The Platte Falls Conservation Area offers something unique in river paddling, a single entry and exit location. The boat ramps are located on opposite ends of a two-mile long oxbow in the Platte River, in parking areas about a quarter mile apart.
The river was slow, moving less than two miles per hour, so the trip took just over an hour of easy paddling. I was with my 5-year-old son, so I was doing most of the paddling in a two seater.
The only thing that made the trip moderately difficult was the plethora of half submerged trees in the river. It would have been easier in a single seater, but with a 15 foot boat it got tight in a couple spots. If you choose to get out, the banks were pretty muddy (my son spent a good 20 minutes picking the mud from between his toes after we got back in the boat).
There wasn't a lot of wildlife visible and the area is in the flight path of the Kansas City Airport, so it doesn't feel secluded. There is fishing allowed, but I can't attest to how good it is.
Overall, a mediocre trip, but it is fine for an afternoon for a novice paddler.
Boat ramps, parking area, and restroom facilities.
Platte Falls Conservation Area is in Platte County off I-29 near Platte City. Visitors can access the south side (boat ramps) of the area by heading east 0.6 mile on Route HH (Platte City exit). Turn left on Knighton Rd and continue onto the gravel road. The boat ramps and parking areas are at the end of the road (see links under "Launches").
East Boat Ramp upriver
West Boat Ramp downriver
Missouri Dept. of Conservation website for Platte Falls Conservation Area:
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)