The Conestoga River was one of the primary arteries by which many European emigrants traveled west into the vast prairies of central Canada. The place where they gathered was Glen Allen, just a few miles downstream. If you’ve ever heard of the Conestoga Wagon, they were likely built in the area of what used to be called Berlin (Ontario), but is now Kitchener/Waterloo (or the home of the Blackberry).
These wagons would be loaded on barges and poled upstream. Once at the headwaters, there would be an overland route to the Saugeen which would take them to Southampton, on Lake Huron, where they once again were put on ships and then sailed to the western shores of Lake Superior. From there on, the wide expanse beckoned.