In the same area you'll find two other exceptional paddling parks in Woodland Caribou and Wabakim. Heading east you reach Lake Superior Park and of course Lady Evelyn Smoothwater which is a prime destination in the Tamagami area. The north also has wild rivers familiar to paddlers all over the world such as the Pukaskwa, the White and the Missinaibi. To the south you find great paddling at Killarney, Massasauga and Bon Echo parks as well as on rivers like the Grande, the Ottawa and the Mattawa.
Canoe Rivers, Routes and Parks
Out-There's listings of canoe routes and parks are not intended as detailed guides to the routes. Rather our intention is to showcase some of Ontario's best canoe areas and provide you with links and references to assist you in choosing and researching a trip. We've included direct links to sites with trip descriptions, when we can find them, or links to the parks that are responsible for them, if they are in a managed area. Consult with local outfitters, retailers, park authorities and local tourism offices for detailed information about you route and local conditions. Ontario Parks is manages many of the parks and river routes in the Province. Many of the other routes are within Ontario's Conservation Areas which have thier own authorities. Another option is to contact the MNR branches nearest to the route you have an interested in. If your a non-resident of Canada and you wish to camp on crown land you may have to get a permit through the MNR. Many of these routes (and many more) are documented in detail on the Canadian Canoe Routes website.
Algonquin - Out-There's Algonquin - This is what the park is famous for. It has over 1600 canoe routes extending over tens of thousands of kilometers. There are wilderness campsites throughout the park. The routes range from single lake access, to your choice of a never ending combination of lakes and rivers which usually involve portages. You can customize a trip to fit any itinerary or match any skill level. The main access points are off the parks main corridor along highway 60 but many routes are accessed outside the main corridor. Access to the park interior is often best from outside the corridor. For more information . consult the canoe section in Out-There's Algonquin and the official site for Algonquin Provincial Park. You can purchase a map of the canoe routes from the Friends of Algonquin. The National Topographical Series Maps that cover the park are as follows: 31 L/3, 31 L/2, 31 L/1, 31 K/4, 31 E/14, 31 E/15, 31 E/16, 31 F/13, 31 E/11, 31 E/10, 31 E/9, 31 F/12, 31 E/7, 31 E/8, 31 E/1. Books: "A Paddlers Guide to Algonquin Park" By Kevin Callan, The Boston Mills Press 1997. The park's main corridor can be reached from the 401 in Toronto by taking the 400 north to the highway 11 split just passed Barrie. Follow the 11 to Huntsville where you can pick up highway 60 which takes you into the park along the main corridor. From Ottawa take the 17 north to Renfrew, then take the 60 west into the park. Other access points are to be found north of the park along the 17 or west of the park along the 11/69. Ontario Parks | Algonquin, Ontario
Anjigami River Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 70km, 12 portages, lake and river route Most of the route is located outside the park and isn't maintained. The route travels from Dossier , Little Dossier, Ogas, Mile and Anjigami Lake. It follows its name sake, the Anjigami River before moving west along the Michipicoten River which empties into Superior. There are a number of campsites along the way but only one along the Michipicoten. The start of the route can be accessed from Old Woman Lake Route or in combination with the Sand River Route by going north on Mijinemungshing Lake where you can portage into Almonte then Dossier Lake. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario
Beaver River (Ontario) - 20km (river length 40km), Beginner, Put In Beaver River Access Point on Grey County Road 13 just north of Kimberley, Take Out - Heathcote. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of the access point west of Road 13 on the road to Epping. The river flows through forested areas which progressively give way to more agricultural settings. For expert canoeists the river below Heathcote can be run in the spring but protruding boulders and barbed wire (?) limit this activity to high water. There is no camping along the route. For more information contact the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Grey County Tourism and Bruce County Tourism. The Beaver River is about 2 to 2.5hrs northwest of Toronto in the North Central region of Ontario.
