Still Creek Paddle

  • Parking and Launching: Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion
  • Launching type: low profile dock
  • Difficulty – very slow, barely noticeable moving water
  • Boat traffic – no motorized boats on Burnaby Lake
  • View – marshy channels and abundant birding opportunities, but definitely an urban paddle with visibly poor water quality
  • Facilities – free parking
  • Overall score – 4/10

After missing the entrance to Still Creek on my previous Burnaby Lake paddle, I returned to explore the most accessible paddle-able urban river from Vancouver.

Since I came in August, paddle season was in full swing. Two rowboats were practicing on the lake with their coach. I wondered whether I would enjoy rowing as a sport. It seems fairly restricted to wide open, well marked channels, and not conducive to things like paddle camping, crabbing, expeditions, or even sight seeing as you always have your back against the destination. It is probably a fantastic full body workout though.

Launching from the low-profile dock was again a treat.

I hugged the northern edge of the lake and had no problem finding the entrance to Still Creek. Water lilies were booming, but thankfully not obstructing the creek at all.

Entrance to Still Creek

The water quality quickly deteriorated after turning into Still Creek, which is basically a conduit of urban runoff.

The photos look deceivingly beautiful though, with the still water reflecting the deep blue of a cloudless sky. Turned out the first 100 meter of Still Creek was its most photogenic.

Since Burnaby Lake is a protected bird sanctuary, there were many birds to see.

A heron

After a few twists and turns, the creek got closer to urban life and traffic noise.

Still Creek. Note the water quality.

After paddling under a few bridges, I came upon the first obstacle that blocks the entire width of the creek.

If I knew there were beautiful views to be had behind the obstacle, I may have considered portaging over it and continuing my journey. But the water looked even worse after the blockage, and I would just be exploring an industrial section of Burnaby. Crossing the rusty metal crates did not seem worth it. I turned around.

I learned from other paddlers that you could paddle for a fair bit more beyond this obstacle, and find… another obstacle like this.

As good a sign as any for me to turn around

Compared with other river paddles, Still Creek paled in comparison. However, if you came for a paddle in Burnaby Lake, this would be an interesting detour.

One response to “Still Creek Paddle”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *