Kayaking in Black Creek between the Niagara River and Stevensville
There is a lovely little peaceful creek that runs between Stevensville, Ontario, and the upper Niagara River. It goes through an area of cottages then gets wilder. It is notable for its turtles, herons, ducks, geese and of course frogs. There is also fish in the river.
It's a pleasant day's paddle up and down the creek. The water is protected so it's a good place to be if the wind is up.
There is some traffic from cottagers boats but mostly it's a peaceful easy paddle.
Here is Mr. Google's link to the Black Creek area.
I have kayaked on Black Creek several times and launched from the ramp where the Niagara Parkway and Netherby Road intersect. It's only a couple of hundred feet upstream on the Niagara River to the entrance of Black creek.
If you want to launch from Stevensville, it's at the intersection of East Main St and Winger Road.
I was worried that there would be current in the Niagara River and that if I fell in I would be washed off over Niagara Falls, but it's very gentle and we are still miles away from the falls. There can be some wind though but I've not seen big waves there.
There is a parking lot and a boat launch ramp with a small dock. There is no toilet nearby.
The ramp has a gentle slope and I was able to just lay the kayak in the sand and launch from there. Watch out for rocks. There is a lovely old lab that comes here and very diligently collects them and puts them on the grass and in the shallow of the ramp.
It's an easy paddle upstream, (that means turning right as you launch,) to a bridge at the the mouth of Black Creek. There is the odd boat but otherwise it's an easy paddle. The first section goes through cottage country. Many of the docks actually have motors and I've seen people just sitting on their docks as they cruise around.
I saw quite a number of egrets patrolling the shore. If you stay far enough and watch them a while there is a good chance they will catch something. The water is teeming with small fish.
The herons are larger birds but they hang out all along the creek looking for fish and what frogs they can lay a beak on. The frogs on this river are very timid and hide as soon as they see any movement. You can hear them jumping in but rarely see them.
The creek runs under the QEW. When I paddled Black Creek, there was some construction at the bridge.
There are only a few cottages north of the QEW, the creek is much wilder on this side. After a short paddle the creek divides in 2 branches. On the left, is Beaver Creek and on the right, Black Creek continues on. I checked out Beaver Creek first
Beaver Creek is narrower and shallower than Black Creek and gradually becomes more difficult to paddle. In a dry summer it might not be deep enough for very long but this year had quite a lot of rain so paddling was not difficult.
Eventually I came to a spot where there were several trees blocking the way and no really easy way of getting over them.
I stopped here, got out in the long grass, stretched my legs, and had my lunch. There was a symphony of birds, insects, butterflies and dragonflies. Much to my delight, there were no mosquitoes.
I could see quite a lot of small fish though.
If instead of turning left onto Beaver Creek, you keep to the right and stay on Black Creek the stream can be paddle for quite a long way. It gradually gets narrower and meanders around.
There is a good population of turtles. If it's sunny you will see them stretched out, working on their tan. I think this one is a painted turtle. Hard to see the markings because of the algae. There are also snapping turtles.
If you glide in slowly you can get very close, often there are 3 or more in a line.
The Creek goes by the International Country Club of Niagara and through agricultural lands but the banks are treed so you don't see much of this. It feels like you are very far from civilization.
There are lots of little mysterious openings in the grass of the banks. This is probably a muskrat lodge. I did not see any signs of beavers but quite a lot of muskrat activity.
There are also many different kinds of wild flowers growing on the banks.
Back to the launch ramp and dock. The sun is out and everything looks lovely. I'm happily tired.
Kayaking books and stuff
- The Art of Kayaking: Everything You Need to Know About Paddling
- Fifty Places to Paddle Before You Die: Kayaking and Rafting Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations
- Recreational Kayaking The Ultimate Guide
- Forbidden Road 2L 5L 10L 15L 20L Waterproof Dry Bag for Kayaking
- Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle - Polypro Blades/Fiberglass Shaft (Sunrise, 220 cm)
- Paddle Leash with a 2 Rod Leash Set, 3 Leashes Total Plus 1 Carabiner. Built to Last.
- AUNAZZ/Downwind Wind Sail Kit Wind Paddle 42 inches Kayak Canoe Accessories, Easy Setup & Deploys Quickly, Compact & Portable Green
- Lifetime Warranty TMS J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Roof Top Mounted