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


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


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





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


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


Learn more: Explore Sudbury

Thunder Bay

Learn more: Explore Thunder Bay


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


Where to stay

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

Recommended Articles

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Explore Ontario by Paddleboard

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Temagami Canoe Trip Guide

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Ultimate Paddling Day Trips

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It's Time for a Paddle

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Best Sites on the French River

Where to stay on your canoe trip.

Backcountry Beginners

Charleston Lake is a perfect park for you.

SUPreme Adventure

Best paddleboarding destinations for beginners.

10 Best All-Inclusive Canoe Trips

Go guided into the wilderness.

The Spanish River

Everything you need to plan your next canoe trip.

Quetico’s Best Canoe Routes

Expert advice for exploring Canada’s top canoeing paradise.

Guide to the Migizi & Iinoo Oowan Trails

How to plan a trip on these legs of the Path of the Paddle.

Paddling in Lady Evelyn Smoothwater

Your ultimate guide to canoe tripping in this provincial park.

Best Lakes for Paddling

Explore Ontario’s pristine waters.

Paddling Getaways Near North Bay

Discover 7 stunning places to explore by kayak and canoe.

Temagami Canoe Trip Routes

6 top trip options.

Woodland Caribou’s Most Exquisite Lakes

Put these 10 incredible lakes on your canoe trip bucket list.

Paddling Laws

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