Since the beginning of time, Ontario, a Haudenosaunee word for "land of shining waters," has lured adventurers to its 400,000 lakes, rivers and heritage waterways.
This summer, discover Canada's central province by water at Ontario Parks. Rent a canoe, single or tandem kayak, a paddleboat or stand-up paddle board (SUP) at one of many parks. PFDs (personal flotation devices) are also available through the parks' PDF lending program.
Below are a few paddle parks. You'll find plenty more at OntarioParks.com/paddling.
Wilderness & Whitewater
Calling all seasoned paddlers! Is this your year to discover Northern Ontario? These two Parks Blog post links will whet your appetite. Paddlers voted five Northeastern Ontario canoe routes as 'life-changing' and in Northwestern Ontario, three wilderness parks challenge you to try their Northwest Quest.
At Bonnechere and Samuel de Champlain Provincial Parks, families can join park staff for a Voyageur canoe paddle or they can try a paddleboat at an Ontario Park, including Silent Lake which just added 10 new cabin rentals too. Stand-up paddleboards are very popular so many more parks have SUP rentals this summer. The Park Locator tool will tell you where.
At Killbear Provincial Park, SUP and kayak demos are also planned for Healthy Parks, Healthy People celebrations on July 21 and August 16. On both dates, admission to all provincial parks will be free.
Learn to Paddle
Visitors can learn to paddle or upgrade their paddling skills too. Earl Rowe Provincial Park, north of Toronto, will offer paddle lessons with an ORCKA instructor on select summer dates and at Frontenac Provincial Park, north of Kingston, summer workshops include a July 22 "Introduction to Flatwater Sea Kayaking" and a July 29 "Kayak Basics—Getting Started."
To help you have a safe and enjoyable summer paddling experience, please be aware of and follow these simple principles of water safety.