Kicking Horse River
Kicking Horse River
Sometimes the hardest part about starting something new is knowing where to go. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork to find some of the top rafting locations across the country. These whitewater destinations offer a variety of experiences suited for all ages and group sizes, and are popular among beginner and expert rafters alike.

British Columbia offers no shortage of rafting routes. Everything from exciting and challenging runs to relaxed and leisurely day trips can be found within close proximity to one another. Hyak River Rafting is a great company to start with. Based on the Chilliwak River, a renowned fishing destination, it is an area-favourite and is only a one-hour drive from Vancouver. Kicking Horse River, not far from scenic Banff, is another top spot to paddle. With the natural beauty of region as your backdrop, this area is idyllic. Wild Water Adventure explores this river and offers a full range of activities from birthday parties to multi-day whitewater tours.

In Ontario, the Ottawa River is well-known when it comes to rafting and several guide companies operate along the more than 1400-km-long stretch. Two companies great for getting started are RiverRun Rafting and Wilderness Tours Whitewater Rafting. The Petawawa River in Algonquin Provincial Park, which feeds into the Ottawa River, is also well-travelled by rafting enthusiasts. Can’t decide between the two destinations? Esprit White Water Rafting offers a two-day trip that covers both rivers.

For Quebec, there’s the Rouge River, which winds through the beautiful forests of the Laurentides and Outaouais regions. New World White Water Rafting Adventures offers comprehensive programs and bilingual guides. You can even add a leisure package (with access to hot tubs and volleyball courts) to help unwind after battling the famous rapids. The Jacques-Cartier River, just outside of Quebec City, is another popular spot. New Wave Expeditions offers trips on four different sections of the river with classes for all experience levels.

Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie River offers a unique rafting experience due to its famous tidal bore. When the tide changes, the bore (or wave) flows over the river, temporarily reversing its flow. One moment you are peacefully floating along, the next you are caught in rapids that appear out of nowhere. This is the only tidal bore in the world that occurs twice daily. Shubenacadie River Runners offers both half- and full-day trips with all the gear you need. However, these rafts are powered by an outboard motor, so this trip is more about experiencing a one-of-a-kind wonder.
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