Canoe, kayak, and paddle with Parks Canada

Discover the best spots for canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), rafting, river canoeing, and canoe camping. From lakes and rivers, swamps and bays, to oceans and whitewater: there's something for all tastes and levels.

Water activities involve risks

Be prepared and choose a course appropriate to your experience level. Remember that weather conditions can change rapidly and affect water level or create navigation challenges. Be self-sufficient at all times and remember that you are responsible for your own safety. Know the emergency protocols and rules of the destination you are visiting.

Learn about water safety and how to be AdventureSmart

Explore by province

Newfoundland and Labrador

Two visitors sea kayaking along the coastline in Terra Nova.

Location: Terra Nova National Park

Canoe Kayak Sea kayak Canoe camping Guided paddling

Feel the rhythm of nature, the waters of the park are calling.

Don’t miss

  • Dip your paddle in the numerous freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds. Choose the paddle adventure that best suits you from laid-back family-friendly experiences to multi-day trips that include portages.
  • Discover over 200 km of beautiful rugged coastline, sheltered coves and inlets in your sea kayak.

Pro tip: Rent a watercraft from Happy Adventure Tours, located at the Visitor Centre.

Three visitors paddle on sea kayaks on Bonne Bay at Norris Point on a cloudy day in Gros Morne National Park.

Location: Gros Morne National Park

Sea kayak Kayak camping

Always dreamed of sea kayaking in a fjord? You will be spoiled for choice!

Don’t miss

  • Indulge in a trip to Trout River Pond, the most accessible of the fjord lakes within the park. Enjoy breathtaking views of the world-renowned intriguing landscape of the Tablelands from the north shore. On the south are the contrasting steep cliffs and the forested Gregory Plateau. Caribou, moose, bears and arctic hares live in this area, keep an eye out.

Pro tip: If you are unfamiliar with the routes, Parks Canada recommends that you consult with experienced paddlers or join a guided tour.

Two adults in a canoe during an orange sunset at Kejimkujik.

Location: Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Canoe camping

Enjoy some of the best paddling in Atlantic Canada.

Don’t miss

  • Head up the Mersey River, exploring the many side streams that wildlife call home. Remember to give them the space they need.
  • Enjoy the Frozen Ocean Loop, a favourite among seasoned canoers and perfect for first-time canoe campers. Check the map and stay at least one night on Frozen Ocean Lake where you’ll find some of the finest backcountry campsites.

Pro tip: Rent a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board including safety equipment or book shuttles for drop-off or pick-up.

A young woman paddles on a stand up paddle board on Kouchibouguac River in the fall.

Location: Kouchibouguac National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Canoe camping

Explore the waterways where the Mi’kmaq have paddled for thousands of years.

Don’t miss

  • Test your balance while paddle boarding over the Kougibouguac lagoon.
  • Travel west along the Kouchibouguac River to view the famous “bonsai” pine from the water.

Pro tip: Rent a paddle board at Kouchibouguac’s summer activity hub: Ryans equipment rental, located next to the Southern Kouchibouguac campground.

A couple kayaking near the covered bridge Wolf Point in the Bay of Fundy.

Location: Fundy National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Sea kayak Guided paddling

Experience the thrill of Fundy’s record-setting tides.

Don’t miss

  • Walk along the ocean floor at low tide and admire the treasures it holds. Six hours later, hop in a sea kayak and paddle the same area at high tide! Watch as intertidal mud flats are submerged by lapping waves. This is truly an experience like no other.
  • Prefer the waters of a lake? Treat yourself to a trip to Bennett Lake or Wolfe Lake.

Pro tip: Rent a kayak, canoe or paddle board at the Bennett Lake Boathouse.

A young woman on a stand up paddle board near the shore of Petite Île au Marteau in Mingan Archipelago.

Location: Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

Sea kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Kayak camping Guided paddling

Paddle through monoliths on the crystal clear waters of Mingan Archipelago You’ll probably have the chance to watch seals, whales and marine birds.

Don’t miss

  • Venture out in a sea kayak with your guide and make Grande Île your base camp. Paddle at dawn, sunset, or even under the milky way. You may even be lucky enough to watch in awe as the sea lights up with bioluminescent plankton.
  • More of a paddleboarder? Join a guided tour to Grosse Île au Marteau. All equipment is included and if the weather conditions become unfavourable, there will be a return trip by boat.

Pro tip: Ocean conditions in Mingan change very fast. It is therefore recommended to be accompanied by a guide at all times.

A visitor on a paddle board at sunset at Forillon National Park with Penouille Beach in the background.

Location: Forillon National Park

Sea kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Guided paddling

Get an up-close look at the incredible sights of the sea, beaches and cliffs, where seals, seabirds and whales are the main attraction!

