Big Otter Creek Richmond

Trip Rating: 5/5

Getting ready to launch.

I wanted to try something new, something in Southwestern Ontario, but still remote. That criteria is not an easy thing to find. After much research, sifting through trip logs on the local canoe club's websites and harassing locals, I decided to try the Big Otter Creek.

The scenery on the trip.

The creek is a tributary of the Thames River system, it starts somewhere near Norwich and snakes through Tillsonburg until it finally empties in Lake Erie in the town of Port Burwell. This trip focuses on a 27km stretch between the small towns of Richmond and Vienna. On the selected route, the scenery is of dramatic sand bluffs as high as 100' tall and thick carolinian forest.

A river otter doing his thing.

Launch Site:

The put in parking is a small lot on the side of the road

There is a small parking lot on the side of the road. You will need to park here and shuttle to the take out spot in Vienna.

The take out is under a small bridge with road parking.

Cost: $0 There are no parking fees on either side of the trip.

The river is fairly wide with fast moving water credit@outboundontario

Trip Length/ Difficulty: Advanced due to strainers and trip length. The take out is 27kms away from the launch with no opportunities to shorten the trip along the way.

Lots of obstacles all over the river.

This is not an easy trip. We encountered as many as 15 strainers, some were very treacherous. When the water is running high enough to run this river, the currents move at a fast an relentless trip the entire way down the river. While there are no rapids or waves, the entire trip is riddled with obstacles. It is highly recommended you do not take this trip lightly. You will need advanced rescue skills and full safety gear including throw ropes and extra dry clothes.

A monstrous log jam we had to liftover.
Created By
Kayak Ontario


@kayakontario, @outboundontario

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