False Creek - Trip Description
Trip distance (from put-in): 9 kilometres (5.6 miles)
Coordinates (WGS 84):
N49 16.607 W123 08.414 - Put-in location: Coast Guard Station boat launch
- No. 3493 Vancouver Harbour (1/10,000)
- No. 3481 Approaches to Vancouver Harbour (1/25,000)
Canadian Topographic Maps:
False Creek is one of my favourite places to paddle for a few reasons:
1. There's always something interesting to see.
2. There are lots of places to explore and generally poke around.
3. There's a surprising number of birds, seals, and other mammals to be seen.
4. It's a great novice location because the area is extremely sheltered from rough weather.
5. It's a great place to paddle at night because it never gets totally dark.
If you're into something other than paddling in serene wilderness areas, False Creek offers a fantastic urban paddling experience. You won't be disappointed if you take your time to fully explore the many nooks and crannies as well as viewing many of Vancouver's finest attractions from the water (such as Granville Island, Science World, The Yaletown area (near the Quayside Marina), BC Place Stadium, General Motors Place, and The BC Pavillion. In addition, you'll also get a different perspective of the downtown skyline.
The biggest hazard in False Creek is boat traffic. Small passenger ferries and recreation boats are constantly moving around the creek. And tugboats often can be seen accessing industrial docks on Granville Island as well as the south-east end of the Creek near Science World. It's wise to be alert at all times and if you venture out in darkness, be sure to have required lighting on your boat as well as an audible signalling device.
Generally, you can follow the shoreline around the perimeter of False Creek, and in a few spots you can go underneath buildings, gangways, docks, and the seawalk. If you follow closely to the shoreline, a complete circumnavigation around False Creek will be 9 to 10 kilometres.
From Cornwall Avenue in Kitsilano, head north on Cypress Street for three blocks and turn east on Whyte Avenue and travel one block to the entrance to the planetarium. Follow the roadway around to the back of the planetarium until you come to the public parking lot near the Canadian Coast Guard station. There are two boat launches as well as beach access for launching paddle boats. Parking is available for a modest fee -- you'll need change or a charge card to pay for parking.
Paddling Through History: Sea Kayak Vancouver and Victoria
by Aileen Stalker and Andrew Nolan
The Vancouver Paddler: Canoeing and Kayaking in Southwestern British Columbia
by Glen Stadham
Trip date: January 2, 2005
Weather: Sunny, clear and cold
Water condition: Smooth
Tides/currents: Tide was dropping (effects were minimal)
Submitted by: Dan Millsip
Images copyright: Dan Millsip