Don’t miss

  • Admire the sunset on one of the most beautiful beaches in Quebec from your paddleboard. Explore the stunning surroundings of Penouille Beach in Gaspé Bay.
  • Set off in a sea kayak with a professional guide to explore an impressive seal haulout.

Pro tip: Rent paddling gear on site and don't miss the opportunity to sign up for a guided tour!

Kayakers in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park with cliffs, a boat and a lighthouse in the background.

Location: Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park

Sea kayak Guided paddling

As a seasoned paddler, navigate Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park according to the winds, tides and currents.

Don’t miss

  • Find islands, lighthouses, thriving wildlife, and the Saguenay Fjord, a landscape carved by the last ice age, imposing impressive 300-metre-high cliffs.
  • New to paddling? Treat yourself to the company of an experienced guide.

Pro tip: You may have the privilege of observing marine mammals in their habitat. Remember to maintain a minimum distance of 200 metres from whales and 400 metres from species at risk such as the St. Lawrence beluga and the blue whale.

A Wapizagonke Lake canoe camping site with four visitors near a fire, a tent and a table in La Mauricie National Park.

Location: La Mauricie National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Canoe camping

La Mauricie is a favourite for paddlers.

Don’t miss

  • Avoid the crowds of busier lakes with a paddling outing at the beautiful Lac à la Pêche. Stop to have a dip in Parker Falls, a hidden gem.
  • Go canoe camping and choose your route from our numerous suggestions. Stay at a single campsite or treat yourself to a multi-day expedition on different lakes linked by portages.

Pro tip: Enjoy a backcountry lakeside expedition without the portage! Row-and-go canoes are offered at Lac à la Pêche and Lac du Caribou. Equipment rental is also available on the shore of Édouard and Wapizagonke Lakes.

Two kayakers on Lachine Canal with buildings in the background.

Location: Lachine Canal National Historic Site

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding

Enjoy a day of outdoor activities in the heart of Montreal as you explore the waters of Lachine Canal, a waterway where past and present meet.

Don’t miss

  • New to paddling? Parks Canada certified instructors will teach you the basics of canoeing or kayaking. Book a free Learn-to paddle session at Hangar 1825 or Peel Basin.

Pro tip: Rent a watercraft at the outfitters located near the Atwater Footpath and get your seasonal boat sticker for your non-motorized watercraft before your next outing.

Canoes and kayaks in the Peterborough Lift Lock at Trent–Severn

Location: Trent–Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Canoe Kayak Canoe camping

With 386 km to explore, plenty of historic adventures await! Discover this world-class water system with our best paddling routes with everything from wetlands to cottage country to Canadian Shield.

Don’t miss

Pro tip: Check out all 42 lockstations, including a map and virtual tour of the entire waterway.

A canoe on a dock on the Rideau Canal with oTENTik tents in the background.

Location: Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Canoe Kayak Canoe camping

Paddle over 200 km on an iconic route in a UNESCO World Heritage Site! After a day of fun, camp at any of the 24 historic lockstations on a first-come first-served basis.

Don’t miss

  • Tuck in at Upper Beveridges in an oTENTik that comes with a canoe and safety gear. Take a trip up the Tay Canal in the morning into some gorgeous ecosystems or keep going all the way to the nearby town of Perth for lunch, then return.
  • Go through the flight locks at Jones Falls then stay the night at a historic accommodation in Davis or Newboro.

Pro tip: Book a Learn-to paddle activity. Parks Canada certified instructors will teach you the basics of canoeing or kayaking.

Two visitors kayak on the St. Lawrence River near a rocky shore in Thousand Islands.

Location: Thousand Islands National Park

Sea kayak Kayak camping Guided paddling

Leave the daily grind behind. You will be fascinated at every turn by sunken ships, historic castles and a landscape steeped in First Nations history.

Don’t miss

  • Venture out in a kayak to visit picturesque granite islands and admire iconic windswept pine trees. You might even be lucky enough to get a glimpse of a soaring bald eagle or a family of turtles basking on a rock. As the sun sets, return to shore refreshed, recharged and full of stories to share.

Pro tip: Treat yourself to a kayak journey without all the fuss with the help of experienced guides taking care of every detail, from introductory lessons to en-route snacks.

Great egret on the edge of the Rouge River at Rouge National Urban Park.

Location: Rouge National Urban Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding

Explore one paddle at a time in an urban park in Toronto!

Don’t miss

  • Paddle around the Rouge Marsh and head north up the Rouge River to pass through some of the park’s most stunning wetlands. The marsh is large, so remember to keep your point of entry in mind.
  • Love Lake Ontario? Paddling along Rouge Beach in calm weather is also top notch! Parking in the area is limited.

Pro tip: Remember to clean, drain and dry your watercraft and water-related gear before entering any river, lake or stream to prevent the spread of invasive species.

A bird's eye view of Pulpwood Harbour in Pukaskwa National Park.

