A great way to explore the west coast outdoors on a summer’s day is to combine a canoe trip up the peaceful waterway of Widgeon Creek followed by a short hike to a series of waterfalls known as Widgeon Falls.
Your trip to Widgeon Creek starts about 1 hour and 15 minutes east of Vancouver at Grant Narrows along the shores of Pitt Lake in the community of Pitt Meadows. Ayla Canoes rents a variety of canoes and kayaks for the peaceful paddle up Widgeon Creek. It’s recommended that you leave from Vancouver fairly early in order to have enough time to enjoy your paddle and be able to hike and spend sometime at the waterfalls while being able to return the canoes on time.
The trip begins by crossing Pitt Lake and entering the narrow passage way that is restricted to non-motorized watercraft. Upon entering into the start of the creek area, you immediately feel the peacefulness with the beauty of the surrounding marshlands and the scenic mountains that tower high above.
One of the unique features of the Pitt Lake area is the lake itself is one of the largest tidal lakes in the world due to its close proximity to the mouth of the Fraser River. This means that canoeing along Widgeon Creek can often feel more difficult in one direction than the other if the tides are changing. It also means that at low tide times, you may have to get out of the canoe and portage, carry the canoe over shallows sections to deeper water.
Widgeon Creek is also known to have a large variety of wildlife including many species of birds, such as eagles, herons, ducks, and geese. Even deer and black bears can sometimes be spotted along the shore as you paddle up the creek.
Follow the creek, keeping to the main waterways and you will eventually arrive at a campsite area with an outhouse. Pull the canoe up onto shore and follow the gravel road to the right towards Widgeon Falls. The walk is only about 30 – 40 minutes along the road, however there is a trail on the right side about halfway which you can also take that follows the creek up towards the waterfalls.
The amount of water rushing over the rocks can vary greatly depending on the time of year you are visiting. Pick a spot with a scenic view to soak in some sunshine and have lunch before heading back down the gravel road to your canoe for the paddle back to Grant Narrows.