Belanger Lake Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 13km return, 4 portages, lake route Starting at Slievert you portage to Dead Moose, then Connell and into Belanger Lake. There are campsites on all the lakes except Dead Moose. You retrace your route to return. The longest portage is 500m. You can reach Slievert Lake from Gargantua Road which is accessible from Highway 17. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northeastern Ontario
Bon Echo Provincial Park - Out-There's Bon Echo Provincial Park Take an easy day paddle on Mazinaw Lake or follow the 21km, day trip, Kishkebus Canoe Route which will loop you around Upper and Lower Mazinaw Lakes. You may also choose to pick up your canoe for a short portage, which will take you to the more isolated Joe Perry and Pearson Lakes, which have primative campsites. The park provides access to more involved canoe routes as well, contact the park office for more infomation. The park is located northwest of Kingston in Eastern Ontario Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Charleston Lake Provincial Park - Charleston Lake from Ontario Parks Easy paddling, the park has easily accessible campsites for great overnights or put together a trip of a couple of days. Located east of Kingston just north of the 401 in Eastern Ontario Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Crescent Lake Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 3km loop, 4 portages, lake route The route can be started at Crescent Lake or Kenny Lake. The connections between the lakes is via the portages the longest of which is 350m. Note: This is a day trip only. The route is located in the very southern section of the park off Highway 17. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northeastern Ontario
Fenton-Treeby Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 16km loop, 8 portages, lake route There are a number of campsites along the lakes. The route can be shortened by doing an out and back. The two longest portages are 150m one of which is all uphill. The start of the route is at Fenton Lake which is just off Highway 17. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Park Northwestern Ontario
Grand River - Total river length 290km , paddle routes vary in length from a few hours to days. Beginner-Intermediate - The most popular section of the river is the short paddle of a couple of hours from Cambridge to Paris. The trip takes you passed an area of scenic bluffs and through the Grand River Forest. For extended trips you can launch below Elora Gorge and paddle all the way to Lake Erie. Camping is available at Elora Gorge and Byng Island in the Dunnville area. As a cushy alternative you can take advantage of some of the B&B's in the towns on route. For more information contact the Grand River Conservation Authority. The GRCA sells a guide book and video on the Grand River. Guides and Outfitters: Grand Experiences The Grand is a Canadian Heritage River with extensive historical significance. From north to south cities and towns that border the river include: Dundalk, Grand Valley, Lake Belwood, Elora, St Jacobs, Waterloo Kitchener, Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, Caladonia, York, Cayuga and Dunnville. National Topographical Series Maps: 30M-4, 40P-1, 40P-8, 40P-9, 40P-16, 41A-1, 40P-2, 40P-7. The Grand is about 1hr from Toronto by car in the Southwestern Region of Ontario.
Humber River Canadian Heritage River - Urban paddling in Toronto, Ontario
Frontenac Provincial Park (Ontario) - Frontenac from Out-There - Excellent canoe routes with lots of variety, just to the north of Kingston in Eastern Ontario | Frontenac Provincial Park from Out-There | On the Shoulders of Frontenac | Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Killarney Provincial Park - Out-There's Killarney Provincial Park - The park has a large number of canoe routes that will take you into the parks beautiful interior or along the coast. The routes vary from a weekend paddle to almost two weeks of travel depending on your pace. The interior canoe routes invariably include portages. Depending on the route, portages may be a couple of dozen meters to several kilometers long, they may also include some elevation gain. Choose a route that matches your skills and physical condition. Ontario Parks | Northeastern Ontario
Kishkebus Canoe Route - Bon Echo Provincial Park - 21km, day trip, 3 well maintained portages of 60m, 60m and 1.5km. Novice-Intermediate. Paddle passed 100m cliff faces dropping to the water, you'll also find areas with pictographs on the rock faces. Old growth forest can be found on the shores and the well known Cliff Top Trail is accessible from Lower Mazinaw Lake. Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Lake Superior Provincial Park - Lake Superior from Out-There There are over 100km of canoe routes in the park. Choose your route carefully since the park is very hilly and many of the portages may include climbs or descents adding to their difficulty. The parks routes are Fenton-Treeby, Rabbit Blanket Lake, Belanger Lake, Crescent Lake, Old Woman Lake, Sand River, Anjigami and the Lower Agawa River. Canoes can be rented at Agawa Bay, Rabbit Blanket Lake and Mijinemungshing Lake park office. See the individual entries for more information.Out-There's Lake Superior Priovincial Park | Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario
Leslie M. Frost Center - This canoe area has dozens of routes with varying degrees of difficulty. The routes can be combined with others in the Gull River System (some sections are impassible in low water) as well as routes in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. For more information check out the Frost website and map. A map is available for the Gull River System from the MNR Minden office. The Frost Center is located north of Minden between Carnavon and Dorset. From Toronto take the 400 north from the 401and branch off on the 11 north of Barrie. then head east at Muskoka Falls on the 118 or alternately keep going to Huntsville then head south on the 35. The center also has excellent hiking, cross country skiing and nature viewing. Friends of the Frost - The Frost Centre was closed but has now been resurrected as the Frost Centre Institute. Haliburton Highlands Water Trails has information on reservations, maps and permits the Frost Centre and Poker Lakes Routes. Note: The Frost Centre was closed but has been repurposed and has reopened. The status of the canoe routes and access to them from this location is unknown at this time.
