Ken Whiting and Paddles Tales take us kayaking down the “Canadian Amazon,” Ontario’s Big Creek.
Big Creek gets its nickname from the rain forest-like feel of the lush vegetation on both banks. Brian Craig of Long Point Eco-Adventures guides Ken along on what he calls “the best creek in the world.” Take a look:
The creek is located in southeast Ontario’s Norfolk County, on the north shore of Lake Erie. Kayaking this waterway is like paddling a floating obstacle course!
Brian says, “One of the reasons I really like this route is this is basically wilderness in the middle of southern Ontario. You can’t hear any cars, you can’t hear any tractors. It’s just nice to be able to experience that and get away from the hustle and bustle of freeways and towns.”
Big Creek is just under 25 kilometers in total length, and makes a lovely all-day paddle. Or put in somewhere along the route for a couple hours at a time. It eventually empties into Big Creek National Wildlife Area and Lake Erie.
After Ken’s kayak trip down Big Creek, he decides, “For me, Big Creek is really a dream river run. This creek just winds its way. It’s incredible how many corners it has. You’re doing regular horseshoe turns into another horseshoe turn. Every corner is like a little discovery.”
Because the conditions on Big Creek can change rapidly—water level and flow, fallen trees—it’s a good idea for a first-time kayaker there to go with a guide. That way if you come back on your own, you’re aware of potential hazards.
The creek is an important part of the local ecosystem. Several hundred species of birds can be found in the area. And the creek supports critical floodplain habitat and has many smaller tributaries that flow into it.
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