Location: Pukaskwa National Park

Canoe Kayak Sea kayak Canoe camping

Treat yourself to a paddling experience comparable to being in the ocean and feel the classic Ontario wilderness in Pukaskwa.

Don’t miss

  • Enjoy pristine backcountry campsites, beautiful sandy beaches, towering shorelines and awe-inspiring views. Don’t know where to start? Check out these suggested paddling routes for inspiration.

Pro tip: Make sure you have the technical knowledge and skill to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

A couple paddle in a tandem kayak on Lake Superior near the township of Rossport.

Location: Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Sea kayak Kayak camping Guided paddling

Paddling in a sea kayak this freshwater sea is the adventure of a lifetime. Lake Superior is not just any lake and you should prepare for conditions similar to those in ocean environments.

Don’t miss

  • De-stress with a sheltered paddle around the islands of Rossport.
  • Challenge yourself with a multi-day guided expedition along the coast. Guides will show you the safest and most spectacular routes along bays, coves, islands and wetlands.

Pro tip: For a safer trip filled with adventure and great memories, it is recommended that paddlers of all skill levels seek an experienced guide.

Two visitors explore Clear Lake in their kayaks in Riding Mountain.

Location: Riding Mountain National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding

Discover a world of boreal beauty from the water.

Don’t miss

  • Paddle the clearest waters of the southern Prairies! Find out for yourself how Clear Lake lives up to its name and you’ll see why it’s a favourite for boaters. With its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters… pure happiness awaits.
  • No watercraft? No problem! Rent kayaks, paddle boards and pedal boats at the surrounding local businesses.

Pro tip: Help Parks Canada keep Clear Lake healthy and make sure to stop by Boat Cove for a mandatory aquatic invasive species inspection, free of charge!

A visitor paddle boarding at sunset on Waskesiu Lake near King Island in Prince Albert.

Location: Prince Albert National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding Canoe camping

Whether you are an experienced or a novice paddler, the lakes and rivers of the park offer amazing adventures that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Don’t miss

  • Head to Trippes Beach, a great launching point for a short visit to King Island on Waskesiu Lake. End the day with a picnic on the beach and make use of the fire pits and tables there.
  • The Bagwa canoe route is one of the most user-friendly ways to paddle in the park. Treat yourself to a canoe camping adventure and discover the multiple lakes, river, channel, and even rail portage that await.

Pro tip: Find out where to rent a watercraft by contacting the Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce.

Two young adults paddle in a canoe during a sunny fall day on Astotin Lake in Elk Island.

Location: Elk Island National Park

Canoe Kayak Stand-up paddleboarding

See Elk Island National Park like never before!

Don’t miss

  • Cruise around one of the many islands in Astotin Lake and pause at Beaver Bay to enjoy your picnic lunch. Astotin Lake is the perfect place for a family canoe trip.

Pro tip: Rent a canoe, kayak or paddle board at the Astotin Lake recreation area.

British Columbia

Three kayakers on the ocean in Gwaii Haanas.

Location: Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

Sea kayak Kayak camping Guided paddling

Discover one of the best sea kayaking destinations in the world! Explore over 800 islands and islets and experience ancient Haida villages.

Don’t miss

  • Soak in natural thermal pools at Hotspring Island or wildlife watch in the Burnaby Narrows. You may even encounter many of the 20 species of whales and dolphins frequently seen in these waters.

Pro tip: Ensure that you have the skills necessary for your Gwaii Haanas adventure, whether you travel independently or with a tour operator.

Two campers relax at their scenic waterfront campsite at Arbutus Point at Gulf Islands.

Location: Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Sea kayak Kayak camping Guided paddling

Venture to one of the most beautiful and accessible archipelagos in the world! Gulfs islands offer amazing paddling opportunities and chances to see sea lions, otters, seals, killer whales, and bald eagles.

Don’t miss

  • Embark on a multi-day paddle trip with this staff favourite, and discover amazing hidden gems. Launch from Fulford Harbour on Saltspring and paddle around Russell and Portland Islands. Listen to songbirds and watch the sunset at the gorgeous Arbutus Point Campground.

Pro tip: Embark on a guided excursion from one of the many local tour operators and benefit from their expertise and knowledge.

A woman smiles while rafting on the Alsek River with mountains and small floating ice blocks in the background in Kluane.

Location: Kluane National Park and Reserve

Canoe Kayak Rafting Packrafting Guided paddling

Explore Kluane, known for its wilderness recreation.

Don’t miss

  • Paddle down the beautiful Alsek River, fed by glacial meltwaters from the second highest coastal mountain range in the world. The Alsek flows through remote country and take-out points are all air access only.
  • Are you an experienced paddler who loves packrafting? You will be spoiled for choice! Share your pictures and trip information with us at: We’re always learning and adding new information to our trip planning material.

