Paddling

Over half a million lakes and waterways

With more than sixty-six percent of its terrain covered in forests and over half a million lakes and waterways, Ontario is a paddler's paradise.

Its provincial and national parks with their endless lakes, rivers, hills and wonderful landscapes offer endless opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and rafting.

Even better, many of these amazing waterways are just a short drive from urban centres, making them perfect for day trips or spontaneous weekend camping or lodge getaways.

It's time to do the things you have been dreaming about. It doesn't matter what you choose—just get out and explore. Plan your Ontario adventure now.

several people sea kayak along the rocky shore of Georgian Bay
Sea kayak through stunning, wind-swept scenery on Georgian Bay. Source: Destination Ontario

Get inspired

Start dreaming and scheming with these inspiring roundups of the many world-class paddling opportunities Ontario has to offer.

Already know which type of paddling you plan to do? Get specific with our guides geared to each paddlesport.

man and woman canoeing in whitewater
Whether you're looking for whitewater or flatwater—or a bit of both—Ontario has plenty to pick from. Source: Destination Ontario

Canoeing & kayaking

a group of people standup paddleboarding on a lake
Gather some friends and SUP into the sunset near Wawa. Source: Darren McCristie // Destination Ontario

Paddleboarding

a group whitewater rafting into a set of rapids
Rafting the rapids on the Ottawa River offers fun and thrills like few others. Source: Destination Ontario

Rafting & tubing

Ontario’s best destinations

Ontario is home to some of the world’s top paddling hotspots. Below is just a sample of the best and most popular paddling destinations in our province.

French River

a sea kayaking campsite near sunset on Georgian Bay
It's no chore to set up camp when you're surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Georgian Bay. Source: Destination Ontario

Georgian Bay

Killarney

Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park

Lake Superior

two canoes beached near rocky rapids on the Missinaibi River
A river trip on the Missinaibi is a can't-miss, quintessentially Canadian experience. Source: Destination Ontario

Missinaibi

Mississagi

Quetico

Temagami

kayak angler stands and casts in front of small island on a Wabakimi lake
Wabakimi Provincial Park offers an untouched paradise for paddlers, anglers and backcountry campers. Source: Destination Ontario

Wabakimi

Woodland Caribou

Best of the rest

people sea kayaking in Sudbury
Take a break from the wilderness and try some urban paddling on Sudbury's Ramsey Lake. Source: Destination Ontario

Local paddling guides

Traveling to one of these Ontario cities and towns? Our local guides will help you find everything necessary to book-end your trip with some fantastic paddling.

Lake of the Woods

North Bay

Learn more: Explore North Bay

Sault Ste. Marie

Learn more: Explore Sault Ste. Marie

Sudbury

Learn more: Explore Sudbury

Thunder Bay

Learn more: Explore Thunder Bay

Timmins

Learn more: Explore Timmins

traditional canoes on display at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay
Delve into paddling's past at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay. Source: Destination Ontario

Paddling culture

Paddling is about more than dipping your blade into the water—it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people, forge new connections, and learn about our shared history on Ontario’s waterways.

Clubs & events

Indigenous-led experiences

Learn more: Experience Indigenous Culture

New Canadians

Learn more: Canadian Canoe Culture

Path of the Paddle

Group of Seven

Learn more: Group of Seven

family groups paddle a big canoe in Atikokan
Find everything you need to plan a fun trip full of paddling activities for the whole family. Source: Destination Ontario

Getting started

Are you a family with young children or a novice paddler just getting your feet wet? It’s important to start with the right information and padding skills to prepare for a safe and enjoyable outing.

Skills & safety

Kids & families

Rentals

Where to stay

Learn more:  
Plan Your Summer Trip  
Plan Your Fall Trip  
Where to Eat

Recommended Articles

Ontario’s Moose Hotspots

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Best Family Canoe Trips

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Ontario’s Blue-Water Lakes

So blue you won’t believe your eyes.

Easy River Tripping

The French River will delight canoeists of all ages.

Get On The Water

Ontario paddling events for canoeists, kayakers, SUPers, and rafters in 2024.

Best Canoe Maps in Ontario

Find out where to get the best digital and hard-copy versions.

Best Sites on the French River

Where to stay on your canoe trip.

Killarney Canoe Trips

Learn how to plan a backcountry canoe trip in this provincial park.

Skip The Crowds

18 Excellent Alternatives to Algonquin Park

Paddling Laws

This is what you need to know about safety on the water in Ontario.

Sun and Sand

Soak it up at the best Lake Huron beaches

Killarney’s Most Beautiful Lakes

10 lakes you need to book a campsite on.

Indigenous Outdoor Adventure Experiences

9 Bucket-List Adventures You Don't Want to Miss

Train-In Adventure

Take "The Canadian" into the backcountry.

It's Time for a Paddle

Canoe and kayak rentals that are perfect for your next paddling adventure.

Quetico’s Best Canoe Routes

Expert advice for exploring Canada’s top canoeing paradise.

Top 10 Easy Canoe Trips

Go guided and learn canoe and camping skills in Northern Ontario.

Learn or Improve Your Paddling Skills

Find the best canoe and kayak courses in Ontario.

Best Places To Canoe Trip

Your paddling bucket list just got longer.

Temagami Canoe Trip Guide

Expert advice for paddling in paradise.