Lower Agawa River Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 29km linear, 4 portages, river route The route is a wild water route with fast water and many rapids made even more difficult by shallow sections. The scenery is excellent. This route is not maintained and should only be attempted by expert canoeists when conditions allow. At low water levels sections may be unnavigable and at highwater sections are treacherous, time you trip carefully and check with the park for current conditions and the weatherman for what's in store during your two day paddle. A rope is necessary to lower canoe and gear passed Agawa Falls. The upper river is closed. The route's start is accessible from the Algoma Central Railway line, see their website in our resources section to get details. Note: The topographical maps do not show the 25m high Agawa Falls. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario
Madawaska River This is perhaps the most famous of Ontario's whitewater river and has a lot of variation with rapids ranging from class I to class V. The river flows for a distance of over 70km. The river starts just at the park border (Whitney) in the southern section and can be accessed on several points along Hwy 60. The river is broken up by lakes into three distinct sections. The lower section through Palmer Rapids is a great area for learning and improving your skills. The upper part of the river is generally more difficult and demanding. Finally the short middle section has some really fun sections if you have the skills The river is dam controlled and the water levels may not reflect the season.Out-There's Algonquin Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Old Woman Lake Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 30km to Sand River (see the Sand River Route), 11 portages, lake route This is a lake route which is interconnected by portages. The route includes Mijinemungshing and Mirimoki lakes, where winds may poise a problem. The route takes your from Mijinemungshing to Mirimoki lake then the portages take you into Ghost, Piquer, Old Woman, Mud, Black, Black Maydn, Hardtime, Middle Wildcat, Wildcat lakes before the final portage to Sand River. At Sand River you pick up the Sand River route either upstream or down (recommended), the latter will take you to Lake Superior. Most of the lakes have campsites except Ghost, Mud and Black Madyn. Surprisingly Mirimoki only has one campsite but Mijinemungshing makes up for it with over twenty. If your just looking for an night out, you can avoid the portages by camping on either of these lakes. If you follow Sand River to Superior (25km downstream) you'll have to arrange a shuttle. If you paddle to Sand Lake (30km upstream) you can flag the Algoma Central Railway train down or get a pre-arranged pick-up.Do not paddle the Old Woman route if you don't have the skills and resources for Sand River. The complete circuit takes approximately six days. Check our resource section for their website where you acquire additional information. Mijinemungshing Road, which is accessible from Highway 17, will take you to the beginning of the route. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario
Opeongo - The rivers headwaters start just outside the southern section of Algonquin Park in Victoria Lake and empties into the Madawaska 30km later. While the river isn't really long it does have its share of play areas and challenges which are sometimes overlooked due to its proximity to the madawaska. This is a scenic area which also makes for very nice canoe tripping if you have whitewater skills. The river's rapids ranges from class I to IV. The river can be accessed within Algonquin Park by canoeing from Farm Lake to the headwaters at Shall Lake. Farm Lake is at the end of Victora-McCauley Lake Road off of Hwy 60 just west of the town of Madawaska. The river is at its best in the spring. Out-There's Algonquin | Algonquin, Ontario
Ottawa River - The river was used by the Voyageurs and has exceptional whitewater as well as long streaches of flatwater. The River forms the border between the Province of Quebec and Ontario. There are a number of provincial parks along the river. On the Quebec side you'll find Plaisance, a nature and campers park located between Montreal and the city of Ottawa. On the Ontario side of the river you have Voyaguer, Driftwood, Samuel de Champlain and Fitzroy. There are a number of rafting outfits along the river in the Beachburg region. This area is a key destination for whitewater paddlers in Ontario. Ottawa River Heritage Ottawa River Waterway Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board Ottawa Riverkeeper Ottawa River from Wikipedia Quebec Provincial Parks Ontario Parks | Eastern Ontario
