Medway River - Bangs Falls NS

By johnsp, on Wed, 7 Dec 2011 | 0 Comments


The Medway River is one of the more popular paddling destinations in the province due to its consistent water levels and fun, but low risk features. This class II to III river run is a few km long from Moyles to Buggy Hole Falls. 

The site of the annual World Kayak Bangs Falls Rodeo the Medway is the river to be on here in Nova Scotia. 

I'd heard a lot about the Medway but I didn't make it down until October of this year. My first run on the river was with Dave Ripley and company. The River was high and the water fast as we traveled down from time to time the River narrowed creating nice wave trains. At regular intervals we'd eddy out of the main current for a little break and chat. The conversions were the type you would expect to overhear in your local Tims between a few friends. To these guys, the outdoors and a fast-moving river is their natural hangout. 

The first feature we approached was a small rock shelf that stretched the width of the river and creates a standing wave locally referred to as the "Perfect Wave". We spent a good twenty min front surfing the wave,At one point were able to get three of us on the wave at the same time making it a regular party. There were a few bumped boats but everyone came off of it upright. 

As we continued down the river there is a second larger rock shelf, followed by the Bangs Falls Bridge, where we stopped for lunch on river right. After a quick snack we ferried over to the center of the river and did a little more surfing on the steep, fast wave under the center of the bridge. This one was a little scary to get on as you had to break through the eddy line against one of the concrete pillars, I was glad to be wearing a helmet that's for sure. 


The Next Feature is one of the most well known ones on the river, Fishers Hole. When the water gauge reads between 1 and 2 a small non-sticky hole is created that allows you to do all kinds of cool play-boating moves including flips. After a lot of flipping upside-down I managed to pull off my first flat-spin on a river. Not impressive in the grand scheme of things, but my first time. As we continued downstream we passed a good number of nice well kept cottages. Cottages were a new thing to me when I first moved to Nova Scotia. Everyone I talked to seemed to either own one, or knew someone who did. 

The next big feature is Bear Falls, situated right next to Bear Falls Campground. We stopped before the falls and got out to scout it, an important part of whitewater kayaking. There are two main ways to get down the falls, to the right is a small chute called the sneak. This is a low risk line, no holes to catch but still a nice little blast as you rocked down a 4ft water-slide into a giant foam pile. The second is the main channel, this one is a little more complicated you have to hit a rooster-tail just left of center and bounce to the left in a S-curve move to avoid two big sticky holes. I've run Bears falls three times now, twice on the sneak and then once down the center, every time it was a blast!

After bear falls we came to the last feature on the river, Buggys Hole. A great little wave train with a decent sized hole river center half-way down it's the last little bit of excitement before you have to get off the river and head back to civilization. If you're a whitewater kayaker, and in the area the Medway is worth the drive, tons of play waves and plenty of flat-water after them to pick up any swimmers.