Sherbrooke to Sonora Paddle Route

From the TC 104, take exit 32 at Lower West River and follow Highway 7 to historic Sherbrooke Village. Once there, follow the dirt road that leads you behind the site of the living history museum. You will arrive at an intersection. Stay to the right and you will soon come upon the site of the St. Marys Boat Club boat launch where you may put your boat in the water.

Special Features:

Sherbrooke has a vast and rich cultural history. The village recreation depicts typical village life during the mid 1800’s in Nova Scotia and is the largest museum site in the province. Sherbrooke was built on an economy of ship building, lumbering and gold mining, and was at it’s height during the Guysborough County industrial boom of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Along this route you will journey along the famous St. Marys River to its mouth at Sonora, allowing you to step back in time as you gain a close view of old abutments, rock walls, and remnants of the past industrial practices of the region.

Length: 12 km, one way
Time: 5.5 Hours
Type: Tidal, salt and freshwater river
Facilities: None
Nearby: Sherbrooke
Rating: Intermediate


Visit Guysbrorough: Sherbrooke to SonoraFrom the St. Marys boat launch paddle to your left and follow this narrow portion of the river around a point of land. Here, the water is brown and murky, typical of fresh water rivers in Nova Scotia. The river meanders, and the surrounding shore consists of evergreen trees and plush mossy banks. Once around the first prominent point of land you will be in much more open water. Buoys along this route, mark the deepest channel of the river and it is important to stay in this channel, as there are shallow areas and large boulders under the surface. As you continue on you will pass cabins and year round residences. Looking closely, you will see the remains of a bygone era in the form of old boom wharves and rock walls that at one time were integral to the logging industry in the area. This is the widest part of the St. Marys River and it is not uncommon to hear the unmistakable cry of the North American loon or to see bald eagles, hawks, salmon and deer. Halfway along this route you will notice a change in the vegetation along the riverbanks from fresh water plants to orange colored seaweed. From this point you will be paddling above of clam-flats and may witness the effects of the ocean tide. Along the shore, just before reaching Sonora, you will pass by a clam processing factory and old derelict buildings. At this point you will hear the crash of the Atlantic waves and will see the breakwater at Sonora that is a great place to exit the water.

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