Kayaking From Bill Smith Park

Now that our house is built we can go back to doing the things that make island life worthwhile. Admittedly, the beach is the number one attraction for us. But we also enjoy quietly paddling around the neighborhood waterways.

In 2016, the town of Oak Island added a kayak launch to largest park, Bill Smith Park on Fish Factory Road. The waterway there is known both as Upper Dutchman’s Creek and Wildlife Creek. (I don’t know this for a fact, but I assume that before the Intracoastal Waterway cut through here Upper Dutchman’s Creek used to connect directly to Dutchman’s Creek. The park is a small way above the Wildlife Ramp which may be the thinking behind the alternate name.)

It is touted as being handicap accessible. The ramp is far steeper than allowed by the ADA – especially at low tide, but there is a nice overlook for a handicapped person to watch boaters on the water so maybe that is what they mean.

Fortunately, there is no footage of our major fail of the day. Bringing the kayak back up the ramp on a dolly the kick stand, though “up”, got caught on the ramp about two thirds of the way up requiring us to carry both the kayak and the dolly the rest of the way. It was a very hot day and I about fainted from the effort.

Overall, I’d give the facility good marks for use near high tide and below average for low tide. In the future, I plan to just go to the wildlife ramp when the tide is low and I want to paddle on that creek.

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