There are a number of places around Montreal and Laval to launch a sea kayak. One of our favorites is the Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Iles. While it's located in an urban area just off the shores of Laval, the park, as the name would suggest, has lots of islands to explore, along with good birding and nature viewing to keep your interest up. Another good bet is Parc Iles-de-Boucherville located in the St. Lawrence River just south of the eastern end of the Island of Montreal. Made up of several Islands, the parks officials have put together a suggested paddling circuit, between and around the islands, most of which is protected from the stronger currents of the broader St. Lawrence. Another very interesting option is the Lachine Canal, which is now open to small boat traffic. You can paddle from downtown Montreal all the way to Lake Saint Louise, with a stop over at the intriguing Atwater Market to pick up your lunch, if you wish. While you have to share the canal with motor boats, there is a strict limit to their speed, which makes things much safer for kayakers.

 
 

Many of Montreal's Nature Parks have water access and interesting shorelines to explore, with L'Anse-a-l'Orme and Bois-de-l'Ile-Bizard having boat ramps. You'll find lots more areas to explore in the surrounding regions, including Oka Park, Frontenac Park and the Baskatong Reservoir in the Upper Laurentians.

Canoeists can also take advantage of most of the kayaking parks mentioned above, but bear in mind that, canoes have a rougher time in currents and with windy conditions. Paddling a canoe solo is a bit of a trick for a novice, while kayaks, particularly sit on tops, have less of a learning curve. Regardless of you choice of boat, check with the park regarding currents, winds and access before you set out.White water enthusiasts should check out our White Water Paddling Section.

Mont Tremblant Park is the first thing that comes to mind when you talk to most canoeists in the area. If you just learning to paddle you can perfect you strokes on one of its lakes, then with a little more confidence you might want to try paddling one of the parks two canoe routes. Just to the south west you'll find some good canoe circuits and lake paddling in the Papineau Labelle Reserve. One of the best destinations in the Townships is Frontenac Park, which has excellent canoe camping lakeside and you don't even have to portage. Finally the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region north of the Laurentians is home to La Verandry Wildlife Reserve which is one of the finest canoeing areas in Canada.

Canoeing in the Surrounding Regions

L'Assomption River canoe route is 15km within the Mont Tremblant Park and has rapids ranging from Class I to IV, with portages available around the tougher rapids. The river has four separate camping areas... More Mont Tremblant Park, Laurentians

Diable River canoe route is 45km in total with a 7km interruption at km 25. Parc Tremblant's busiest canoe river, it works it's way through several lakes, class I, II and II-III rapids, several portages... More Mont Tremblant Park, Laurentians

Frontenac Lac Saint-François is the parks center piece and much of the parks activities take place on it's waters or shores. The park has front country camping as well as 30 canoe campsites which can be reached without a portage... More Eastern Townships

Parc Iles-de-Boucherville

Located in the St. Lawrence River just south of the eastern end of the Island of Montreal. Made up of several Islands, the park's officials have put together a suggested paddling circuit, between and around the islands, most of which is protected from the stronger currents of the broader St. Lawrence. The park has canoe and kayak rentals. If you bring your own, you'll have a short portage since there is no direct road access to the water. There is no camping in the park. In the summer the park can be accessed from the South Shore and the Island of Montreal via water taxi. If you're driving take the 40 east to the 25 and head south to the tunnel and take the very first exit when you come out of the tunnel, which will bring you to the park entrance. Monteregie

Mont Tremblant Park There are six rivers and over four hundred lakes in the park. Many more routes are planned for 2005 (we hear). Both the L'Assomption and the Diable are best run in the spring... More Laurentians

Papineau Labelle Wildlife Reserve (Réserve Faunique) The reserve has several canoe routes from 2 to 4 days in length, as well as wilderness sites which can be reached directly from a lake put-in. A section of the Sept Freres route can be done as a loop if you don't have a shuttle... More Laurentians/Outaouais

Parc du la Riviere des Mille Iles - Regional

The parks main access points are in Laval but it can be accessed from several areas on the Laurentian shore including the Centre de la Nature de Boisbriand. The park is made up of green space on both shores as well as on the dozens of islands in the channel. While very much an urban area, the marshes, islands and narrow channels provide excellent areas to explore. The park has rabaska canoe tours or you can rent your own kayak or canoe. The Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Iles is the site of the Descente de la Riviere des Mille Iles every August, which sees over a thousand people come out with their canoes (or they rent, if they don't own one) to paddle the river together. From Montreal take highway 15 (or the 13 to the 640 to the 15) and take the last exit in Laval. Head east on Ste. Rose and watch for the signs.

