We are fortunate to live in the Western New York area and have access to numerous waterways including Lake Erie, the Niagara and Buffalo rivers and many creeks and the Erie Canal.
Our favorite and main paddle location is Sherkston Beach on the Canadian shores of Lake Erie (15 miles from Buffalo). This location provides a variety of opportunities depending on the wind, weather and lake levels. We can experience calm, touring paddles or chest high waves to SUP surf. On the calm days we can paddle to an old wreck or for those who enjoy a longer paddle out to a beautiful old lighthouse. After a good southwest wind, a natural shallow area ramps up for intense SUP surfing. This is private property so access is limited but interested parties can camp or rent a summer home and enjoy all the amenities of the park.
Launch from a sandy beach and head out onto Lake Erie. On calm days, you can paddle to explore the exposed shipwreck, the Steel Products, approximately 1/4 mile from shore. The Point Abino Lighthouse is an approximately 5 mile paddle away and if you venture past it you can see the Buffalo skyline. This area has always been known for great sailing and windsurfing. But when the wind shuts down, the paddle boards head out to the rocky shallows we affectionately call “The Reef” where it is not uncommon to score a 30 second ride on a waist high wave. It is also possible to ride shore break at the east end of the beach but you need to share the waves with prone surfers.
There is no better way to end the day but a sunset paddle seeing the sun sink right into the water.
Don’t miss hanging out with the locals, The Reef Warriors, to share your stories and maybe even a rum!
Sherkston Shores is a seasonal park open from May to October. Calm conditions are more common in late spring and early summer. The winds usually kick up in July and surf conditions are best in late summer early fall.
At your camp or rental site.
Anywhere along 2 miles of sandy beach but most of the paddle surfers launch from Elco Beach.