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Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles

Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles

by Mary Chong
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On Ellicott Creek in Tonawanda New York the sun is shining and glistening on the mirror-like finish of the water as the 8 of us paddle our kayaks in silence with the occasional splash of the ducks or buzzing of flies…

It’s such a tranquil, relaxing setting and perfect for a late summer Saturday morning.

Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths, Peaks & Paddles

It’s hard to believe that there isn’t more chatter, questions or trepidation as just a short time earlier this very same group of people was sitting in our kayaks in front of the Paths, Peaks & Paddles Store being schooled for the first time on “Kayaking 101”.

Class in session
Kayaking Lessons Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles

Learning how to properly paddle
Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles

The gorgeous view of the creek during class
Kayaking Lessons Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles

Practicing on land first
Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths, Peaks & Paddles by Calculated Traveller

At Paths, Peaks & Paddles you CAN teach an OLD paddler NEW tricks!

Husband Ray and I are not new to the sport of kayaking.

Ray is an avid “yakker” and tries to get out on the water as often as possible once the summer season arrives in Toronto.

Whereas I go out perhaps once a season to keep Ray company or drive him nuts. (answer depends on which one of us you ask)

Ray hates that I don’t actively paddle because my kayaking technique involves more looking around, talking and photographing the scenery to actually physically doing anything productive.

We both learned a lot in this class under the expert instruction of Christine Baer from water safety, to what to wear, to how to get in and out of the kayak properly.

Even with Ray’s past experience kayaking Christine fine-tuned and perfected his paddling technique and provided a ton of other tricks and tips.

So it just goes to show that it’s useful to seek out a lesson or two even if you think you know what you are doing.

I learned that I could really get into this sport now that I know what I’m doing. I’m more relaxed in the kayak, paddle more (LOL) and feel more confident that I won’t flip the kayak which was a big fear of mine.

Here are some photos of our morning spent with Paths, Peaks & Paddles on the very picturesque Ellicott Creek.

Kayaking Lessons on Ellicott Creek NY

Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles


  • Bring Water
  • Dress appropriately with sun protective clothing, hat, sunglasses etc.
  • Bring sunscreen, bug repellent
  • Pack a waterproof camera

Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths Peaks & Paddles by Calculated Traveller

Paths, Peaks & Paddles

1000 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda, New York 14150

Paths, Peaks & Paddles also offers:

  • Gear rentals and sales
  • Guided kayaking and canoeing tours
  • Guided hiking / backpacking tours and outfitting
  • Guided winter camping and snowshoeing tours

Kayaking Ellicott Creek New York with Paths, Peaks & Paddles Calculated Traveller

Travel assistance provided by Niagara Tourism. As always, all my opinions are entirely my own.

For more kayaking adventures, read:
Kayaking Shingle Creek Kissimmee Florida
1000 Islands Kayaking in Thousand Islands, Ontario: Paddling back through history

For other articles about New York:
Relaxing Elegance at River Spring Lodge Darien Center New York

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Lindsay Nieminen August 10, 2015 - 11:48 pm

I always forget to reapply sunscreen when i am on the water! great tips! this looks like a beautiful place to spend a day!

Elena August 10, 2015 - 7:22 am

I love to kayak and am continually kicking myself when I didn’t snag my parent’s kayaks when they were giving them up a few years ago. (Even though on some days I am like you, wanting to snap photos more than actively paddling) :)

Bobbi Gould August 9, 2015 - 10:18 pm

I have only been kayaking a couple of times but really hope to do more it soon! Your story sounds like something I’d have to deal with if I went with my boyfriend! hahah I’m always wanting to take more pictures! Great story!

Vanessa August 9, 2015 - 9:52 pm

I don’t know who’s cuter here – you or the ducks!! Looks like such a fun day and the water looks so calm- great for beginners.

Stacey Valle August 9, 2015 - 6:47 pm

I love kayaking! I don’t often go out kayaking, but I always get the chances when I can :) In fact, I’m hoping to kayak this weekend in California, somewhere near Big Sur! I’m glad that you had a good time and became more productive for your husband, haha! When I first kayaked, my boyfriend also responded the same because rather than helping him out, I was looking around awe and taking photographs. At least, I later helped him out lol.

I never heard of Tonawanda, so I had to look that up. It seems really beautiful place to visit!

Vicky and Buddy August 9, 2015 - 12:21 pm

This looks like a nice way to spend an afternoon. I haven’t been kayaking yet, but I have gone canoeing. I wonder how similar/different it is?

Heel Coffee Tie August 9, 2015 - 6:35 am

Kayaking looks awesome. Definitely something that everyone needs to try, if love water, of course :) I think it is the best to try it at some lazy river, because water sometimes wants to be unpleasant host :)

Laura Lynch August 8, 2015 - 8:47 pm

It’s really a lovely place to go kayaking! I love being on the water like that, even if you have to paddle for yourself! :)

Mel Jones August 8, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Great post Mary! I’ve kayaked a few times and I’ve still not quite got the hang of taking pictures whilst staying upright in the kayak! Ellicott Creek New York looks like a beautiful place to kayak as well, looks like such a fun day!

noel August 8, 2015 - 2:00 pm

I love kayaking especially in open kayaks on the ocean with big waves, but this is also perfect for beginners and the landscape is really pretty.

Gemma Two Scots Abroad August 8, 2015 - 12:43 pm

I am really excited about trying this. We are planning on kayaking from Gibsons to Keat Island on The Sunshine Coast in BC. Great tips and good timing for us!


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