Riviere du Nord The namesake for the beautiful park outside of St Jerome, the river meanders through the Laurentians, changing it's course from north/south to east/west until it feeds into the Ottawa River at Saint Andre Est, just below Lachute... More Laurentians

Rouge-Matawin Wildlife Reserve (Réserve Faunique) The reserve has two routes, the Lac Cinq Droit and the Matawin, both of which are relatively easy and can be completed in 1 or 2 days. For those with the skills, the nerve and the equipment, there is also the renowned 21 Mile Rapids... More Laurentians/Lanaudiere

Rouge River 220km in total One of North America's premier whitewater rivers, it originates in the Reserve Faunique Rouge-Matawin north of Mont Tremblant Park and follows a winding course that eventually sees it empty into the Ottawa River, just north of Calumet/Hawkesbury... More Laurentians


 

Sea Kayaking

Parc du la Riviere des Mille Iles - Regional

The parks main access points are in Laval but it can be accessed from several areas on the Laurentian shore including the Centre de la Nature de Boisbriand. The park is made up of green space on both shores as well as on the dozens of islands in the channel. While very much an urban area, the marshes, islands and narrow channels provide excellent areas to explore. The park has rabaska canoe tours or you can rent your own kayak or canoe. The Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Iles is the site of the Descente de la Riviere des Mille Iles every August, which sees over a thousand people come out with their canoes (or they rent, if they don't own one) to paddle the river together. From Montreal take highway 15 (or the 13 to the 640 to the 15) and take the last exit in Laval. Head east on Ste. Rose and watch for the signs.

Lachine Canal

The linear park stretches from the downtown core in the east, to Lake Saint Louis in the west. After a long period of neglect, the canal has been refurbished and the locks restored, to once again allow small small boat traffic to travel end to end. You can rent kayaks (or bring your own) for a pleasant paddle along the canals waters. Bring a picnic or pick one up at the Atwater Market, which lies just off the bike path. The Lachine Canal along with the nearby Fur Trade at Lachine site are part of Canada's system of National Historic Sites. You'll find parking at either end of the canal as well as several other points along route, including spots adjacent to Pont LaFleur and Pont du Cote-St-Paul.

Parc Jean Drapeau

While it's pretty tame, it's easily accessible and makes for a nice afternoons paddle, particularly for novices. Canoes and kayaks can be rented at the park or you can bring you're own. Be careful where you paddle, there are some strong currents in the area. Consult with the rental kiosk as to where you should launch and what you might want to stay away from. The best way to reach the park by car is to take the Jacques Cartier Bridge and exit in the center of the bridge (no kidding). By Metro (subway) take the Yellow line from Berri-UQAM or Longueil and exit at the Jean Drapeau Station. Consult our Resources section for the link to Montreal's Urban Transit Authority and detailed information on access to the park.

Sea Kayaking in the Surrounding Regions

Oka - Provincial Park, Lower Laurentians

Sea Kayaking & Canoeing: The park is located on the Lake of Two Mountains where you can kayak or canoe on the confluence of the Ottawa and the St. Laurence River. You can paddle along the park's shore for about 8 km. Perhaps the best kayaking or canoeing is to be found at the Grande Bay, which teams with wildlife providing a pleasant paddle along with some excellent nature observation. On the west side of the park their is another nice paddling area, although less interesting than the Grande Baie, it's a good launch site to catch the afternoon sun. If the winds are up this is a great place for wind surfers but not at this point for a canoeist. The east end of the park is more protected when the wind is howling. In some areas of the park, like La Crete and Les Dunes, you can camp close enough to the water to carry your boats to the lake. This is especially interesting for someone using the park as a stop over on an extended paddle trip. The park is 55 km northwest of Montreal. Take highway 13 or 15 (the Laurentian Autoroute) north to the 640. Then head west towards St Eustache. The 640 takes you right into the park.

Frontenac - Provincial Park, Eastern Townships

Lac Saint-François is the parks center piece and much of the parks activities take place on it's waters or shores. The lakes are a little small for extensive exploring but if your looking to do an easy overnight trip their perfect. The park has front country camping as well as 30 lake side campsites which can be reached easily with sea kayaks... More Eastern Townships

Baskatong Reservoir

This vast body of water is comprised of several reaches that stretch for miles and miles in just about every direction. The reservoir can be accessed from several smaller roads which branch off from the 117 north of Mont Laurier. Part of the reservoir follows the borders of the La Verendry Wildlife reserve. From Montreal take the 15 (or the 13 to the 640 to the 15) north then the 117. You'll find several access roads off the 117 including ones through Ferme-Neuve and Val-Limoge. From Ottawa take the 105 north passed Maniwaki to the intersection with the 117. Access roads lie both east and west of the intersection.


Parc Iles-de-Boucherville

Located in the St. Lawrence River just south of the eastern end of the Island of Montreal. Made up of several Islands, the park's officials have put together a suggested paddling circuit, between and around the islands, most of which is protected from the stronger currents of the broader St. Lawrence. The park has canoe and kayak rentals. If you bring your own, you'll have a short portage since there is no direct road access to the water. There is no camping in the park. In the summer the park can be accessed from the South Shore and the Island of Montreal via water taxi. If you're driving take the 40 east to the 25 and head south to the tunnel and take the very first exit when you come out of the tunnel, which will bring you to the park entrance. Monteregie

 

 

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