Salmon River

Urban playboating river
Class: I,II+ Length: 1,3,10km
Location: Truro, NS Character: River Run
Gauge: Water Guage Contributor: Mike Malley, Karl Vollmer

A great beginner river, with enough play to make it interesting. The salmon river is a quick rising, and quick dropping river that runs through Truro NS. You can mix-and-match your run, making it as short or as long as you would like. There is some wood at the very edges of some of the corners, but even at high water it doesn’t normally extend more than a few feet into the river, and does not pose much of a risk.

The river can be shallow at some points, so be aware that your head might scrape the bottom if you flip and attaining up the river can be hard a times due to the lack of water to paddle in.


This river has minimal hazards until you get into town. In town expect garbage in the river which might create a strainer hazard.


There are varying runs, short medium and long available on the salmon.

Short Run (Blue) At mid water, this is a good run that’ll let you play on corner wave, train wave and brass monkey’s ghost. Put in at the Bridge on Valleydale Rd where it crosses the river. There is a visual river gauge under the bridge, to help you double check the water level(s) for the runs.

Medium Run (Yellow) At higher levels, you can head up and catch the Blackrock feature. Drive up Valley Rd from the bridge on Valleydale Rd until to come to a sharp left turn that climbs up hill this is the put in. This road is dirt/mud with lots of potholes, low clearance vehicles not recommended. At the corner there is an ATV trail that leads along the river follow it until it goes into the river. Put in here and paddle across to the other side where the ATV trail continues, follow it across the bend in the river to the beginning of this run.

Long Run (Red) This extra long run has only been done a few times, by Mike Malley. It takes a few hours, and is only really runable during very high water. Because it’s only run very rarely extra care should be taken for fallen wood, or other hazards. The third put-in is at the bridge on Riversdale Rd

Take Out The bottom take out is at Murray Siding, river right at the Salmon river rd. bridge . There should be enough room to park your cars on Old Courthouse Branch Rd.


Named rapids

Mike Malley – Blackrock

Blackrock rapids

To get to this rapid, put in at the medium put in point and then paddle across the river attaining as much as possible, on river left you should find an ATV trail. Hop out of your boat and walk along the trail until it crosses the river again. This is Blackrock rapids, there are various waves and holes some with eddy service some that are only catch on the fly. This rapid only comes up at high(er) water levels, but allows for a lot of different options to play most of which have eddy access.

Mike Malley on Malleys wave

Malley’s wave

This feature is on river right where the river takes a sharp turn to the right right after a hard left turn. The primary play feature on the Salmon, named after Mike Malley, this feature appears in various forms at the different river levels. In general there are at least two decent surf waves at this location. The top wave is larger and often requires you to get out of your boat and carry back up to drop in on it. At some levels you can manage to get up from an eddy on river left. The bottom wave at this feature is the one that is surfed the most, it has excellent eddy access river right just below the rapid. At higher levels the wave has a large amount surging / and a reactionary component which can make for a wild ride.

Train wave

Named for it’s proximity to the train tracks this tiny feature with eddy service is on river left as the river lazily goes drifts to the right. At high levels the whole is retentive enough for minor play boating moves but only about one boat wide. There’s space for about 5 playboats in the small eddy. This feature exists at lower water levels, with a slightly less retentive foam pile

Brass monkey’s ghost

The rapid formally called brass monkey, has been renamed Brass monkey’s ghost as changes in the bottom of the river have warped and diminished the original feature. This series of waves, and minor holes is just above the take out at the bridge, as such you could do a form of park’n’play, if you’re willing to walk back up after every run. There is no eddy service for a majority of the waves here. The waves and wave/holes are decent for front / back surfing, however surfers should be aware that it’s very shallow, in this part of the river, while front surfing your boat may actually hit the sandstone ledge forming the feature as you surf down to the bottom of the wave.


Anything below 2.4 on the gauge is likely extremely bony, and lacks sufficient water for the slide. As the water level rises the mid-sections will become less bony, but the rapids will also get more intimidating. 2.45 is a good level for a intro creek run.