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The Napanee River has a Tide!


Napanee residents are used to seeing driftwood floating down the Napanee River, then having it return upstream a couple of hours later. You can note that the rocks and stones uncovered by water along the Boardwalk would be wet. Upon return hours later, you would find them submerged. The river will actually rise and lower regularly between six to sixteen inches.

Spring Side Trail

The reason for this strange phenomenon is 
wind. Apparently, winds across Lake Ontario (from predominantly the southwest) push the lake water to the north shore. When the wind eases, the water surges back to where it came from.  The surge repeats itself again and again, and the sloshing of the water back and forth is called the "seiche" effect.  The seiche effect can go on for several days.  If the river was longer or shorter, the effect would not happen. It is the case of many factors working together to create, in effect, what appears to be a regular tide in the Napanee River. 

Napanee is indeed fortunate to have such a tourist attraction, for this phenomenon occurs only in one other river in the entire world!