Petawawa - Out-There's Algonquin This is the only significant stretch of whitewater that lies within the Algonquin Park boundaries. The Petawawa's source is Daisy Lake on the west side of the park. From here to Brent on Cedar Lake, the river is ideal for flatwater canoe tripping. It is slow and any rapids are too shallow to be run. Cedar receives water from the Petawawa & Nipissing Rivers as well as many creeks. As a result, the Petawawa has much more water from this point on and the whitewater fun begins. The final access point is at McManus Lake on the east side of the park. There are a number of possible put-ins with the main one being at Brent Lake. Brent Lake is reached from outside Algonquin's main corridor, off of Hwy 17 from Deux Riviers. Out-There's Algonquin It should be noted that the section of the river passed the park border is a live firing range for the Canadian Army and should under no circumstances be run. | Algonquin, Ontario
Poker Lakes Routes - See the Leslie M. Frost Centre above. Central Ontario South
Pukaskwa National Park - Pukaskwa from Out-There - There are two major canoe routes that run through the park, the White River and the Pukaskwa River routes. For an easy paddle launch your canoe onto Halfway Lake when the water levels permit. Canoeists can also take advantage of the Hattie Cove area but be very careful if you venture beyond the pr otected bays and islands and always stay close to shore. Canoeing superior's shores is possible but best left to experience canoe trippers. Remember Superior's waters average a bone chilling 4° C. Parks Canada | Northwestern Ontario
Pukaskwa River - Out-There's Pukaskwa National Park 122km, 8-10 Days, 42 Portages, Advanced Like the White this is a wilderness river but is an even more isolated and difficult paddle. The route starts outside the park east of the Town of White River, where the White River crosses the Trans Canada Highway. Take the White the short distance to Sangina Lake, then on to Pokei Lake where you head south to the Pukaskwa. At the mouth of the river you'll be faced with a very long paddle along Superior's shore either to Hattie Cove in the north or Michipicoten in the south. Most of the canoe route is outside the park and none residents (Canada) must have permits to camp on crown land from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Topographical Maps: 42 C/6 Pokei Lake, 42 C/5 Lurch Lake, 42 C/4 Pukaskwa River The river can only be run in the Spring when water levels permit. Contact the park for complete information and current conditions. Pukaskwa National Park from Out-There Parks Canada | Northwestern Ontario
Quetico Provincial Park - Quetico from Ontario Parks - Canadian Heritage River - One of the worlds best canoe areas with an endless number of canoe routes for intermediate and advanced paddlers or novices with a good guide. Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario
Rabbit Blanket Lake Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 16km one way, 3 portages, lake and river route The route takes you from Rabbit Blanket Lake along the South Old Man River then portages into Peat Lake where two more portages take you from Sundstrom Lake and into Surft Lake. You follow the route backwards on your return. There are campsites on all the lakes (Rabbit Blanket has services). The longest portage is 1200m. Rabbit Blanket Lake is located just off Highway 17. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks
Rankin River Canoe Route - 18km 5-7hrs, Beginner-Intermediate. Put In - Sky Lake at Isaac Lake, Take Out - Sauble Falls Provincial Park on the left bank just above the bridge. Later in the season there are sections that will have low water which will require lining. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of the access point on the way at county road 13, between Oliphant and Wiarton. There are two portages over dams near Sauble Falls as well as a third for a section of white water nearby the dams. The river is largely an easy paddle but travel on Boat Lake can be difficult. Camping is available at Sauble Falls Provincial Park. For more information contact the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority at (519) 376-3860, also Grey County Tourism and Bruce County Tourism. Federal Topographical Maps 31 A/14, 41 A/1. Rankin River Canoe Route Map. The Rankin River is about 2 to 2.5 hrs northwest of Toronto in the North Central region of Ontario.
