and about 4 cfs for the rest of the route.

The cliffs in the Conservation Area are spectacular! The route is nearly all in the woods and is well sheltered from wind above Guelph. An easy run but some moving water skills needed in spring flows. Lots of deer, herons, hawks and waterfowl to be seen, especially considering the proximity to large cities.


Post date: Mon, 06/02/2008 - 07:02


My son and I, plus 2 friends canoed from Rockwood to Cambridge (Riverside Park) on May 31 and June 1 2008, overnighting at Barber Scout Camp in Guelph. This is a beautiful section of the 2 rivers and there was lots of wildlife to see, including 3 deer. Unfortunately, even this early in the year, the water level was too low. In much of the Eramosa above Guelph we had to walk the canoe through shallows. The same was true of the Speed between the Hespeler and Preston parts pf Cambridge. April or very early May would be fine, but once water levels are low, some sections can be less than fun to travel. I would do this route again, but much earlier in the year.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


I planned to travel the first half of this on 14-Aug-05 with my son and his girlfriend (Planned Rockwood to Guelph). I have to agree with the above rated flow rates as we had only 0.5 cfs and we were walking the river for a lot of the way since it was too low to paddle. After three hours we made Eden Mills and decided to pull out of the water adn run back for the car (8km run). The river was nice though and I hope to try it again in the spring when there is more water. It was still a nice day even with the low water.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


The above description is probably not a great idea for a 2 day canoe trip. I would suggest two 1 day trips instead, or you could do the whole thing in one long day.

Rockwood to Guelph: Start on the road at the west boundary to the Rockwood Conservation park, and park you car north of #7. The river needs to be at least 2 cm/s (see the GRCA web site) and probably should be a bit higher, for this section of the river. Take out at Stone Road or in Guelph (#6). It is flat paddling after Stone Road.

Alternate: Start in Everton and paddle to Rockwood – need 4.5 cm/s for this section.

Guelph to Cambridge: You can continue from the above route, but there are a number of dams in Geulph that need to be carried around. Or start on #24 and Hanland Expressway (new #6), behind the humane society. This section does not need as much water as the Rockwood to Guelph section. I believe the above number of 4.5 is incorrect, but do not know the exact value needed.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


i did this trip early oct on a nice sunny day in a kayak, very low water spent most of the time pushing, lots of branches but would be nice in early spring when water is higher. Got out in Guelph as it was too shallow. Would not recommend during low water conditions.

Post date: Wed, 04/15/2009 - 17:15


I just canoed from Rockwood (Guelph Line) to Niska Rd just below Guelph. The GRCA's website was reporting 7-8 m3/sec at the Eramosa at Watson Rd. Beautiful paddle above Guelph! I wished we'd gone through the conservation area also, but it was closed and we didn't feel like carrying the canoe that far. Next time.

At 7 m3/sec there were hardly any rock bumps at all, and we didn't have to get out at all except for the portages in Eden mills and the weir above Watson Rd. The gates were out of the dam in Guelph making for some interesting paddling just above and below the dam. I believe there are 4 little weirs just below the dam in Guelph. I ran them all, but use good judgment when the flow's strong. There were logs etc. caught in the boil from the weirs.

Super fun day! What a beautiful section of river when there's enough water!

Post date: Sat, 04/03/2010 - 01:38


This afternoon we did the Eramosa from Hwy 124 (Ospringe) to Everton.

Well, we tried.

Good flow and depth.
The river up to Hwy 25 was littered with driftwood logs - many easy to push out of the way or simply lift over.
After Hwy 25, the river, while plenty deep, was very badly obstructed by branches of small trees growing on the bank below the waterline. Very slow going on this part of the river. We pulled out at First line.

Flow of Eramosa at Watson Road was 3 M3/sec. If the flow was higher than this, I would think the branches would be even harder to deal with. At a lower flow, there might not be enough water to run properly.

I do not recommend running the Eramosa between Hwy 124 and Everton.