Widgeon Creek Paddle March 18, 2018 by Marie Bremner
“Attention”, the sign said. “Due to very hazardous conditions, the Widgeon Falls trail is closed beyond this point. Any travel beyond this sign is not recommended and at your own risk. Visitors to the falls should use the newly constructed and marked re-route (orange markers).”
That sounded pretty clear. The only problem was, we had just come out on the backside of this sign, after about an hour of scrambling up and down and over perilous slippery steps and bridges on our hike back down from the falls. One Beaver had a nasty tumble into a side-creek from the slick green boards of a derelict bridge. Others were covered in mud from crawling on hands and knees across similar bridges. Lesson to learn: take the newly constructed path on the trip UP to the falls, so there’s no chance of getting on the wrong trail for the return trip.
But except for that….it was a fine day of paddling and hanging out with a good group of Beavers. Ten canoes (eight tandem, two solo) made the trip from the boat ramp at the outlet of Pitt Lake up Widgeon Creek to the campground under the leadership of Leigh Burton. Despite heavy cloud and threats of rain, it was a good day for paddling with no wind and a high tide providing lots of water in the creek for the morning half of the trip.
Following a lunch stop complete with Easter eggs courtesy of Pam, the group re-organized into a “Falls” group and a “non-Falls” group. It was too chilly a day for the NF group to hang around and wait for the hikers, so they made their way back to the put-in after the lunch break. The hiking group took the road up to Widgeon Falls and had a brief water/ gorp break there to admire the Falls’ thundering majesty. There was discussion about which route back was best, with someone remarking that there is a new trail which should offer no hazards. Somehow, however, we ended up on the wrong trail.
Alls well that ends well. There were a few patches of blue sky for the return paddle and everyone ended up back at their cars feeling, once again, it’s hard to beat a day out on the water with Beavers.