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Paddle Lunenburg/Queens

River Route 7: The Pleasant River

Record #: LQR0031
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019
Last Full Update: 06 Nov 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
Pleasant River, NS
Areas Served Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)


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

Description & Services

A short river with some exciting white water and long stillwaters in a wilderness setting. 
Where: Near the community of Pleasant River 
When: High water trip in spring or fall 
Skill Level: Intermediate, Rapids - Class 1-3 
Time: Day trip 
Distance: 9 km 
Start: Pleasant River 
Finish: First bridge above Molega Lake. 
Click map to enlarge 
From Pleasant River down to Molega Lake, this river is mostly stillwaters with some short challenging rapids and brief portages if needed. In the extensive marshlands along the stillwaters, you may see ducks, muskrat and beaver lodges. A few dramatic outcrops and low lichen covered ledges line the river where it narrows backed by a mixed forest of pine, maple, birch and spruce. There are no roads and few cottages which provides that sought-after sense of isolation. A recommended two-day trip is to continue on 1 km into Molega Lake after a night at the bridge and down into the Wild Cat River (River Route 9) to Echo Lodge (21 kms total). This adds on an expansive view on the big lake and more Class 3 rapids all in relative wilderness. A small beach on Big Brother Island on Molega Lake makes a good stopping spot for lunch.This is a popular spring trip for the South Shore Paddlers Association (See Page 144 for more info on the Association). 
Water Safety Notes (See River Notes) 
The isolation of this route means you are on your own till you get to the bridge and even that is still remote. Keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to run the rapids. Prescout the rapids to plan your route and check water levels. Allow plenty of extra time for scouting and portaging if necessary so you don’t get caught by nightfall. 
The Journey 
Rapid 1 - Most of the rapids are on the lower third of the river but just to see if you’re awake, you’ll run right into some rapids after put in at A1. The next four kms are stillwaters or flat moving water. Look for an old stone bridge foundation just past where the Eel Weir Stillwater joins the river. Further on, the river does a quick 180 degrees just past an old farm on river left, and once around the bend is a good place for lunch, river right. 
Rapid 2 - The next rapids are 1 km further on. Run the rapids river left or portage river left also. 
Rapid 3 - Above R3, the river splits in two around an island. Go river right and take out river right in a little side water before the current picks up speed. From here it is a 150m portage on a trail set back from the water to where the river widens, narrows again and drops into a large pond. Be sure to scout the entire distance to decide if you’re going to run it. The spill out is a good place to play in the rotating waves. 
Rapid 4 - Just past the pond is a series of ledges. Take out river left and scout. This is a tricky run river right that will require some ability to manoeuvre. 
Rapid 5 - Another challenge awaits where the river narrows. After scouting, run this rapid on the right and expect a sharp turn. The portage is river left about 100m long. 
Rapid 6 - This next rapid is just past the bridge if you are continuing to the lake. Scout river left from just below the bridge ( E1). 
Rapid 7 - Just before the river “elbows” to the left is another ledge. From here, the river flows through a lovely little gorge with flat water to the lake. 
How to get there 
Take Route 325 from Bridgewater or Route 208 from South Brookfield to the community of Pleasant River. 
Access Point 1 - Bridge on Route 208 
Look for a sign saying “New Elm, Baker Point” and a white church. Turn into the parking lot and put in just below the bridge if the water is high enough. 
Access Point 2 - Bridge on New Elm Road 
If the water looks low, continue down the New Elm Road (unpaved) about 2.5 kms to a small bridge. Put-in below here into a short stillwater that connects with the main river. 
Exit Point 1 
For vehicles: Travel 3.1 km from A1 and turn right toward Baker Point down a private road that is rough but passable. After another 5.5 kms, the road comes to a T. Turn right here toward Uhlman Point and continue 2 more km to the bridge. 
Note: An extensive road system has been built around Molega Lake since the last topographic map was produced in 1976. We have added only the roads necessary to access this route. 
For boats: Take out river left either well above or below a bridge made of granite and concrete blocks. There is easy shore landing here with a large level area below the bridge suitable for numerous boats. Be careful of the current when eddying out below the bridge. 
Just above the bridge, river left is a traditionally used camping area with a fire pit and small field suitable for six or so tents where vehicles can park off the road. 
Upper Pleasant River - Put in at the headwaters to the Pleasant River above Route 208 at Pleasant River Lake. Access is via a network of logging roads some of which are new since the last topo map. This section of river is about 14 km long with a long stillwater at the start. Glodes Falls is only a .3m drop and runnable. A second waterfall about half-way down, known locally as the Big Tumbling, is 2-3 m high in a series of three quick drops. Portaging is highly recommended. Take out river left just before a cable across the river. This section of the Pleasant River is shallower, faster and rockier than the section below. It can be done in canoe though a river kayak is more suitable. 
Topographic map - Bridgewater 21 A/7 
Molega Lake - Lake Route 7. Continue down river to the lake and head east to the take out at Chelsea Municipal Beach. 
Wild Cat River- River Route 9. Continue to Molega Lake, head west and take out at Echo Lodge on the Medway as mentioned above or continue down into Ponhook Lake (Lake Route 8). 
Shingle Lake - Lake Route 10. Flows into the Pleasant River at Access Point Two. 
Topographic map - Bridgewater 21 A/7
Eligibility Ages: 16 year(s) and up 
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level

Special Information