Paddling Cootes Paradise in Hamilton

I’ve always wanted to explore this area I’ve seen from the highway and been near so many times and just haven’t. So it was high on the todo. It’s a bit of a drive but nothing too bad. The launch point is from Princess point canoe launch. There’s plenty of parking but it does get busy. It’s $1 and hour to a max of $5 to park. The launching dock has taken a beating with the current high water levels. So getting into the boat is a bit challenging but nothing insurmountable. Once in the water you will find the water a bit muddy/weedy. Compared to some of the other rivers I’ve been in it’s not horrible, but you don’t want to dunk for sure. There are plenty of off shoots to explore and a ton of nature.

At times you will be surrounded by so many birds as to wonder if your in a Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Paddling quietly in some of the shallower areas you can get up close and personal with some amazing wild life.

The water is super calm and little current, but there can at times be a good size wind to contend with. Overall, especially in the off shoots this is a gentle easy paddle. If you measure from top to bottom it’s only a KM, but add in the extra offshoots and you will find yourself in a much longer paddle than you expect. The map will show there is a HUGE section I didn’t even get to. Leave lots of time to explore! Overall this is a great place to paddle. Quiet, serene (with with the exception of Plains trains and automobiles), no idiot dragon boaters and the like to disrupt your solitude. Ahhhhhh Serenity now!!!

But don’t just go to paddle … there’s an extensive shoreline trail to explore, an aviary and lots more. Be sure to pack some comfy shoes, extra water and snack for when your done your paddle. RBG (Royal Botanical Gardens) is extensive.

Map of the row.
A map of the hike

Time: 2:46 didn’t even cover it all, but you can add more or less per your liking
Distance: 9.1Km
Level: Beginner/serene
Start/End: Princess point canoe launch.
Wikipedia on Cootes Paradise
Kayak-Ontarios post on Cootes


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