Larder River

River Run
Class: II - III Length:
Location: New Ross Character: River run
Gauge: Weather forecast Contributor: Lukas Dee

General Description

The Larder River is a hidden gem on Nova Scotia’s south shore. As a tributary to the Gold River, it doesn’t yield much water volume, but what it lacks in flow, it makes up for in the amount of quality rapids. The river starts off with a 500 meter section of alders that you have to limbo and push your way through with a little class I and II at the end. The next 1.5km’s are a bit of a slog, with a lot of trees down, and the river branching out a lot and coming back together in stillwaters. There is no whitewater here, but there is current, so being aware of downed trees is important. At the end of a wider stillwater pool the river narrows and splits around an island. River left is the better option. The rapid here is class II boogie all the way. Boat scout the right turn for wood. A section of moving water and class I will bring you to a small horizon line that drops into a miniature granite gorge. This is ‘Getting Introduced’. After Getting Introduced more class I boogie water brings you to a clearing in the forest where a christmas tree farm lines the river on either side. A forest road also crosses through the river here (no bridge). A really fun section of class II boogie starts here which eventually turns into class I, and then finally peters out into a beaver pond. At the end of the beaver pond you’ll be able to look down some class I and see a bridge crossing the river. Get out to scout on river left after the bridge. You’ve made it to the glory section of the Larder: ‘Slot Drop’ and ‘Amazement’. More class I boogie follows which eventually ends in a longer stillwater. You’ve made it to the end of the stillwater when a well kept log cabin appears on river left. The following horizon line is ‘Speed Ramp’, which is closely followed by ‘Slingshot’. After Slingshot it is a short float to the confluence with the Gold River.


The Larder is narrow and therefore has plenty of wood to look out for. It is also remote, and because it flows into the Gold, there is more remote paddling to do once you reach the confluence. Please be very aware of the amount of paddling you will be doing on the Gold. The Larder joins up with Gold shortly after Skerry Falls, so there are multiple rapids and at least 5km’s left to paddle before you have the option of taking out. Read the info on the Gold river if you are unfamiliar with it.

Named Rapids

Getting Introduced:

Getting Introduced is not only the first real drop on the Larder, it also sets the tone for the remaining drops. It is a clean, fun move with boogie water continuing after it. Running the center tongue down the middle is the obvious choice. A sort of mini late boof move will have you skipping out over the funky currents at the bottom. Enjoy the boogie water on the way out.

Slot Drop:

The first bridge you come across (after a beaver pond) is your indicator that you have made it to slot drop. This is where the fun really begins. Slot drop is the tallest drop on the river, being about 8 feet tall. Scouting is easiest on river left. There are multiple lines to run, although they all end up dropping into the slot on the right where a funky recirculating hole forms. Nothing really to worry about unless you drop into it sideways. The more straightforward line is running the S chute on the far right, but coming in from the left moving right is also an option. There is a very short pool after the drop, before the river drops some serious gradient (South Shore Standards) directly into amazement.


Amazement starts directly after Slot Drop. It is a series of 6/7 class II-III drops that are all boat scoutable and very fun to bomb down as they are all clean moves. Before and after every drop there are eddies to catch, although some are small so spacing out is key. The last drop is longer and very fast, and is very prone to having wood in the bottom. Where the river drops into a fast, channelised wave train to the left, catch the eddy on river right and try to get a peak for wood. If you’re unable to see, it is best to get out and scout, as there are no real eddies on the way down.

Speed Ramp:

When you think most of the fun is over and the stillwater will take you to the Gold, Speed Ramp appears seemingly out of nowhere. After passing the log cabin on the left the river narrows and drops through a tight slot between the granite. There is a small (1 boat) eddy on river right just before the drop from which you can see the entire drop. A very straight forward ramp with a diagonal feature at the bottom which is best run in the middle with the bow pointing left. Catch an eddy on river left or head straight into Slingshot.


After Speed ramp the river widens into a boulder strewn mess. Sticking to the right where there is an obvious split in the flow is best. This is where you’ll find the move which gives this rapid its name. Where the water flows over a small ledge, the water from river left joins back in at a 90° angle and with a lot of power. Boofing the ledge directly into a ferry to cross the jet of water is the move here. Don’t make the ferry and you will be slingshotted into a granite boulder on the right, upright or upside down. The rapid then becomes a fast wave train and makes an S turn underneath a small bridge before it flows into the Gold.


Put In:

The put in is located where the Forties Rd. crosses the Larder. It is a small unassuming bridge, so be ready for it. Parking out of the way on the corner of Keddy Hill Rd. has been the best option. Google Maps Put In Pin

Take Out:

The take out is on the Gold River. The following pin is the earliest take out possible. Please check the Gold River take out descriptions for more details. Google Maps Take Out Pin

Emergency Access Points:

The Larder has pretty good access all along if you know where you are. Along the first few kilometers there is a clear cut and forestry road on river left. It isn’t always visible but it’s never far from the river bank. This connects back up onto the Forties Road. Where the river flows through a Christmas tree farm a forest road crosses. Getting out on river left and following the road will take you to Meister Road which connects to New Ross via Glengarry Road if you turn left when you get there.

Forest Road Crossing Pin

The Meister Road does eventually cross the Larder as well, although at this point it is no more than an ATV trail. It crosses the river on the bridge just before ‘slot drop’. Getting out river left and following it will bring you back to New Ross via Glengarry. Meister Road also continues down the river on the right for a few kilometers after the bridge. It isn’t visible but it’s there.

Meister Road Bridge Pin

Just before reaching the Gold at ‘slingshot’, the Glengarry Road crosses the river in the form of a bridge. River left takes you back to civilization. Glengarry Road Bridge Pin


There is no gauge for the Larder or surrounding rivers. If there has been a significant amount of rain in New Ross (>50mm) and/or the Gold is up, the Larder likely has enough water.