From the Great Lakes to whitewater rivers and creeks, Ontario’s waters are something to be explored. Whether it be a day trip, just the afternoon, or a whole weekend, this list of best places to go kayaking will have you packing your back, mounting your kayak, and leaving your home for the water.
7 Best Places To Go Kayaking In Ontario
Lake Nipissing, North Bay, ON
Grab your kayak (here’s a list of some under $500) because Lake Nipissing is a paddler’s paradise, with plenty of incredible scenery and history to explore. The west shore is a great place to start, with Totem Point Lodge as the perfect access point. You’ll get to experience firsthand the impressive scenery and history that surrounds this special lake.
There are also kayaking tours that offer a perfect way to watch the sun dip below the horizon while enjoying some of the best views around. If you’re new to kayaking, you can hire an instructor to teach you safety and basic strokes on how to move easily through the water. Then, when you’re ready, paddle over to a small island for an unobstructed view of the sunset and head on back to shore by the light of the moon!
St. Lawrence River, Kingston, ON
Tucked away from Lake Ontario is the St. Lawrence River. Outdoor enthusiasts have found this place to be a hot spot for water sports and activities. There’s an excellent location to dip in the water that’s about a 10-min walk from downtown Kingston real estate. You can keep things light by staying along the waterfront, but some like to venture to Big Sandy Bay on Wolfe Island and that’s cool too! Don’t want to just kayak? No problem, you’ll find people also enjoy stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, and even sailing here too!
Just like most bodies of water, the St. Lawrence River is ideal for fishing. Many who come to kayak, pack their rod and reels with plans to catch fish along their trips. Here you can find a variety of fish, including crappie, perch, trout, large and small mouth bass, walleye, pike, and muskie.
Georgian Bay, Killarney, ON
Looking to explore some of Canada’s most beautiful landscape? Look no further than Georgian Bay. With its sweeping sandy beaches, rocky Canadian Shield country, and ancient forests, this area is a nature lover’s paradise. Paddle your way through the 30,000 islands that make up the coastline and take in the stunning views of the La Cloche Mountains. You can even explore hidden coves and remote islands – perfect for those looking for a bit of adventure. After a long day on the water, what could be more peaceful than relaxing at a campsite with a beautiful sunset as your backdrop?
If camping and kayaking sound like a dream, you can get connected with an outfitter that knows the area. They can take you to popular locations such as Philip Edward Island, the Chicken Islands, and more! Usually, their services will include things like meals, camping gear, paddling equipment, and a guide.
Black River, Prince Edward County, ON
Looking for a peaceful and scenic kayaking experience? Look no further than the Black River in Prince Edward County. Known for its calm waters and abundance of wildlife, Black River is the perfect place to launch your boat and explore at your own pace. If you’re new to kayaking, no worries, Black River truly moves slow and quiet. In fact, sometimes the river moves so slowly that you may have to do a bit of rowing to get down the river. There is a good stretch that is deep though and makes for a calm and easy paddle though.
Whether you paddle upstream to the town of Milford or downstream to the small bay on Lake Ontario, you’re sure to enjoy the natural beauty of this river valley. You’ll want to be sure to check out Macmahon Bluff – a 240-acre rocky headland with unique flora and fauna!
Mattawa River, North Bay, ON
Embark on an unforgettable kayak camping trip down the majestic Mattawa River. This easy whitewater route, from North Bay to the town of Mattawa, takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Ontario, with rocky shorelines and cascading waterfalls.
The Mattawa River was once used as a route for trappers, loggers, voyageurs, and even the Indigenous people that lived here thousands of years ago because you can easily travel up and down the water. Plaques are mounted along the river for you to read about the history of this area as you journey down the river.
Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON
The Rideau Canal is a paddler’s paradise and this trip offers the perfect opportunity to experience its natural beauty and historic charm as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s ideal for beginners and those experienced with kayaking and offers some of the best paddling in Canada. There is a slackwater system for easy paddling and the lakes have hundreds of hidden curves to explore. The canal is also set up with several slips along the way for people to slide in and out of the water.
Want to spend several days out in the wilderness? No problem! There are many camp sites with washroom facilities for those who want to get away and rough it for a few days.
Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, ON
Looking to explore the beauty of Lake Superior? Look no further than a paddle along the Thunder Bay waterfront. With stunning views of both the coast and the Sleeping Giant, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular spot.
It’s common to glide around the harbour and admire views of the man-made scenery, but Thunder Bay offers multiple ways to enjoy kayaking. If you’d like to get away from the bustle of Port of Thunder Bay, slide in the water to the east at Silver Harbour Conservation Area and explore Amethyst Harbour and Mackenzie Bay. Want to get away from the lake? The Kaministiqua and McIntyre Rivers run near the city of Thunder Bay and offers a more primitive kayaking experience.
Top Places To Kayak In Ontario
If you’re looking for a great kayaking spot in Ontario, we hope you found these ideas helpful. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet paddle down a serene river or an adrenaline-pumping whitewater adventure, these seven locations have something to offer everyone. So get out there and enjoy the amazing views and wildlife that Ontario has to offer!
Have you been to any of these spots? Let us know in the comments below.