Paddling in/near Buffalo NY

I just moved to the Buffalo NY area and am looking for places to Kayak. I moved here from Atlanta and have been used to the calm waters of the “Hooch”.

Any ideas to where to get wet up here? With the shorter saeson I’ll have to educate myself in the manly art of staying warm in the winter. Apparently thats about 10 months a year up here.


great group of paddlers: Yams & Cams
Vanessa aka “Ness” is the semi-offical ambassador and group organizer of mostly calm-water paddlers in and around Buffalo. Believe me, she and here fine group of friends will make you feel right at home (speaking from experience here).

She checks in on pnet occasionally. Your best bet is to shoot her an email. Here is the Yahoo group website:

You’ll need to email her to get a added to the group for full access.

I hook up with Ness and Co. occasionally but not often enough. Great group of folks. Hope to see you on the water sometime.

New Name…

Great Waters
I’m from Kansas, but have paddled Tonawanda & Elicott Creeks, Barge Canal & the Niagara in winter.

Was wondering what happened 2 U
Missed your refreshing posts. Welcome to New York though you’re 350 miles away.

Check out for a gentleman who regularly paddles the canals out by you.

Welcome once again.

Welcome to western New York!

– Last Updated: Jul-11-06 4:48 PM EST –

Welcome! I guess I am now the "cheerleader" for paddling in western New York via Yams and Cams (Y&C Paddlers), our informal paddling group. We paddle A LOT! I have met and paddled with Clarion a few times, (such a nice guy). But not enough, like he says, as there is just not enough time in the day to do everything, sigh!

Yes, it gets cold here for a good 8 months out of the year. But then you can snowshoe or cross country ski or just build a snowman. You might want to get a wetsuit to extend your paddling season. Last year we paddled almost every month due to the unusually warm winter, but usually we can "comfortably" paddle from March until November.

I try to post all the NFC-ADK (local chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club) paddles on the Y&C group too. I'm always trying to get others to join us. Everyone is welcome to come along, but you are encouraged to consider joining ADK (though it is NOT mandatory). ADK has an every Wed. evening paddle on the Erie Canal/Tonawanda Creek confluence, launching at 6:30 pm sharp, from Veteran's Canal Park on Brenon Rd. in Amherst, through September. I'm usually there, but if not, ask for Ray, our main waterways guy. There's also the Genesee Valley ADK in the Rochester area (GVC-ADK), who paddle LOTS too, that you could hook up with.

Anyway, there are LOTS of calm water places to paddle here! Great, beautiful places! I do suggest getting a copy of Rich and Sue Freeman's book "Take A Paddle: Western New York", and possibly also "Take A Paddle: Finger Lakes" (if you want to consider paddles a bit further away but still do-able as day trips). There's another useful book called "Quiet Waters" but can't recall who wrote it. All are available at the 2 local EMS stores (and believe me, the staff there know me well, lol).

Some great local places to paddle are:
Ellicott Creek
Ransom Creek
Tonawanda Creek proper to Transit Rd. (& beyond)
Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal confluence
Erie Canal in Lockport - through the locks!
Upper Niagara River (various locations)
Lower Niagara River (Lewiston to Youngstown)
Cayuga Creek (city of Niagara Falls)
Buffalo River
Lake Erie, many locations
Lake Ontario
Twelvemile Creek
Eighteenmile Creek
Black Creek in Churchville (near Rochester)
Black Creek in Ontario, Canada
Oak Orchard Creek (moving water section)
Oak Orchard River (from Lake Ontario)
Genesee River (Rochester)
Irondequoit Bay (near Rochester)
Cassadaga Lakes (near Fredonia)
Bear Lake (south of Fredonia)
Alma Pond (southern tier)
Chatauqua Lake (southern tier)
Chadakoin River (southern tier)
Conewango Creek (Marden E. Cobb Waterway trail)
Cassadaga Creek (Marden E. Cobb waterway trail)
Allegheny River
Kinzua Dam area of Allegheny River
Cattaraugus Creek at Sunset Bay (not the ww stuff)
...and more I have probably left out!

Email me or call and I'll help as much as I can.
I'd be happy to meet up with you and bring as many of the others that I can round up...which isn't difficult to do! ;-)

Hope to see you on the water soon!

-- Ness

I’m Baaaaack

I was sick for awhile and then I got divorced. Hmmm…now I’m not as sick, LOL. And I didn’t even have a tandem boat.

Vanessa, thanks for the list! I spent the day yesterday biking by the water across from Grand Island. What a lovely area. A little hectic for me but a definite preview to what’s available up here.

I would say that paddling folks are the best around but what do I know. Sometimes you just luck out and hook up with a great group of people. The universe if funny like that.

BTW…the name has been changed so I can find myself.


Paul, welcome to Buffalo…
…the sore by the shore, the mistake by the lake.

Seriously, it’s a pretty decent area to be in, especially if you like cool/cold weather. When you can longer paddle, then it’s time to ski. When you can no longer ski, then it’s time to paddle.

Y&C and Ness always have some type of paddle going on. Someday I might even get to one.

Chadakoin River is just beautiful…
in the summer and fall. I’ve canoed it myself.

The more paddlers the merrier

– Last Updated: Jul-11-06 4:52 PM EST –

Jonathan, yes, please do come to one of the paddles, and bring whomever you like. We'd love to paddle with you! Hope to meet both you and BuffaloMagic sometime soon (though I had a hard time finding this thread because he changed his about embracing his new home!).