A Guide to Sudbury’s Best Paddleboarding

Grab your SUP and explore local waterways, iconic wilderness and the Great Lakes.

Sudbury is an unparalleled destination for outdoor lovers. This vibrant city is especially rewarding for paddling enthusiasts, with endless paddleboarding possibilities right from the doorstep of your hotel, B&B or campsite. Once known primarily for mining (and a very large nickel), Sudbury is gaining recognition today as the “City of Lakes.” In addition to the astounding 330 lakes within city limits, Greater Sudbury is surrounded by a labyrinth of freshwater connecting the region to some of Ontario’s most spellbinding river routes, parks and island archipelagos.

Whether you bring your own SUP or rent one here, local outfitters can set you up to enjoy some fantastic day paddling in the heart of downtown, or help put together a first-time wilderness adventure. Beyond city limits, the expansive waters of Lake Huron’s North Channel and Georgian Bay, as well as the inland waterways of Ontario’s acclaimed Killarney and Temagami regions, are just a short drive away.

Outstanding standup paddleboarding is just one reason to visit this Northern Ontario hub. Sudbury’s wealth of attractions, accommodations, fine and casual dining, coffee shops, breweries and more means the city has something to offer every type of traveller.

woman laughs while standup paddleboarding at Kivi Park in Sudbury
Find amazing paddling on Kivi Park's Crowley Lake. Photo: Jess McShane // @jessmcshane

Kivi Park

Located in Sudbury’s south end, Kivi Park is an oasis of boreal greenspace that is a favourite escape for locals and visitors alike. This 480-acre park boasts amazing mountain biking and hiking trails as well as scenic paddling on Crowley Lake. From the sandy beach launch, explore a classic northern shoreline of rocky outcrops and forest alive with birdsong. Kivi Park offers on-site canoe, kayak and standup paddleboard rentals from June to October (reservations recommended). A day pass is required.

Paddling in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
The calm waters of Lake Laurentian Conservation Area are beckoning. Photo: Thomas Merritt // @tjsmerritt

Ramsey Lake and Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Sparkling Ramsey Lake is the centerpiece of downtown Sudbury, with multiple easy options for getting on the water. Head to the Ramsey Lake boat launch, conveniently located just east of Science North, one of Sudbury’s top attractions, or carry your SUP across the grass to the waterfront at Bell Park, located off of Paris Street. The sandy shore here is a designated Blue Flag beach, making this the perfect base for a sunrise SUP yoga session or a family SUP-and-swim day. According to local sources, Ramsey Lake is also the world’s second-largest lake contained within a city’s limits. Explore the meandering shoreline for a unique perspective of Sudbury’s waterfront.

Encompassing the southeast shoreline of Ramsey Lake as well as a handful of smaller lakes, ponds and wetlands, the sprawling Lake Laurentian Conservation Area also offers urban paddling in a natural setting. The launch is located at the area’s Nature Chalet on South Bay Road, about 10 minutes from downtown Sudbury. Glide along the connecting channels while watching for turtles, loons, herons, sandhill cranes, eagles and a variety of songbirds.

Windy Lake Provincial Park

Located on Highway 144, less than an hour’s drive north of Sudbury, Windy Lake Provincial Park features one of the most popular recreational beach areas in the entire region, with 1.5 km of exceptional sandy shores. There’s even a spacious pet-friendly beach area that is perfect for SUPing with your pup. The park is also home to an outstanding drive-in campground with 93 sites for tents, trailers and RVs as well as two camp cabins.

Day visitors and campers enjoy great access to the park’s namesake lake, a large crystal clear body of water surrounded by northern forest. Superb fishing for walleye, northern pike, lake trout and smallmouth bass rewards paddleboard anglers.

  • Don’t miss the stunning 55-metre cascades at Onaping’s High Falls and the A.Y. Jackson Lookout, which inspired some of Canada’s greatest landscape painting.
  • Fishing equipment is available to borrow, free of charge, through Windy Lake Provincial Park’s Tackleshare program.
  • Satisfy pizza cravings with the mouthwatering options at Stackhouse Pizza in Chelmsford.
Paddling in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
Make the most of the paddling season in Sudbury. Photo: Thomas Merritt // @tjsmerritt

Halfway Lake Provincial Park

A short drive beyond Windy Lake on Highway 144, Halfway Lake Provincial Park offers abundant wildlife viewing and a unique northern landscape of rolling bedrock, ancient glacial lakes and verdant pine and birch forest.

Choose from two beautiful paddling routes: on the northern edge of the park, the tall cliffs and secluded sandy beaches of Antrim Lake make this a stunningly scenic day or overnight trip with great swimming and picnicking opportunities. Meanwhile, the longer Two Narrows Route travels through the heart of the park via a series of small lakes and short portage trails. Intrepid paddleboarders can complete the loop in a day, or a handful of lovely interior campsites make this a fine option for first-time SUP campers. For a shorter adventure, paddle south into Bailey Lake to view the nesting bald eagles, osprey and heron rookery here.

  • Paddleboard, canoe and kayak rentals are available on-site at the park store.
  • Plan a longer stay by reserving a campsite at one of Halfway Lake Provincial Park’s two lakeside drive-in campgrounds. Private sites offer easy access to a swimming beach, comfort stations and the park store for hand-scooped ice cream.
  • Bring your hiking shoes to explore the park’s excellent network of scenic hiking trails. Don’t miss the Three Island Lake lookout from the challenging Hawk Ridge Trail.

Marten River Provincial Park

This peaceful protected area lies just over an hour’s drive east of Sudbury and serves as a southern gateway to the vast Temagami canoe area. Marten River itself provides lots of opportunities for exploration, with numerous quiet bays and access to the interconnected lakes of nearby Kenny Forest Provincial Park.

