Looking for an easy canoe ride to a short hike ending in beautiful waterfalls, and all within an hour and a bit drive from Vancouver? You should check out Pitt Lake and Widgeon falls.
Pitt Lake is located about 1.25 hours from Vancouver. Once you get to Pitt lake you have about a 45 minute canoe ride until you come to the start of the trail for a 6 km round trip hike to Widgeon falls. The whole trek is very beginner friendly, and makes a nice easy day for families, locals, and tourists!
The first step was securing a canoe for the day. Luckily my lovely friend loaned his to us. If you don’t have access to one, we saw people renting them from a small shop right at Pitt lake. On the trail report website found HERE they have provided the name and contact number for this canoe rental company.
Once you’ve got your canoe organized, make your way to Pitt Lake, google maps driving directions HERE.
And You’ve arrived!
From Pitt lake you can find a parking spot (often crowded here), and then head out on your paddle. The paddle is pretty much straight across the lake from where you launch your canoe and you will head into a large clearing between two stretches of trees (you can see in the photo above, you will head straight across and head to the left of that tree line straight ahead). We found we were a little unsure as to the exact canoeing directions, listed HERE, but if you just paddle straight across the lake (slightly to the left), into the clearing, and then stay left for the entire paddle you will make it to Widgeon falls. This is what the area looks like once you arrive to start the hike. On the day we were here (I believe it was Canada Day) there were PLENTY of other canoes and hikers.
Once you have safely stowed your canoe (up on the grass to stay safe from the tidal lake) you can start on the hike! Make your way up towards the information signs and then head right. You start walking through some long grass, and the trail eventually heads more into tree dense woods until you come upon the waterfall after about 1 hour. For all the detailed hiking directions check HERE. The hike is short, less than an hour if you are quick, and eventually you come across some large rocks and beautiful waterfalls.
Make sure you bring a lunch and plan on spending some time exploring around the waterfall area 🙂
Oh, and if it’s a super hot day like our day was, then pack your suit for a swim on the hike back! We found this little spot just off the trail. The water was FREEZING but especially refreshing during our hike.
With the drive to and from Vancouver this is definitely a full day trip, even though the hike itself is only about 6 km round trip and the canoe trip is about 1.5 hours for a beginner.
One more thing…on the way back in the canoe we found the current to be VERY strong the day we were there. Be prepared to have to paddle much harder on the way back and to have two strong people in the canoe to do the paddling. I do think this paddle was beginner friendly, but just be ready to work on the way back a little bit harder!
Let me know if you make it out to Widgeon falls and Pitt Lake this summer, I would love to hear about it 🙂