Black Creek is an interesting paddle only about fifteen minutes from my home here in Norfolk County. While it’s not nearly as popular as the other well-known Norfolk County paddling gems, Deer Creek Conservation Area and Big Creek, it does have its own charm and unique character. I only stumbled upon this creek after searching Google Earth for interesting looking rivers in my area.
The best place to launch from is at the Harbour Museum in Port Dover. From there you can paddle the river up through the marina and into the scenic river north of Concession Road 2, then back down to the Museum to finish. An alternative access is at Concession Road 2, where there is a free small boat launch and parking that is perfect for canoes and kayaks. On a windy day it might be better to go upstream from Concession 2 and skip the leg south of it as the wind gusts from the lake can be strong.
As you head out of Dover you will wind your way through the huge marina area. Pay attention here as there will be boat traffic for a few kilometers. You will also see the boat cemetery near the mouth of the Lynn River, which is an interesting side creek to explore and spend half an hour checking out ( you can’t go very far upstream because of a dam).
Once past the graveyard area there is a long stretch of boat docking for various marinas and yacht clubs. Keep your head up and give other boaters a lot of space as it gets narrow in spots. There also isn’t much in the way of shade on this leg either so get your SPF 5,000 on before heading out.
Finally reaching Concession 2, the boats and marina are behind you and the creek takes a turn to the natural side. The water stands still in the winding, deep creek. This area is quiet and shaded, perfect for a gentle paddle upstream while watching for wildlife. I managed to spot a number of Painted Turtles, a few Great Blue Herons, and an adolescent Bald Eagle! The eagle flew overhead with an impressive wingspan before coming to rest on the branches of a dead and barren tree. I tried my best for a photo but he was just too far.
After paddling for some time you will reach an abrupt end where the river turns to about 3 feet wide and about a foot deep. I thought about wading through the creek for a stretch to see if it widened out again but decided that I had a long paddle back as it was. I turned my trusty Prospector around and headed back to Port Dover.
Trip Rating – 4/5
Suitability – Canoes, Kayaks, SUP’s
Launch – Port Dover Harbour Museum, GPS coordinates 42.785422, -80.198314. There is an alternate launch site on Concession 2 Woodhouse, GPS coordinates 42.801761, -80.183382
Cost – Free
Distance Paddled – Approx 10km
Time – 3-4 hours
The Good – Beautiful natural area and wildlife north of Concession 2, interesting boat graveyard at the marina.
The Bad – Some boat traffic on busy days is to be expected. Be courteous and stay safe in the main channel. No escape from the sun in the marina area.
The Ugly – None!!!!