Trip Rating: 4.0/5
The Welland River has a long and interesting history, originally called the Chippewa Creek by the local natives, which were referred to as the Chippewa Nation, a branch of the Ojibwa, the river was subsequently renamed the Welland River by John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.
The Welland River, at one time was integrated into the Welland Canal. The original canal brought cargo and transport ships to Port Davidson. From there the ships would sail to the Niagara River, brave the monstrous currents at the top of Niagara Falls, and head North to Lake Erie.
The river starts near the John C Monroe airport in Hamilton, ON and runs to and eventually connects to the Niagara River in Chippewa, ON. This post focuses on the stretch from the Wellandport Community Centre, west towards Welland. I will do a separate post for the journey east towards the conservation area.
The river is very long. From this launch, you can paddle all the way to Niagara Street in Welland. This is over 50km up the river, though. You can paddle as long as you would like, and back without worrying about currents.
Difficulty: The river is usually calm with little currents. However, there are reports that the currents can pick up during times when the hydro plants are operating, as well as in the spring. As always, proper PFD’s and safety equipment should be use.