White Rock Creek in Dallas is a picturesque urban kayaking destination framed by dense tree cover and teeming with birds and other wildlife.
The waters are so calm and serene that the reflections of the trees envelope visitors in a tunnel of greenery.
It is difficult to believe that such a place is located in one of America’s largest cities. The creek is a refuge for kayakers and paddle boarders who want to seek out calm waters and relaxation.
My husband I bought kayaks since we live close to White Rock Lake, which feeds into the creek. However, White Rock Paddle Co. also rents kayaks out.
An easy launch point is located at White Rock Lake just off Mockingbird Lane at Scout Hill, across from the dog park.
Our main company in the water on a recent Sunday was a dog playing fetch in the water.
Although the wind was blowing pretty hard on the main lake, the water was peaceful on the creek.
There are a few waterways branching off the main creek that are fun to explore because they almost feel like you are entering into a jungle passageway covered by a tree canopy.
Just make sure to pay close attention to the water depth, since it can get pretty shallow in some places.
I risked bringing my camera on the kayak, since I enjoy photographing birds. I did not regret my decision. The view from a kayak offers a bird’s eye view that is not available from the shore.
I was rewarded almost immediately when I spotted a gorgeous large great blue heron along the shore, framed by green.
We turned right, and the huge bird took off and perched on a tree limb farther away.
We then came across a great egret, which took off. I captured the blur of the bird in flight, only its feet in focus. You can also see the very tip of an orange beak below.
It is fitting that this graceful bird, once hunted almost to extinction because of its beautiful white feathers and plumage, is the symbol of the Audubon Society, which is dedicated to the protection of America’s birds.
The egret in turn flew past the great blue heron. I thought it was incredible to capture a great blue heron and a great egret in one frame.
It was only after I looked at the photo much later, I noticed a diminutive wood duck perched on the log in the very bottom left of the photo! So I ended up capturing three beautiful birds in one shot.
We realized we could not pass the tree branch with our kayak, and turned back to the main creek. We came across another great egret foraging for fish as it waded in shallow water along the creek’s edge. Egrets catch fish once they are near by quickly thrusting with their bills.
We paddled further down and came across what I was hoping to spot the most – a mother duck and her ducklings.
Once they saw us approaching the ducklings took cover at the water’s edge under some trees.
We turned around, and took note of the many turtles sunning themselves on partially submerged logs, casting their reflections onto the calm waters below.
We again passed by verdant greenery on our way out.
Our roughly one-hour trip took us on a journey of discovery of many trees, a great blue heron, a great egret, a mother duck and her ducklings, many turtles, and a playful dog playing fetch.
Each trip down the creek is a new opportunity to discover the rich scenery along this densely wooded waterway.
Until next time!