Photos by Greg Maurer of www.alpenglowpro.com. Photo Workshops, Limited Edition Prints and Panoramas.
Kayak/Canoe Widgeon Creek Estuary
There is nothing better than to cruise flat water with rippling reflections of big snowy mountains cascading off your bow. The estuary of Widgeon Creek at the south end of Pitt Lake at Grant Narrows is the perfect place to enjoy this sensation. If you like quiet peaceful waterways teaming with bird life this is the place to go for the whole estuary is a protected bird sanctuary. After making the 300m crossing of Grant Narrows, expect to see tons of waterfowl and other species from herons to harlequins that make this area their habitat. You might even see a fleeting glimpse of muskrat or beaver if you are lucky.
If Widgeon Creek is high in the spring or early summer you can paddle quite a distance up under lazy overhanging branches draped in moss and lichen. Huge lush ferns and skunk cabbage line the shoreline in the marshy areas and neat little gravel bars are gathered in the bends of the creek. When you are there you will be amazed that you can be so close to the city yet so far away.
A campsite is located near the west end of the estuary if you want to stay longer. This is probably best to do in the shoulder season when it isn't so busy. If the water is high more secluded sites are located up the river.
If you want to venture out on late spring and summer weekends, go early. We were on the water on a mid?June Sunday at 730 am. The launch site at Grant Narrows can be quite crowded. There is a separate area for canoes and kayaks but the area is busy with lemming-like activity that warm weekends can produce. It's great the estuary is off limits to anything with a motor. In the fall and winter hardly anybody will be around and the snow will be low on the surrounding peaks. This is a perfect trip for either a few hours or a whole day.
Ayla Canoe Rentals Grant Narrows 604-941-2822 Rentals April to October.
From Hwy 7 in Coquitlam, turn onto Dewdney Trunk Road 6 km east of the Pitt River Bridge. Stay on Dewdney Trunk Road and turn left on Neaves Road (208th Street). Travel north to Grant Narrows at the south end of Pitt Lake in 18 kms. Kayak or canoe southwest to the north end of Siwash Island and cruise the channels of the Widgeon Estuary. It is quite well marked. Reach this area also via Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada) by taking Exit 44 on the west side of the Port Mann Bridge. Follow Hwy 7 north toward Coquitlam and the Pitt River Bridge.
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Posted By: sozeroff
- Mon Jan 14 15:29:16 EST 2013
UpsideCalm, quiet, not a soul in sight
CommentWe rented a canoe right on location (Pitt Lake Canoe Adventures 604-836-7117 $55 for the day, $85 overnight). They even brought our canoe to the water. We took off across the lake and headed up Widgeon Creek. It was a cold, clear day and we were the first people to rent a canoe this year. Hard to believe because it was so beautiful. We thought we would come here instead of our usual snowshoeing because we knew the mountains would be chaotic. We paddled up the creek (took about a 1.5 hours at a steady but comfortable pace). Parts of the creek had a layer of ice on it and it was very satisfying to break through that layer. The tide was coming in so we didn't hit bottom at all. Once we got to the campground we carried the canoe ashore and hit the trail up to widgeon falls. We opted for the trail route. It is well marked but not well-maintained. There are some down trees and the bridges are very slippery. One bridge is very slanted and we had to make a quick detour into the creek bed. No wet feet though. The trail is a nice option from the boring service road, but the trail is significantly longer. We made it to the falls in about an hour. The rocks around the falls were very frosty and we considered them to dangerous to climb on but we still got a good view of the falls. The creek was crystal clear and turquoise. We took the service road back in about half an hour, then paddled home. The paddle back to Pitt Lake took about an hour because the tide was going out and the creek was more shallow. We hit bottom a few times but managed to shimmy our way out. If you're careful you can prevent bottoming out by staying in the deeper areas, we just weren't that careful. We saw eagles and herons, but other than that we were on our own. A magnificent way to spend a sunny winter day. We left at about 11:45am and returned at about 4:45pm. The canoe rental place gives you a flashlight in case you're late. No late fees though.
Posted By: Paul Jones
- Mon Apr 20 04:03:43 EDT 2009
Upsidegreat hiking beautiful landscape and pristine water
Commenti did this trip when i was in scouts <1st derrby hills now 1st walnut grove>,the best camp we did, lol one of are leaders rolled her canoe and one of them let his tent on fire lol....."your tents on fire" "no no its not it just steam". i have bin trying to find this trip for so long and we are planing on doing it this year, going to be a total gomg show lol
Posted By: dirtydeputydog
- Mon Oct 27 22:57:31 EST 2003
CommentThis area is in fact part of the largest negatively acreting delta in the world. Simply put - the delta is forming towards the mountains instead of towards the ocean. It grows and changes every year introducing new channels and low water routes throughout the marsh.
Posted By: dimrn
- Wed May 14 11:30:43 EDT 2003
UpsideGreat day trip
CommentThis body of water follows the tides. So it would be wise to check tidal times. As there is an incrediable drop or rise in the water.The hike is quite nice with a nice water fall for a rest and lunch. To hike to widgeon lake is roughly 10kms hike from the camp area.