8 of the Best Paddleboard Camping Trips in Ontario

A bucket list guide to overnight and multiday SUP adventures.

Looking for a fun new way to explore Ontario’s wilderness waterways? This summer, plan a standup paddleboard camping trip to one of your favourite paddling destinations, or load up your gear and sample from the great Ontario SUP routes outlined here. From easy overnighters and basecamp mini-adventures to multi-day odysseys, paddleboard camping trips in Ontario are limited only by your imagination and number of vacation days.

Any paddleboard with sufficient capacity for the combined weight of you and your camping gear, as well as adequate tie-downs for attaching gear securely, can be used for paddleboard camping. However, inflatable paddleboards designed for touring offer the best blend of lightweight portability (particularly important if your route involves portaging), generous capacity, stability and plenty of tie-down points. Inflatable boards are also more resilient to the bumps and scrapes that are often unavoidable when landing or launching at a wild shoreline. Enhance your paddleboard camping experience by keeping things as light as possible; a mid-sized waterproof canoe pack or backpack is a great way to keep gear safe, portable and dry.

If you are new to paddle camping, you’ll love the freedom, flexibility and fitness that SUP adventures offer. And if you are an experienced canoe or kayak tripper, a paddleboard can offer an exciting new perspective. It’s also a great option for solo travellers to explore the backcountry. Ready to get on the water?

Lake of the Woods, Kenora

Lake of the Woods is a vast, sprawling maze of islands, arms, passages and open waters in northwestern Ontario’s Sunset Country. There’s a lifetime of paddling possibilities here, but take our advice and start small: the intimate waterways surrounding the lake offer beautiful and more sheltered options for paddleboard campers. Rushing River Provincial Park is your gateway to a variety of enticing routes, including a pretty, 2- to 3-day exploration of Dogtooth Lake.

Abundant campsites with sandy shorelines and excellent swimming are scattered along the 17-km loop route around Big Island, making this an ideal introduction to no-portage paddleboard camping on a pristine northern Ontario waterway.

  • For paddleboard rentals, guided excursions and expert local advice, contact Green Adventures in Kenora.
  • The Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora has paddling route maps; or you can find them online here.
  • The Hardwear Company is Kenora’s go-to shop for all your paddling and outdoor equipment needs.
  • Minaki Yurt Adventures provide unique glamping-style accommodations on the shores of peaceful Camp Lake. Paddle right from your doorstep and finish your day with a wood-fired sauna and superb stargazing.

Quetico Provincial Park

Quetico Provincial Park is best known as a hardcore wilderness canoe-tripping destination, with some of the finest backcountry routes in all of Ontario. But it doesn’t take a weeks-long wilderness adventure to appreciate this ancient realm of towering rock cliffs, majestic waterfalls and old-growth pine and spruce forests.

A weekend visit to Quetico can be just as rewarding. Five main access points on the park’s north side—including the pretty Dawson Trail Campground on French Lake—are readily accessible from the town of Atikokan, which serves as a hub for outfitters and accommodations. Dip your toes into the Quetico backcountry with a night or two camped on sweeping, island-studded Pickerel Lake. Surrounded by stately pines, it’s a short portage-free paddle from the Dawson Trail Campground.

  • Rent paddleboards at Dawson Trail Campground, the only part of the Quetico wilderness developed for vehicle access.
  • Start or finish your paddleboard camping trip in comfort. Adjacent to the Dawson Trail entry point, Camp Quetico has modern housekeeping cottages perched on the shore of peaceful Eva Lake. Together with Quetico Outfitters, they also provide a wide range of guiding services, shuttles and outfitting options, with route suggestions to kick-start your Quetico trip planning.
  • Voyageur Island Ecolodge offers comfortable accommodations, SUP rentals for guests and delicious meals from their exclusive island retreat on Nym Lake. Their Voyageur Wilderness Programme is also a premier guiding and outfitting service.
four people paddleboarding on Lake Superior
There are so many amazing places to camp along Lake Superior. Photo: Destination Ontario

Lake Superior Provincial Park

From the spellbinding and tempestuous coastline of its namesake lake, to the dozens of tranquil inland jewels nestled in its lightly travelled interior, Lake Superior Provincial Park is truly a destination with something for everyone. Experienced and well-prepared open-water paddleboarders can challenge themselves with forays onto mighty Lake Superior; the park’s Cape Gargantua area has terrific basecamp options with sandy beach campsites and a scattering of rugged offshore islands to explore.

