Paddling Jordan Harbour

If your like me you’ve driven past the wreck in Jordan harbour and seen it from the hiway and been curious. So paddling in and around it was on my todo list. Niagara traffic these days can be brutal so I waited for labour day to be past and then got up early and hit the water by 9 to avoid traffic. The drive was good and there was lots of parking when I got to Jordan Harbour conservation area. which is located here. At this location you will find two launching docks and a building storing boats for Niagara rowing school. If you use the dock a little further from the building it’s less busy. I asked about if it was ok to use either and was told yes and then got a boat load of attitude from someone at the docks that stores their boat in the building. Shrug. Sometimes I wish people would just get over themselves. Moving on … Once in the water a quick 15 min paddle takes you out to to the wreck. The boat has been there for a very long time but looks like it could fall over or a mast could collapse at any minute … It’s interesting to see it up close and personal. At this point, despite it’s once grand history it is a rusting derelict.

Back into the harbour there is a long gentle paddle awaiting you. This is again another quite muddy river. This one believe it or not left the biggest mark on my boat when done (easily scrubbed off). There are all the usual suspects present from jumping fish, to herons, cormerants, and the like. It is not one of the most nature rich paddles I’ve done but there are things to see. Up towards the QEW of course there’s the usual drone of traffic, planes can be seen, trains can be heard belching there horns at level crossing and farmers tractors can be heard abundantly. And if that didn’t give you a clue your in wine country the air cannons attempting to scare off the birds can be heard constantly going off. This is not an awful paddle, quite the contrary but don’t expect a lot of peace and tranquility. I saw little to no motor boat traffic and only moderate amounts of kayakers. There were a few stand up paddle boards and this would be a good sheltered place for it. Very little current or wind. A gentle paddle for sure.

On the way to the bottom you will encounter a duck and sheep farm.

I take pictures so you know I’m not making this shit up :)–

At the very bottom of the paddle is Jordan Valley Campground and they remind you that this is private property. It’s really quite amazing how far down you can go. You end up scraping a few rocks on the bottom of the boat but heh … who cares 🙂

And once your done your paddle you are super close to the escarpment appellation wineries. So a trip over was warranted. I headed over to Red stone winery. I’ve been very impressed with this winery a couple times now. Their roots are with Tawse winery but have transcended their humble beginnings and are making some super wines. They have a lovely patio you can sit and enjoy their wines and some fine foods. I had their elk stroganaoff along with their cab franc which was awesome.

And no visit to Niagara escarpment would be complete without a visit to one of my favorite wineries Kacaba
This was in it’s entirety a thoroughly enjoyable day. Well worth the drive! Another one off the kayaking todo list!!!

Map of the row

Time: 2:45 included time to see the wreck and all the way down both paths at the bottom as far as I could go!!
Distance: 10K
Level: Easy gentle paddle (plus whatever the lake has to dish up)
Start/end point: here.

Kayak Ontario’s write up on Jordan harbor


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