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Navy Island - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: June 2004
Nearest City: Niagara Falls, NY
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: davepotwin


We had decided to visit Navy Island, a small island in the middle of the Niagara River, owned by Canada. There's lot of history behind the island and how it got its name. For more information check out-

Being a prior sailor myself I did some research and talked my buddies into exploring it with me. We started out at a boat launch on the lower west side of Grand Island. A decision we later regretted. Being early June there were many power boats and Jet Ski’s zipping around for early summer fun. But for an 11ft Kayak and 16 ft Canoe, this means big wakes and bouncing tides. We followed the scenic coastline of Grand Island for about a mile, and then when things looked clear, shot across the river as quick as we could to avoid any traffic. Once on the uninhabited island there was plenty to explore. Mostly thick overhead cover by trees, so there’s plenty of shade. A little bit of swampy areas, and more wildlife than you’d expect on such a small island, as in beavers, deer and many other woodland creatures.

After a few hours exploration we headed back, this time trying a more direct route and wishing we’d dropped in farther north on the island. The push against the current wasn’t bad, but 3-5 foot swells are more than fun to maneuver when we caught the wake of passing boats. We stopped about halfway back to the boat launch and luckily one of the locals driving by offered us a ride back to the Jeep. All in all it wasn’t a bad day, yet I wouldn’t recommend doing any longer a trip on the Niagara River. Next time we’ll probably just shoot across from the point with some camping gear and explore the north end of the island and the haunted shipyards. In daylight of course…


A few boat launches on all sides of the island.


A camping fee is under 5 dollars and must be attained through the Candadian Parks and Recreation.


Take the 190 into Grand Island and just about any exit will take you to the shoreline, just follow it to the NorthWest corner. Parking is only allowed at launches and designated areas.

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