Pro tip: The dangers and risks associated with whitewater and remote wilderness are plentiful. Prepare accordingly and contact the Kluane Parks Office for updated information about permits and registration.

A close-up of an adult in a raft with a river, cliffs and another raft in the background in Ivvavik.

Location: Ivvavik National Park

Rafting Guided paddling

Observe the migration of caribou herds, fish for Arctic Grayling or explore Engigstciak – a dramatic peak rising from the coastal plain that hunters have used to scan the horizon for more than 9,000 years.

Don’t miss

  • Experienced paddlers, rafting the Firth River is a trip to add to your bucket list! These 1-2 week trips typically begin at Margaret Lake. From there, float along into a succession of canyons – eventually ending at Nunaluk Spit, on the Arctic Ocean’s coastline.

Pro tip: Get involved in conservation! Raft down the river with Canadian River Expeditions’ guides and Parks Canada scientists.

Northwest Territories

A visitor in a canoe on the South Nahanni River.

Location: Nahanni National Park Reserve

Whitewater paddling Guided paddling

Combine challenging whitewater with cultural experiences on the South Nahanni River.

Don’t miss

  • Prepare your paddles! Your 10 to 14 day trip starts from Gahnįhthah Mįe (Rabbitkettle Lake) and includes a portage at Náįlįcho. You’ll even enter a series of Class II and III rapids (depending on water levels), and meander a legendary Canadian Heritage River. Paddle by some of the deepest canyons in Canada and hear the thunderous Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls) for an experience like no other.

Pro tip: In Náįlįcho and Gahnįhthah Mįe, share your experience with park guides during a guided hike or around a campfire.

Aerial view of 2 river canoes down the river in Nááts'įhch'oh

Location: Nááts'įhch'oh National Park Reserve

Whitewater paddling Packrafting Guided paddling

Treat yourself to a whitewater adventure on the traditional homelands of the Sahtu Dene and Métis and Dehcho First Nations.

Don’t miss

  • The Nááts’įhch’oh Triple Header is the ultimate whitewater adventure for skilled paddlers. Warm up on the scenic Pííp’enéh łéetóó Deé (Broken Skull River) before tackling the famed Rock Gardens stretch of Tehjeh Deé (South Nahanni River) and the thrilling Łáhtanįlį Deé (Little Nahanni River). Complete all three rivers to earn your Triple Header badge! Guided trips available.
  • Did someone say packrafting? Try one of the many intermediate or advanced level courses available.

Pro tip: Remember you are responsible for your own safety.

Two canoes on the Thomsen River with snow and tundra in the background at Aulavik.

Location: Aulavik National Park

Canoe Kayak Canoe camping Guided paddling

Paddle the Thomsen River which runs through Aulavik National Park for 160 kilometres. This slow flowing river runs north and has no rapids or obstructions.

Don’t miss

  • Reward yourself with a multi week paddling journey through rich arctic tundra, full of wildlife like muskoxen, hundreds of species of wild-flowers and ancient archaeological sites.

Pro tip: Canoes are available for rent from outfitters in Inuvik.

Paddling types

Two young men paddle out to the marsh in a canoe with a lookout in the background at Point Pelee National Park.

Flatwater paddling (canoe/kayak)

Paddle on lakes, swamps or rivers without rapids or strong currents in nature or the city. Keep in mind that wind can seriously affect ease of travel and wave action.

Two adults in a river canoe down the Broken Skull river in Nááts'įhch'oh.

Whitewater paddling

Travel down a river with rapids or strong currents in a canoe or kayak designed for whitewater.

A couple paddle boarding in front of the  Petite Île au Marteau in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)

Balance on a large board designed to paddle in a kneeling or standing position on calm waters without rapids or strong currents.

Three visitors sea kayaking on Bonne Bay at Gros Morne National Park.

Sea kayaking

Explore the ocean, the St. Lawrence River or huge lakes in a long and narrow kayak. This is a completely different activity from paddling in rivers or small lakes, often impacted by tides, swell, significant wave actions, and the currents associated with those phenomena.

River raft going through Fourth Canyon at Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls), in Nahanni National Park Reserve.

Whitewater rafting

Hop into an inflatable raft and float down rivers with fast-flowing rapids and strong currents.

A woman in a packraft with mountains in the background in Kluane National Park and Reserve.


Discover the backcountry on the quest for the best wild rivers! Simply stash your packraft in your backpack and let your adventure begin.

Two young women on the Kingsmere Rail Cart Portage in Prince Albert.

Canoe camping/kayak camping

Treat yourself to a multi-day canoeing or kayaking trip where you carry your camping gear and food to stay overnight in the backcountry.

Aerial view of 4 kayaks along the shore at Thousand Islands National Park.

Guided paddling

Unsure about travelling solo? Paddle with an experienced guide who will show you the ropes.

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