COOTES PARADISE HAMILTON

Trip Rating: 4/5

The Chedoke Creek Section

Hamilton is my hometown, so naturally I spend a lot of time kayaking in Cootes Paradise. The Princess Point/Cootes/Paradise/RBG combination is a very special urban nature sanctuary. This is designated a nationally Important Bird Area. Hundreds of species of birds use Cootes on their migratory path, most notably during the spring and autumn. There are signs posted and some care is warranted, as to not disturb the birds while travelling. Notable species include the least bittern, hooded warbler, white pelican, Caspian tern, black-crowned night-heron, osprey, pleated woodpecker, and the prothonotary warbler. There are also a nesting pair of bald eagles which have nested near the mouth of the Spencer Creek; the first such nest in the area in more than 40 years.

Launch Sites:

Park and Launch at Princess Point

Parking is $6 for the day. If you have a RBG season pass, parking is free. There is a very well maintained launch dock with a canoe ramp steps from the parking. However, there are no bathrooms at the park. To find it, enter 43.2733935,-79.8965961 into Google Maps.

Trip Length

The Spencer Creek Section

The trip posted here took me approximately 2.5 hours. The water is usually pretty calm and 3-5 feet deep. There is a lot to see and you can stop in quite a few beautiful spots to have lunch and recharge.

Cost

The West Pond Section

$6 per car. $0 with a RBG membership.

Princess Point's Launch

Difficulty: Class A1. Please be careful and use gear as required to be safe.

The Spencer Creek in the Summer.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cootes_Paradise

The Spencer Creek in the Summer.

“Cootes Paradise Marsh is the largest wetland at the western end of Lake Ontario, on the west side of Hamilton Harbour. It is located in the city of Hamilton, Canada. It is owned and managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), a private charitable status organization. The marsh is part of the Cootes Paradise Nature Reserve, with these lands representing 99% of the unaltered lands along the local Lake Ontario shoreline. The site is a National Historic site, a Nationally Important Bird Area (IBA), and a Nationally Important Reptile and Amphibian Area (IMPARA).“

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Credits:

@kayakontario, @alter._.eco

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