The Saugeen River

The Saugeen River is a must do experience!

The name “Saugeen” is the corrupted form of the word Zaagiing in the language of the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory, meaning “at the river’s outlet” or “at the mouth of the river”. The Saugeen river is located in one of the highest points in Southern Ontario, Canada and flows down though the most beautiful countryside to Lake Huron, in Southampton, Ontario. The river begins in the Osprey Wetland Conservation Lands and flows generally North-West about 160 kilometres (99 mi) before exiting into Lake Huron. It is bordered by beautiful mixed scenic forest shoreline. The river is navigable for some distance and was once an important barge route.

The Saugeen River is best known for its fishing and canoe route. It also offers unique heritage and Indigenous experiences.

saugeen Indigenous first nation in Ontario

A Little History

Saugeen First Nation is an Ojibway First Nation band located along the Saugeen River and Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. The Ojibway are of the Algonquian languages family.

The Saugeen First Nation is home to Sauble Park located on the of South Sauble Beach and offers access to tour one of the most beautiful and scenic gardens in Western Ontario, the Amphitheatre & Gardens.

The Saugeen First Nation web site states that “the Ojibway heritage is rich in colour and expression. This is evident in dance, works of art and the hand-made craft creations. On the far shore of the Saugeen, the bones of warriors lie on the ancient battlefield known as “The Mound of Skulls”. The church is the site of the signing of an Indian treaty. The footpath running alongside the amphitheatre was used by long-ago hunters to travel from the top of the hill to the traditional river hunting grounds. Even today, there lies an ancient burial ground close to the parking lot.

The original historic people of Saugeen are Ojibway. They became known as Chippewa by English-speaking people who could not pronounce the word Ojibway. “Chippewas of Saugeen” is the legal name of the community.

In the early 1970s the Chippewas of Saugeen began referring to their community as a “First Nation.” Traditional territory also included all of the Saugeen River watershed. Thus, places such as Cape Croker, Goderich, Meaford, Orangeville, Owen Sound, and Tobermory are located in the traditional Saugeen First Nation Territory.

To learn more about the Saugeen First Nation

The permanent settlement is located at the outlet of the Saugeen River in Southampton, Ontario, Canada. The Saugeen First Nation lent its name to the region and its people. It was called Zaageeng (in Ojibway), meaning “mouth of river.”

kayaking the saugeen river in Ontario

The Saugeen River canoe route...

Begins at Hanover Park (Access Point #3), in the little town of Hanover and ends approximately 102 kilometres down-stream at Denny’s Dam Conservation Area (Access Point #15), where there is plenty of parking in the daytime. Access points #1 and #2 are recommended for experienced paddlers only who will likely encounter high water and heavy rapids.

Map out your route with any of these great resources and plan a trip today!

The below resources and more are from:

Download Canoe & Kayak Routes of Grey and Bruce Counties – Brochure (2011)

Interactive Canoe Route Map – (2003)

Download Canoe Route Access Point Information

The portages are short, the river is slow-flowing at times with wide sections and also has stretches with rapids and eddies. This is an ideal river canoe outing for the whole family!




The Saugeen River is a world-class river for Steelhead Rainbow Trout and Salmon Fishing.

The River is easy to access for great fishing! It also features a variety of trails, boat launches and access points.

For information on fishing rules and licences in Ontario visit:


Brook Trout

Season runs: fourth Saturday in April until September 30

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Salmon

There is an extended season for brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon in the Town of Walkerton between Truax Dam and the westerly edge of the concrete abutments downstream of Denny’s Dam, north of Southampton.

Ministry of Natural Resources estimates 50,000 rainbow trout return to spawn
Season runs: fourth Saturday in April until December 31


Season runs: second Saturday in May until December 31
Good population of pike under the east bridge in Walkerton

Saugeen Musky

The Saugeen musky is unique to the river, being a hybrid of Kawartha & Huron breeds, a result of re-population efforts.

Season runs: June 1 until December 15

Check out these great videos created by Bruce County Tourism to get a feel for the area.

For more useful information about this area visit