The warm weather has arrived in Norfolk. Residents and visitors are out enjoying the outdoors and the smiles on people’s faces are priceless! It has been a long winter and a long time getting to this summer like weather but no more waiting. It’s here to stay!
Paddleboarding is one of my favorite activities. I was super excited to get on my board this past weekend to kick off my paddling season. Norfolk County has a good variety of amazing spots for paddling enthusiasts. My preferred vessel is the standup paddleboard but you can also explore these locations on kayaks or canoes.
Here are my top 4 paddling routes in Norfolk County (I listed them from easiest to most challenging):
1. Waterford Ponds
Waterford is divided by a series of ponds. The stretch pond behind Alice Street is now known as Shadow Lake and it is a fun spot for an easy paddle. It is a calm and safe spot for beginners. Park along Alice Street and embark from the main dock. Make a plan to explore this location on a Wednesday night and visit the open air local farmers market at the same time. The market is open from 4-7pm at the corner of Alice and James Sts. Also check out the Waterford North Conservation Area nearby for camping.
2. Black Creek
Another one of my favorite spots is located in Port Dover. This is also a beginner friendly paddle location with scenic views. You could decide to launch right from town by the floating docks beside the Port Dover Harbour Museum. To avoid the stress of parking on a busy beach day, plan to launch from Concession 2 Woodhouse. If you head south towards the marina you will the lineup of high end cottages and boats and be able to check out the cool looking boat graveyard. You could continue from there and head to the lake for a full day’s trip.
3. Deer Creek
This conservation area is a gem in Norfolk. Deer Creek is a great place to camp and enjoy some paddle time. You will have to pay to access the park but what you will find is totally worth the entry fee!
The lake is surrounded by Carolinian forest on all sides. It is an amazing location recognized by the Long Point World Biosphere reserve that you don’t want to miss while visiting Norfolk. If you paddle around the edges, you can easily spend a few hours. This is also a good location to practice your paddle skills and the water is beautiful. You will want to get wet! Deer Creek, part of the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, is located at 1929 Norfolk County Rd 45, Langton)
4. Big Creek
This is a National Wildlife Area that and provides a spectacular background for a paddle experience . If you are looking for a longer scenic paddle, this is my best suggestion. Read my blog “Big Creek Adventure” to get some inspiration to create an active day trip in Norfolk County. If you are in a group, it is nice to go park a car at the end point so you make the trek one way only. This trip is for more experienced paddlers as you may encounter obstacles depending on water levels. From Carolinian Forest to Marshes, you will enjoy the change of scenery along the way. You can book this trip through Long Point Eco Adventures and explore with an experienced guide who will also provide great equipment.
So get off the couch and explore the waterways of Norfolk County. Take pictures, soak up the moments and create memories with friends and family. Need a vessel? Contact Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company!
Amélie Chanda is a Norfolk County based wellness coach with a passion for active living. She works with individuals and organizations that are ready to make a commitment to a healthy life. She provides support, tools and motivation to help her clients reach their health goals. In 2017 she launched the #GoNorfolk community initiative to empower people to get off the couch and to explore Norfolk County. She is now the Active Living Ambassador for Norfolk County.