Sand River Route - Out-There's Lake Superior Provincial Park 56km linear, 29 portages, river route The route travels from Sand Lake at the north eastern corner of the park through the wild interior and finally on to Lake Superior. There are many rapids on route, most of which are class I & II (many with boulders) which can be run if you have the skills (scout them first).Fluctuating water levels as well as exposed boulders may require you to line or portage the rapids even if you may have the skill. There are several water falls on the river which of course must be portaged. You'll find many campsite along the route but it's wise to set up early. The longest portage is 1100m and the average length is approximately 270m. The final portage or take out is essential since the river drops over a falls beyond this point. The routes starting point can be reached via the Algoma Central Railway line. The takeout is accessible by car from a short spur off of Highway 17. Lake Superior Provincial Park from Out-There Ontario Parks | Northwestern Ontario, Ontario
Saugeen River Canoe Route - 102km, 3-4 Days, Intermediate. Put In - Hanover Park, Hanover Highway 10 and Country Road 4 - Take Out - Denny's Dam outside Southhampton. Spring water levels can require greater skill levels and late in the season low water levels may make some sections impassible. The route can be shortened by taking advantage of any of the numerous access points near the river side towns. The Saugeen is due north of London to the southwest of the Bruce Peninsula. The route takes you from Hanover to Walkerton, passed Paisley then just to the east of Port Elgin on your way to Southhampton. The river terminates at Lake Huron outside of Southhampton. Camping is available in Hanover Park, Saugeen Rendez Vous Campground between Hanover and Walkerton, Lobies Town Park just passed Walkerton, McBeath Conservation Area before you reach Paisley and the Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area (both are managed by the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority) between Paisley and Port Elgin. While the area the river flows through is largely agricultural, the riverbanks are lined by forests and in areas you'll find scenic high bluffs. The Hanover-Walkerton and Paisley-Southhampton sections are essentially easy paddling but the central section has a number of rapids and is best left to more experienced canoeists. There are three dam's along route which require a carry between Hanover and Paisley. Guides and Outfitters: The Greater Saugeen Trading Co. - Paisley. Topographical Maps 41A-6, 41A-3. For more information contact the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority. River Levels. Canoe Route Map or Canoe Route Map. The river is about 2 to 2.5hrs north west of Toronto in the North Central Ontario region. Saugeen County Tourism.
White River - Out-There's Pukaskwa National Park 82km, 5-7 Days, 21 Portages, Advanced You put-in is where the river widens at White Lake, down river from the town of White River. Some of the rapids cannot be run, those that can will depend of course on your skill level and conditions. To return to Hattie Cove from the mouth of the White requires an open water paddle along Superior's shore. Most of the canoe route is outside the park and none residents (Canada) must have permits to camp on crown land from the Ministry of Natural Resources. There is a shuttle service for Umbata Falls, for information visit the Umbata Hydroelectric Project website. Access to the put-in is within White Lake Provincial Park which can be reached from Highway 17, east of Pukaskwa's entrance. For information on White Lake Provincial Park see the listing at Ontario Parks Topographical Maps: 42 C/12 Cedar Lake and 42 D/9 Marathon The river between White Lake, the Town of White River and Negwazu Lake is no longer maintained. The river can be run at most times of year when there is open water. Contact the park for complete information and current conditions. Pukaskwa National Park from Out-There Parks Canada | Northwestern Ontario, Ontario
Consult with local outfitters, retailers, park authorities and local tourism offices for detailed information about you route and local conditions. Many of these routes (and many more) are documented in detail on the Canadian Canoe Routes website.
Ontario - Guides, Outfitters, Rentals, Schools, Instructors
This is a selection of paddling parks in Ontario. It is in no way exhaustive.
Canada Outdoor Shows & Events
Canada Paddle Sport Events - Racing, Festivals, Events & Shows - Canoeing, White Water Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, White Water Kayaking (River Kayak), Rafting
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