Length of Trip and Time Required to Complete Trip:
Note: A longer trip, for canoeists desirous of running challenging but passable rapids, may be made starting from the highway bridge north of Goodsoil or even from Pierce Lake (see Canoe Trip No. 23). This stretch of rapids is recommended for experienced canoeists, prepare for some wading and a certain amount of damage to the canoe.
The lower Waterhen River (from the outlet at the northeast end of Waterhen Lake to its junction with the Beaver River) contains stretches of rapids and fast water. Most, if not all, can be run safely. If in any doubt, stop and look the rapids over from shore. If they appear risky at existing water levels, wade down through the shallows near shore, guiding the canoe slowly by hand or with a strong rope. The lower Waterhen is a delight to the experienced canoeist. There is wild game, fishing, beautiful and varied scenery and a wide choice of attractive natural campsites.
East of the bridge north of Dorintosh, the river widens into a maze of channels. Pick channels with the most volume and velocity of flow and be alert of major swings to the north and northwest which lead to the narrow entrance to Waterhen Lake.
Waterhen Lake is shallow and can be very rough on windy days. Such conditions might force canoeists to camp as best they could in the willows awaiting a drop in the wind.
An interesting side trip can be made to the small lake lying about one and a half kilometres (1 mile) south of the eastern portion of Waterhen Lake. This small lake has several islands, at least two of which would provide nice overnight camping sites.
Those planning to travel the lower Waterhen River may have difficulty finding its start at the northeast end of Waterhen Lake. The main outlet of the lake lies east of the island in the northeast portion of Waterhen Lake. This island is high and poplar-covered and easily mistaken for part of the shore when viewed from a distance.
The lower Waterhen River alternates between slow deep stretches and fast parts with rapids. There are four to five trappers' cabins along the upper part of the river and innumerable choices of beautiful camping spots. Parts of the river cut through high sandy banks which offer interesting views of exposed strata.
The rapids become more strenuous as one progresses farther east. Most, if not all, of these can be run if considerable skill and judgement are used. However, if the canoeist is unsure and water levels are low, some of these should probably be waded. Rapids continue to within 400 metres (437 yards) of the Highway 155 bridge linking Green Lake with Ile-a-la-Crosse. This bridge is the end of the canoe trip. It should be noted that is it quite possible to extend this trip by poling and wading up through the rapids of the Beaver River. The current of the Beaver and Green Rivers is not too strong to paddle against all the way to the community of Green Lake, a distance of approximately 48 kilometres (30 miles).
Trip No. 24 Addition:
An alternate starting point and partial route can be taken. Canoeists would start at Third Mustus Lake and travel to Second and First Mustus Lakes, down Rusty Creek to Rusty Lake, continue down Rusty Creek to the Waterhen River and then to the Highway bridge north of Dorintosh.
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