Paddle Pitt Lake to Widgeon Falls

3.7 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Rachel Bertsch

Paddle and hike to Widgeon Falls. Enjoy a beautiful waterfall and mountain scenery and amazing backcountry camping if you bring your gear. The total distance is approximately a 1 hour paddle (roundtrip) and a 6km (3.7 mi) hike (roundtrip), minimal elevation gain. 

The 12km (7.5 mi) drive on Neaves Road to Pitt Lake from Pitt Meadows is one of BC's most scenic routes. As soon as you start this section of the drive you already feel miles from the city, but this route is only 30-45 minutes from Vancouver, depending on city traffic.

Once you reach the parking lot, get your kayak or rent a canoe ($50-100 for the day) and set off from the boat launch. Paddle to Widgeon Slough, a small section of Pitt Lake that is accessible via an easy and smooth paddle west from the boat launch. Watch out for wildlife in the tall grasses. Birds, bears, and deer are all possible encounters. After about 30 min. of paddling you will reach a fork in the creek, usually signed Widgeon Falls - follow the creek left.

Be warned that the creek can be quite shallow in these sections, as Pitt Lake is tidal. This also means that once you reach the campsite shortly after the turn off, you'll have to pull your vessel high onto the grasses to make sure it doesn't go floating away while you are hiking.

Once at the campsite, it's an easy, flat, and well-marked hike Widgeon Falls (6km/3.7 mi roundtrip). Extremely worth the trip, this is a great swimming hole on a hot summer day.

Once you return to the campsite, either paddle back the same way you came or pitch your home for the night. The return trip with hike included should take 5 hours, excluding however long you swim for.

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Stand Up Paddle
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


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Overall rating: 

Water shoes a must

Just a few things to add to the description above: Overall, the estuary is shallow. You kinda need to watch where other canoes are going-- many of which are rentals with inexperienced paddlers. Canoes frequently bottomed out on sand bars or pebbly areas. We went out 3 hours after low tide and did fairly well until an area about 5 minutes from reaching the campground where the entire width of the estuary was down to about an inch of water. It's a fairly short portage, but water shoes were a must because the bed was stones instead of sand. When we came back the tides were almost full and this area was still problematic. Only had to get out once to float the canoe about 10 feet. So a bit about the above description: It's a longer paddle than written. It took us an hour up-- with a lot of side paddling because the water was not deep for most of the trip. We also had a pretty strong current pushing against us, even though the tide was on our side. The trip back took about 45 minutes. It was calm, beautiful, no visible current and no wind. The trip from the estuary across Pitt Lake was a vigorous paddle with lots of depth. Nice way to start and end the trip. Now for the hike: When you get to the post that proposes the falls via the "road" or via the "trail", make an informed choice. Here are the pros and cons of each: I am assuming the "easy hike" referred to is the "road". We took the "trail" on the way up. The "trail" was much more picturesque and a bit tricky to navigate at times. And it is much more strenuous since they closed off the walk by the river. The detour, called "improved" on the sign, includes a few bridges with missing or loose boards and stairs no longer there. You should expect a little bit of challenge as you will have to walk up the steep hill, only to walk down it again before getting to the falls-- so three trips up the mountain instead of two. There is a nice place to swim along this path that's well before the falls. You will find encounter it before the detour. It's a better place to swim than the falls, where no one was swimming. My guess is the swimming area was above the falls, but we had had enough "up", so did not check it out. On the way back we took the "road". Don't let the word fool you-- it's a road for a Unimog. Rocks of all sizes. This was not as enjoyable as the trail and in fact, the only place I fell when a rock rolled under my feet. Though it is the "easier" of the trails, it was more difficult to walk on. So, now you know. We absolutely loved this trip. And when we do it again, we would probably lunch on one of the sand bars instead of waiting until reaching camp; store our food backpack in the bear proof vaults, if one is available, hike to the swimming hole and finish with the trip to the falls. Canoodle on!


🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Great place to hike and camp

We canoed in and camped overnight - it's a great spot that was quiet when we were there! The campsite has a few pads you can pitch your tent in, but a large lawn you can use as well. Definitely need to be wary of the tide - we had to lift the canoe a few times on the way in for certain stretches. The swimming hole is beautiful and a great place to relax at the end of the hike, especially on a summer day!

Spend The Whole Day On Mistry Islands

Amazing paddle beautiful view! Great for a hot day the water looks so inviting but freeze and so worth it!! Mini island all along the canals my fav! so close to home <3 amazing BC

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