There are three bodies of water all pretty close to each other in Niagara, Jordan Harbor, 15 Mile Pond, and 16 Mile Pond/Creek. I’ve done the other two and hated 15 Mile pond so was turned off of 16 Mile, but decided to go check it out anyway.
Kayak Ontario’s post on 16 Mile creek was a great starting point for this trip. For us, it’s a bit of a drive so I wanted to make it a longer paddle, so my first question was, can you get into the lake from the creek? The answer is yes, with a short portage, like 20 feet maybe, so VERY doable.
The launch spot is a dock at the side of South service Rd. The big problem with this is parking, which in spite of being a paved shoulder there actually are signs saying no parking, which people seem to just ignore? This is right beside someone’s property so I can only imagine they are none too impressed.
An alternative would be to go to Charles Daley Park and then you can launch on the side of the beach. This is where I will launch next time, and yes, there will be a next time, we enjoyed the paddle. I bet this is a super beautiful paddle once the leaves start to turn …
So my intrepid paddling partner in crime had not seen the derelict at Jordan Harbor so I pulled out my phone and using RunGPS I was able to easily see the distance to the wreck, 3.26KM right along the shore. So we set about … portaged the boats into the lake and off we went. The shoreline of lake Ontario here is a mix of steep banks, and an assortment of break waters most made of old construction waste, with the occasional accessible spot. On the day we were paddling the weather was threatening all day, so given this is a great lake I was concerned what if the lake blew up quickly, being so close to shore I knew we could just hit the beach somewhere so this seemed super doable. To get over to the wreck, in mildly choppy water, with some wind, took about an hour. Frankly if your just going to see the wreck, launch at Jordan Harbour, it’s much closer. But where’s the fun in that 🙂
Once over and back from the wreck we explored 16 mile pond. To the bottom of the creek it’s about 2.7Km which we did in under an hour. The water is smooth, somewhat dirty, and it’s surprising how quickly the noise from the QEW faded. Being the fall, there were CONSTANT sounds of air cannons going off from the vineyards. A sad distraction to what would otherwise be a peaceful and serene paddle. There’s a good amount of nature, we saw black crowned night herons, great blue herons, TONS of cormorants and others.
The cormorants are really taking it over and your hard pressed to find a tree without one in it. If your paddling near the shore watch out or your likely to get pooped on 🙂 It’s no where near as bad as Cootes … yet.
The wind can pickup and as you can see in the map above, it’s pretty much a straight body of water so there will be nowhere to break the wind.
Summary of the paddle:
Difficulty: The lake part depends on weather so plan ahead and be careful. The Pond itself is quite easy/beginner
Length: We did 14.9KM by adding the lake pond itself would be under 6KM
Time: We did 4hr 31 mins, the pond itself would be well under 2 hours.
Launch spot: Don’t launch were we did, head for Charles Daley Park