When the big lake is rough—or if your skills are better suited to more sheltered waters—head for the park’s inviting, fish-filled interior lakes. The labyrinthine bays, islands and arms of Mijinemungshing Lake make this an ideal backcountry basecamp for novice paddleboard campers. At the north end of the park, Fenton Lake is the starting point for the superb Fenton-Treeby canoe route. Short portages (150 m or less), great campsites, and a handful of scenic backcountry lakes mean this easy 16-km loop is also perfect for paddleboarders.

  • Backcountry camping permits are required to travel and camp in Lake Superior Provincial Park. It’s recommended that you book in advance for summer weekends.
  • Contact Naturally Superior Adventures in Wawa for paddleboard rentals, shuttles and route planning assistance. Lessons and guided excursions are also available from their paddling centre on Lake Superior.
  • Just north of the park, Rock Island Lodge offers a range of cozy lakeside accommodations—including a glamping dome, comfortable lodge rooms and beachfront camping. Sunsets are unforgettable.
woman paddleboarding at Mississagi Provincial Park
Get your paddle wet by trying an overnight trip at Mississagi. Photo: Diana Lee // @only1phoenixx

Mississagi Provincial Park

A stunning Canadian Shield landscape and smattering of sapphire lakes makes this under-the-radar park north of Elliot Lake a paradise for seclusion-seeking paddleboarders. The easy, one-portage out-and-back route from Mississagi Provincial Park’s quiet campground on Semiwite Lake to undeveloped Helenbar Lake provides an excellent introduction to paddleboard camping in Ontario.

Extensive, old growth maple hardwood forests burst into brilliant colour in autumn, giving late-season paddlers an uncrowded alternative to the fall frenzy at Killarney and Algonquin.

  • Rent paddleboards in Elliot Lake at Adventure North.
  • Looking for a more challenging, multi-day adventure? Check out the Chrismar Adventure Map of Mississagi Provincial Park and the surrounding region for inspiration.
  • Nearby Flack Lake is an aquamarine gem with great day paddling and hiking; stay lakeside at upscale Laurentian Lodge and enjoy the possibilities right from your doorstep.

Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park is an icon of Ontario wilderness canoe tripping for good reason. Dazzling white mountains cradle impossibly blue lakes, elegant pines stand watch over outrageously scenic campsites, and an outstanding network of canoe routes makes it easy to put together a multi-day adventure into the wild heart of the park. Happily, Killarney is just as accessible to paddleboard campers, who can plan a no-carry trip or pack light and venture deep into the backcountry on a classic paddle-and-portage circuit.

With ready access from stunning George Lake Campground (via Freeland and Killarney lakes), O.S.A. Lake is an unforgettable overnight destination cradled between the twin quartzite spines of Blue Ridge and Killarney Ridge. Other fine options for easy 3- to 4-day trips include basecamping at David Lake with a hike to the summit of Silver Peak (accessible from the Bell Lake access on the park’s east side), or exploring the interconnected waters of meandering Johnnie and Carlyle lakes.

