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Paddle Lunenburg/Queens

River Route 4-3: Medway River (Buggy Hole to Mill Village)

Record #: LQR0021
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019
Last Full Update: 04 Apr 2014


Public Bulletin
Neither South Shore nor the Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association own or control the canoe routes, portages or campsites listed in this guide, and assume no responsibility or liability for the safety of those using the canoe routes, walking the portages, or using the campsites. 
lt is recommended that users approach all canoe routes, portages and campsites in a safe and responsible manner. Conditions can change through fluctuating water levels, natural debris, and logging activity. Arrangements must be made directly with the owners of the portages and campsites. 
South Shore and Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association are not liable for any errors or omissions in this guide.


Located In South Shore Region
Where To Find Us
Greenfield, NS
Areas Served Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)


Phone 902-275-3490
Contact Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA

Description & Services

Information Buggy Hole to Mill Village (19 km) 
No map is provided here but Topographic map - Liverpool 21 A/2 lists all the falls. 
If you’re feeling really ambitious,it is possible to paddle (with intermediate to expert skills) all the way from Greenfield to the ocean just below Mill Village.You’ll need a high water level for this route to be passable.  
Since the road is close by, you can also choose to exit at many points along the way. From the river road,this section of river looks like a series of boulder gardens, ledges and drops with a few long still waters in between. It seems suited to hardy paddlers looking for a real thrashing.  
The route is described in the Canoe Nova Scotia notes so presumably it can be done by experienced paddlers. This was also the route used by the native Mi’kmaq to get from Greenfield to their burial grounds near Port Medway. 
The Journey 
This section of river has seven sets of falls. 
Below Buggy Hole Falls is a series of Class 1-2 rips and riffles. 
Rapid 5 - Little Salmon Falls. Class 2. Can be run on either side of the island. 
Rapid 6 - Rocky Falls. Class 3. Suitably named, this falls is about 150 m long and rock strewn from top to bottom. Scout beforehand. This falls is not suited to lining due to the undergrowth. The portage is river left. Follow the clearing to the road (30m) and carry along the road to the put in at the base of the falls. 
The Black Rattle is one km of Class 1-2 rips 
Rapid 7 - Glode Falls. Class 3 rapid, falls. One m vertical drop. Portage required. It seems every river in this area has a Glode Falls ( a common Mi’kmaq family name) and this one is no exception. Take out in a rocky spot on the left just before the power line. Continue along the road about 120m to a truck road that leads back to the river. 
More rips and riffles. 
Rapid 8 - Poltz Falls. Class 2-3. The river widens as it makes a gradual bend to the right. A large rock splits the river in two near the bottom and either channel can be run. Scouting of the lower part is necessary. 
Portage on the right above the large rock and ledges. This is followed by a wide meadow like stillwater giving you a chance to catch your breath. 
Hemlock Run - Class Two. Can be run on either channel. 
Rapid 9 - Salmon Falls. Class 2-3. 150 m. The river narrows while making a sweep to the left. Scouting, lining and portaging are difficult. The best channel is right of centre to start, working to the left of centre and then back to centre as you round the bend. This is to avoid the rock garden on the left side and at the bottom. 
Rapid 10 - Island Falls. Class 2. The river becomes erratic as it filters around rocks and between several small islands. Several channels are possible and can be spotted from above the rapids. 
Another stillwater follows. 
Rapid 11 - Salters Falls. Class 2-3 rapid. Scouting of this 600m rapid is essential. The river narrows and picks up speed. If running this section, look out for fishing platforms and wires along the shore. To take out before the rapids, exit river left just downstream of a bridge that crosses the Slab pile Brook where it joins the Medway. If continuing on, carry along the road to the next bridge in Charleston, cross over and put in river right above the bridge. This spot is another potential exit point if you run the rapids. 
From Charleston down to Mill Village, there are no major rapids. Look for Reef Pool (Class Two) and a few ledges just before the bridge in Mill Village. Take out just after the bridge river right or continue to Por t Medway another 7 km. The river becomes tidal here and its an easy paddle to the ocean. 
Lake Route 8: Ponhook Lake 
Ocean Route 7: Medway Harbour
For more information 
Peter Rogers, Loon Lake Outfitters 902-682-2220 
Topographic map - Liverpool 21 A/2
Eligibility Ages: 16 year(s) and up 
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level

Special Information