The 3101 Paddling Club once again traveled to nearby Grand Island and launched at the Woods Creek kayak and canoe launch site. This access site is on the north end of Grand Island right along East River road.
The launch itself is a simple site, where you just slide your kayak in the water off the grass/mud bank. With the help of others, Launching is fairly easy and clean, just slide in. But when returning, the first guy out has to step in to the mucky bottom when exiting his kayak, he in turn, pulled the others up onto the bank.
At the Woods Creek site, there is parking on both sides of East River road. We parked on the south side, which allows you to pull up and park very close to the launch. It is a grass lot with plenty of room to spread out and unload.
We launched our kayak's and paddled on Woods Creek, a very slow moving waterway, plenty of lily pads and woods on both banks. Shortly after the launch site, there is a tee, we chose to go right. Going right takes you under East River road and out to the Niagara River.
On the north side of East River road, along that parking area, there is a smaller secondary put-in spot and just down from that, there is a large bird watching deck overlooking the creek and part of the marsh area.
We paddled out of Woods Creek onto the east branch of the Niagara river, just up from the north Grand Island bridge. We continued down river and around the north tip of Grand Island onto the west branch of the river.
A few members stayed back and floated around in the small bay area, while some others continued on to another kayak launch area, Eagle Overlook Kayak and Canoe Launch just up river.
The Eagle Overlook launch site is another simple put in area. Just a bank launch site with a hard gravel bottom. At Eagle overlook, the vehicle parking area is all paved, also with plenty of space to unload and not be crowded. The parking area is up above the river with a short carry distance to the waters edge. This is also off of East River Road, on the west branch of the Niagara river.
Some of our members commented that the hard gravel launch of the Eagle Overlook area was preferred over the mud bank at the Woods Creek site. But others liked the Woods Creek site where vehicle parking is very close to the water where as the Eagle Overlook parking lot is a bit further away from the water.
Everyone was disappointed that neither launch site had a restroom/washroom facility.
After leaving the Eagle overlook area, we paddled back around the point and picked up the rest of our group that was still relaxing in the quite bay area. Everyone grouped up and paddled back under the Grand Island bridge, back into Woods creek and up to the launch site.
Round trip was approximately 6.2 miles. Woods Creek had very flat water with no noticeable current. The current on the Niagara river in these areas is very slight and the (9) members that paddled didn't have any difficulty at all with everyone enjoying a great evening out on the water.
Large grass parking area.
Off the I-190, Exit 20 to Long rd, left after exit, right on Long Rd, left on Baseline Rd, left on East River Rd. Launch site will be on the left.