Trip Rating: 4/5
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.
$6 per car. $0 with a RBG membership.
Difficulty: Class A1. Please be careful and use gear as required to be safe.
“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).“