  • You’ll have to reserve early to secure a campsite at popular George Lake. Alternatively, spend a night in the quaint village of Killarney at the Sportsman’s Inn or Killarney Mountain Lodge. The off-grid cabins at Avalon Eco Resort are a scenic and conveniently located option just east of the park off Highway 637.
  • With over 50 years experience operating in the park, Killarney Outfitters is your go-to for complete paddleboard rentals and outfitting, as well trip planning assistance and water taxi service.
  • Parkbus offers regular service from Toronto to Killarney Provincial Park.
Paddleboarding on Lake Temagami at dusk
Get a true backcountry experience in Temagami. Photo: Diana Lee // @only1phoenixx

Temagami Lakes

You could spend a lifetime paddling in Temagami and only see a fraction of the hundreds of clear-water lakes strewn across this vast watery realm. With so much choice, it’s impossible to pick a single “best” paddleboard camping trip in Temagami. For a weekend trip on intimate waters, aim for one of the two campsites on Blueberry Lake just outside the town of Temagami. Old-growth hiking trails and superb berry picking make this a hit in late summer.

Another easily accessible yet incredibly beautiful option, Wasaksina Lake can be reached by way of short portages from a number of access points in the Lake Temagami area. Rocky outcrops, good fishing and great campsites make this an ideal weekend destination for first-time Temagami visitors.

  • Check out Temagami Outfitting Company for shuttles, trip planning assistance and camping equipment rental or complete outfitting.
  • Ojibway Family Lodge offers lakeside cabins and canvas glamping tents on Devil’s Island at the peaceful north end of Lake Temagami. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available for use.
  • Smoothwater Outfitters and Lodge has a variety of cheerful and convenient waterfront lodging options on a small lake just minutes north of the town of Temagami.
  • Finlayson Point Provincial Park boasts a family-friendly campground with great access to Lake Temagami.

Restoule Provincial Park

Located in the headwaters of the historic French River about 45 minutes from North Bay, Restoule Provincial Park is a hidden gem for paddleboarders in Ontario’s Near North. Launch from the park campground on Stormy Lake and trace narrow channels north to Clear Lake, or south to Restoule Lake on easy, no-portage routes.

The park publishes a map of suggested day routes, but numerous paddle-in campsites invite overnight adventures. For the truly ambitious, Stormy Lake is also the jumping off point for a 4- to 5-day backcountry circuit that traces the link between sprawling Lake Nipissing and the French River.

  • Paddleboard rentals are available at the Restoule Provincial Park office.
  • Spend an extra night or two in the park campground and hike the Fire Tower Trail for an amazing view of Stormy Lake.
  • The historic Mattawa River is another fine paddling destination in the North Bay area. Contact Algonquin North Wilderness Outfitter for paddleboard rentals, shuttles and SUP camping suggestions on this Canadian Heritage River.
person paddles a standup paddleboard in Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin is a great entry level place to start. Photo: Destination Ontario

Kawawaymog Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

North Bay serves as a gateway to the lightly travelled north side of Algonquin Park, allowing for easy weekend escapes away from the crowds. At the northwest corner of the park, just one hour from the city, Kawawaymog Lake is a scenic jewel dotted with islands and surrounded by rolling hardwood hills. Basecamp here or venture into the park along the narrow, wildlife-filled Amable du Fond River for paddleboard camping on spectacular North Tea Lake.

  • Located at Kawawaymog Lake, Voyageur Quest Outfitting is a full service outfitter with paddleboard rentals, overnight cabins, guided trips, shuttle service, meals and accommodation.
  • Perfect for family gatherings or groups of friends, Voyageur Quest’s Algonquin Cottages offer modern lakefront comfort, a stunning floating sauna and use of SUPs, kayaks and canoes for independent paddling adventures.
  • Swift Canoe & Kayak South River can provide paddleboard rentals for Algonquin Park’s Kawawaymog, Tim River, Magnetawan Lake and Rain Lake access points.

Discover exceptional paddleboard camping in Ontario

Paddleboard camping can be a rewarding way to take your SUP adventures to the next level. Delve deeper into Ontario’s beautiful backcountry while developing your skills, fitness and an even greater appreciation for the flexibility and freedom of this versatile craft. Whether you are seeking solitude on a serene lake or looking for a more challenging wilderness journey, there’s an unforgettable paddleboard camping journey waiting for you.

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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