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Thread: Love your backyard

  1. #1

    Default Love your backyard

    Hi my first post.
    I read some of the entries you guys put on and must admit they look great. However Britain has some real gems in our backyard, with great scenery and access to occasional coffee bars in marinas ( and the odd pub or two). Many thanks to the Victorians.
    I live three miles from the centre of Leeds and within 10 mins drive i can access the Leeds Liverpool canal which follows a nice route and goes right into the heart of the city. Turn the other way and countryside becomes available very quickly. I am sure many of you will have been on parts of this and hope it amazes you like it does me every time i put the boat in. They can also be a bit like the curates egg, "good in parts" from the pristine wonderfully clear Derwent canal at Pocklington to the dirty and very grotty such as Saviletown Dewsbury.
    A further bonus is you can exercise the dog at the same time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Hello and Welcome!

    You're not wrong, sometimes adventure and wild places can be remarkably close to home. I didn't know about many of the spots near me until I got on the water and went exploring.

  3. #3


    Hi Mal
    i was actually born in Caterham some 65 years ago, but am now a Yorkie through & through. As a walker, I came to paddling some 12 years ago. Started with a Dagger GTX and then progressed to a Prospector 15. Enjoying the flexibility Canadians give.
    i learned the backyard thing some time ago when i was arranging and assessing DofE. Everyone was jumping into mini busses and heading for the dales, Lake District. Local paths sorted the bronzes so i thought local waterways and the same applied. variable though as i said above. Thanks for your kind response

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Journal Entries


    In recent years I've been doing the same. Learning about my "backyard." At the end of my lake is the Cloquet River. The Cloquet River east ("left" and upstream) has about 35 miles of good paddling. There are about 35 miles of good paddling upstream - followed by 15 miles (to the source) of some of the wildest river I've ever been on. Did it once when I was young. Lucky to be alive. This upstream stretch requires a pole for getting up some of the rapids - if you are going upstream.

    "Right" or downstream - a couple miles - there is the site of a fur-trading fort. I've pulled a few trade items out of the ground there, small nested kettles, a very fine (originally) English double bore - circa 1800, trade axes, rat spears, various nails, scissors, voyageour buttons, etc. - mostly junk, but interesting. I need to go down there with a sieve and check for trade beads.

    A little further on is the Cloquet River Inn. Best hamburgers in Northern Minnesota - or were. Recently burned down. Much missed. We used to paddle down there every Wednesday in summer - and sometimes snowshoe in winter for Wednesday dollar night.

    About 30 miles downriver you come to the St. Louis River. This is a larger river and downstream - leads to St. Louis Bay and Lake Superior. Upstream, there are something like 170 miles of navigable river. I've done parts of it - many times. I grew up on this river in Angwassig. I've never done the whole trip from where I live now. It ends at Seven Beavers - a land locked lake with no roads to it. There is a way to get to the border lakes and Hudson's Bay from this river - though the connection is known as the "Embarrass" River. Whenever you find a river or waterway with that name - it means trouble. Named by the French - it indicates a very difficult paddle.

    You can also get to the Mississippi River by way of the St. Louis/Savannah Rivers. This includes the Savannah Portage - nine miles of the worst portage in North America - according to the French Voyageurs. I've only crossed it in winter on snowshoes.

    Cloquet River Map:
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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