I’ve been by it a hundred times, even noticed all of the kayakers launching on Saturday mornings, but today was different. Today, I ventured into Ellicott Creek Park and discovered acres and acres to explore that you would never know are there!
The 40-acre park just off of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Ellicott Creek Road seems to have something for everyone. Within yards of the entrance, guests are greeted with one of many shelters, grills, and new children’s play equipment. To the left is Ellicott Creek where ducks, geese, turtles, salamanders, blue gills, northern pike, muskies and trout call home. You can also spot white-tailed deer, hawks, woodpeckers, Savannah sparrows and opossums around the park. On my visit, I had to wait for six Mallard ducks to waddle across the road and for two Canada geese to return to the creek.
The best way to see wildlife and to experience the park is walking along the paved Senses Trail. On the trail, you couldn’t help noticing the trees ‑ willows, maples, beech wood, red oak and Eastern hemlock. If you are a fan of trees, there are plenty in the park to take a nap under.
Following the trail further into the park, I came across more children’s play equipment, along with tennis courts, a few baseball/softball diamonds, and a soccer/football field. But what surprised me and made me smile was a LifeSport station in the middle of the park. Designed to challenge people 50-years old and over, LifeSport focuses on functional fitness, helping you to maintain or improve your ability to perform everyday activities.
Another way to exercise and have fun in the park is by biking. Just remember to wear a helmet and follow normal traffic laws. Those interested in rollerblading, are also welcome. A disc golf course runs through the park, and I have to say, it was incorporated pretty well into the park landscape. Our four-legged friends will definitely enjoy themselves at the park; just make sure they have a lease.
Continuing on the trail, nestled amongst the trees near the creek of the 86-year old park is a casino built in the 1930s. The casino is slightly bigger than the number of stone-columned shelters and woodened shelters scattered around the park.
My final destination on the trail was the boat launch where kayaks and canoes begin their journey down Ellicott Creek. For a boater, access to the creek is easy with plenty of space to unload right at the creek edge.