During my time in Vancouver I had my own ‘Vancouver Bucket List’ full of mainly outdoor activities. On the list was Widgeon Falls, a hike that is accessed via water trail only – seems like a good idea for someone who isn’t particularly keen on water. As challenging as the canoe part is, it was so fun and probably my favourite day/experience throughout my entire time in Vancouver!
How to find the elusive Widgeon Falls..
If you travel an hour outside of downtown Vancouver you can find a lovely town called Pitt Meadows, where I lived for my first year in Vancouver. Pitt Meadows is home to Pitt Lake, original bunch eh, and it’s the second-largest lake in the Lower Mainland (fun fact).
To access the falls you can either take your own canoe/kayak or you can rent one from Pitt Lake Canoe Adventures, who are located right by the boat launch. If you plan to rent one I would recommend getting there early (8 – 8.30am) or waiting until around 2pm when people start to return from the hike. Keep in mind, only around 25% return their canoe in the afternoon as most keep them all day. We didn’t leave early enough so ended up waiting until the afternoon for the second batch of canoes, in hindsight we should have just gone earlier! The rentals are $55 for the day and take your own food/drink supplies as there is no where to buy refreshments.
So, we have our canoe and we’re ready to get going. First you need to cross Pitt Lake to reach the creek – watch out for boats and the current is strong! Once you reach the creek the water is very shallow, some parts we had to drag our canoe, and there is less of a current.
Turns out that neither of us can canoe straight, it’s harder than it looks! Tired from going around in circles we stop at the first ‘beach’ for a break and a photo op.
The canoe part of the journey is honestly breathtaking, I couldn’t believe this was right on my doorstep and it had taken me a year to do it. The water is calm and peaceful, the surrounding mountains are beautiful and all the people on the water are all so friendly.
So you’re probably waiting to hear how amazing the falls are..well we didn’t make it!!
We eventually managed to get our stride and actually canoe straight so we could reach the final beach but by the time we made it there it was almost 5.30pm and the hike is at least 30 minutes long – plus you have to canoe all the way back. We admitted defeat, had a beer, got back in our canoe, and headed back. I’m pretty disappointed we didn’t make the hike, but the canoe journey alone was an awesome experience and such a laugh.
If you’re ever in Vancouver during the summer, and have the time, I would highly recommend the trip out to Widgeon Falls, it’s well worth it. Just make sure you can actually get the hike part in.