Besides paddling, the park also offers a fine drive-in campground, three beach areas, remnant stands of massive old-growth pines, and terrific fishing for smallmouth, rock bass, northern pike, walleye and lake trout. Paddleboard, kayak and canoe rentals are available on-site.

  • Half an hour north of Marten River, Finlayson Point Provincial Park provides the best access to the stunning scenery of Lake Temagami. Temagami Outfitting Co. can point you to the top day paddles—including some unforgettable paddle-in hikes to old-growth forests and cliff-top views—around this huge lake.
  • Smoothwater Outfitters & Lodge is a leading outfitter for the Temagami region, providing a quiet place to stay while you explore the pristine lakes, ancient forests and breathtaking vistas just a short paddle, hike or drive from your doorstep.
two kids standup paddleboarding together at Kivi Park in Sudbury
Get the whole family involved. Photo: Jess McShane // @jessmcshane

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay

For experienced paddlers, Lake Huron’s North Channel and Georgian Bay offer some of the finest multi-day paddle camping in the world. But numerous launch sites and welcoming communities around the region mean it’s also possible to explore these open waters and glacier-polished granite archipelagos on shorter excursions by paddleboard.

From Sudbury, the nearest access option is the community of Whitefish Falls, located on Highway 6 on the way to Manitoulin Island. Launching from here allows paddleboarders to discover the sheltered Bay of Islands at the eastern end of the North Channel. Standup paddlers with appropriate experience and equipment can set out from the village of Spanish, about 90 minutes west of Sudbury on Highway 17, and explore the more exposed waters of the evocatively named Whalesback Channel.

For an unforgettable day trip on Georgian Bay, drive an hour southwest from Sudbury on Highway 637 to Killarney Provincial Park. Best known for the superlative scenery surrounding its sapphire inland lakes, the park’s Chikanishing River access point wends its way to the open water and stunning offshore islets of Georgian Bay’s Philip Edward Island. Pick up a vehicle permit—required for parking and launching—at the park’s nearby George Lake visitor centre.

  • Conveniently located on Highway 637, Killarney Outfitters is the preeminent specialist for all things Killarney offering paddleboard rental, camping equipment rental, delivery to various park access points and assistance with route planning.
  • Widgawa Lodge offers tranquil cabins and camping just a stone’s throw from Whitefish Falls, and also serves as an access point to the less-visited west side of Killarney Park.

Killarney

Killarney Provincial Park’s rugged topography, vibrant vistas and outstanding network of canoe routes make this iconic park a favourite destination for paddlers. The park protects a unique landscape of dazzling blue lakes and windswept pines nestled among the white quartzite ridges of the La Cloche Mountains. While it ranks among Ontario’s finest backcountry canoe tripping hotspots, the park also rewards paddleboarders visiting for the day or basing from the main entry point at George Lake Campground.

Multiple launch sites along the Highway 637 corridor provide easy access to some of Killarney’s best lakes. Explore the sparkling blue waters and white outcrops of iconic George Lake, paddle to a pretty falls on Carlyle Lake, or combine Carlyle and Johnnie lakes for kilometres of picturesque, portage-free paddling on these long and meandering gems. Numerous peninsulas, bays and islands offer a fresh vista around every bend, while Johnnie Lake’s clear blue waters, graceful pines and pink granite shores frame what many agree is the park’s best view of Silver Peak.

  • Located a short drive west of George Lake, Killarney Outfitters offers complete rentals and outfitting for paddleboarding in the park, as well as water taxi service and trip planning assistance informed by over 40 years of experience.
  • Minutes from Killarney Park, Avalon Eco-Resort provides unique off-grid housekeeping cabins overlooking Tyson Lake, with access to canoes and kayaks for guests.
  • The picturesque Georgian Bay village of Killarney makes an enticing side trip or home base, with top-notch accommodations and dining at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and famous, fresh-caught fish and chips at Herbert’s Fisheries.
  • No wheels? No problem! You can ride the Park Bus to Killarney from Toronto.
Paddling in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
Find your bliss paddleboarding near Sudbury. Photo: Thomas Merritt // @tjsmerritt

Where to Rent Paddleboards in Sudbury

Ramakko’s Source for Adventure

2345 Regent Street, Sudbury
705-522-8889

Sudbury’s premier outdoor gear supplier offers exceptional service and great local advice. Ramakko’s has partnered with Kivi Park to provide on-site paddleboard rentals from June to October.

Laurentian University Outdoor Centre

935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury
705-675-1151

Located outside the Laurentian University gym, the centre offers paddleboard and outdoor gear rentals from May 1 to August 31.

Halfway Lake Provincial Park

Highway 144, Sudbury
705-965-2702

Find paddleboard, canoe and kayak rentals at this tranquil provincial park just one hour north of downtown Sudbury.

Killarney Outfitters

Highway 637, Killarney
705-287-2828

Long-established Killarney area outfitter offers paddleboard and camping equipment rentals, as well as delivery, water taxi service and trip planning assistance informed by over four decades of experience.

Paddling in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
Morning calm at Lake Laurentian. Photo: Thomas Merritt // @tjsmerritt

Discover exceptional paddleboarding near Sudbury

Base yourself in Sudbury for easy access to Northeastern Ontario’s varied and beautiful waterways. Whether you are seeking solitude on a serene lake or looking for a more challenging open water journey, Sudbury offers something for paddleboarders of every skill level.

About Virginia Marshall

Virginia Marshall is a freelance outdoor adventure writer, photographer and editor with roots in Muskoka and Lake Superior. Read her work in Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, Rapid, Paddling Magazine and Backroad Mapbooks.

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