5 Places in Canada for great paddling adventures

Can’t get enough adventures on the water? Whether you’re into canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, rafting or more, Canada is filled with bodies of water waiting to become your playground.

In Scouting, youth and Scouters enjoy countless outings on the water, from sailing lessons to portaging, to kayaking environmental cleanups. Through our Outdoor Adventure Skills program, the Paddling Skills element is a great way for youth to set their own challenges and increase their skill level with the support of their Scouters and peers.

For National Paddling Week 2018, we’ve made a list of the top 5 must-paddle destinations in Canada, along with a few tips to keep your next excursion safe and fun.

5 Places in Canada for great paddling adventures

Pacific Region

If you’re looking for an accelerated adventure, look no further than the Kicking Horse River in the Rockies of British Columbia.

Hosting intense glacial river runs to enhance your rafting experience, Kicking Horse River is the longest section of whitewater in the Canadian Rockies. For intermediate to experienced rafters, this river can easily slick your thirst for outdoor adventure, overnight excursions and offer an adrenaline kick.

Mountain Region

With clear waters framed by towering mountains, Lake Louise rests in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

Marked by tranquil waters that only welcome non-motorized boating, Lake Louise is fit for beginner or intermediate paddlers. Within an estimated 2 hour jaunt from Calgary, this gem makes day trips feasible, with an option to extend the adventure to overnight camping.

Prairie Region

Get to know the history of Canada while experiencing the outdoors along the iconic Churchill River. Considered the “voyageur highway”, this route was popular for explorers and First Nations people alike during the fur trade era.

Flowing through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Churchill River is a solid option for extended portaging trips or fishing.

Eastern Region

Looking for great portaging routes with that accommodate various paddle skill levels? Whether you are a beginner paddler or seasoned expert, Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario offers an iconic Canadian landscape to accompany your adventure—complete with ample loon sightings, shorelines that inspired the Group of Seven painters and more.

With over 50 lakes and 183 campsites to explore, it’s no surprise that Scouting Groups like 5th Unionville have found this to be a great park for portaging!

Atlantic Region

Looking for a fun sea kayaking trip that youth with various paddle skill levels can enjoy? Try kayaking around Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, an entry way into the Bay of Fundy.

With authentic views like Swallowtail Lighthouse, you might even spot a minke whale on your trip. Another unique aspect of this location is the bay’s drastically changing tides each day, which offer a different scenic view throughout the day as you paddle!


Experience the Nahanni River in the Nahanni National Park Reserve, Northwest Territories, home to Canada’s deepest canyons complete with the Virginia Falls—twice the height of those in Niagara.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nahanni River is a force of water to behold. Found in within a mountainous region and flowing through deep canyons, this spot is the perfect adventure destination for any wilderness river enthusiast. Enjoy a rafting tour through challenging whitewater rapids or embark on a canoeing journey—advanced skills and wilderness paddling experience required.

5 Places in Canada for great paddling adventures

No matter your level of experience, safety always comes first in Scouting. For safety tips on the water, learn about the importance of lifejackets and Personal Floating Devices (PFDs) to prevent accidents and stay mindful on your next adventure. To find gear for your next trip, our Scout Shop team brings expertise and product knowledge to find the right equipment to fit your needs.


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