Official Tourism Website of Walkerton & Area Ontario

Clean Water Living on the Saugeen River in Walkerton

Municipality of Brockton
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The Mighty Saugeen
The Mighty Saugeen

The mighty Saugeen River runs through the heart of downtown Walkerton, and is home to one of the best sport fisheries in North America!

There are several river access points for fly fishermen and boaters, plus a six-kilometre walking trail along the river’s edge for you to explore, with look-out points, parks, and picnic areas. The north end of Jackson Street at Riverbend Park is a great place to start, and you’ll be close to the downtown, where you can grab a quick bite or beverage.

Clean Water Living
Clean Water Living

You’ll notice that the clean water living theme is echoed in downtown Walkerton, where you’ll find sculptural elements depicting fish on everything from bike racks to bridge ornaments, and more. There’s even a bright, colourful fish art tour.

People from all over the world come to fish the Saugeen for small-mouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, musky, pike and salmon. Popular spots to fish in Walkerton include the section of river just north of the Truax Dam behind Tim Hortons, and under the east bridge, particularly in early spring and late fall.

A Perfect Family Activity
A Perfect Family Activity

A catch-and-release protocol is suggested. A fish ladder at the dam is being dismantled in the summer of 2019, allowing the fish to swim freely to their spawning grounds further upstream. It’s estimated that 50,000 rainbow trout return to the Saugeen every spring to spawn – about ten times the number of most rivers in Ontario.

Boaters will also find joy on the Saugeen River, which starts at Hanover Park just east of Walkerton and flows 102 kilometres through scenic countryside before emptying into Lake Huron in Southampton. In Walkerton, canoe and kayak launch spots are available at the end of South Street and in Lobies Park; both are excellent starting points for a day on the river.

You can paddle downstream in a canoe or kayak, or float in an inner tube! Perfect for family outings, the Saugeen has wide areas of calm sections, interspersed with mild rapids and eddies, making the route ideal for learning the basics of navigating rapid water. Conditions vary depending on the weather, so always check the forecast before heading out.