7 Amazing Paddling Trips To Add To Your Bucket List

1. Algonquin Park

Algonquin Provincial Park is a paddling gem that nature lovers from all over the world flock to for excellent canoeing, fishing, wildlife viewing and vivid fall colors. The extensive lake network in the park means you can choose to stay put at one perfect campsite or portage from lake to lake for as long as you can. Keep your eyes peeled for gangly moose, hard-working beavers and deer. Explore adventures in Algonquin Park here.

Algonquin Park canoeing

2. Quetico/BWCA

Quetico and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are two unparalleled backcountry paddling destinations. Quetico is in Canada and the BWCA in the United States, but they sit just across the border from each other. Explorers Amy and Dave Freeman felt so connected to the BWCA they advocated for it’s protection by living there for an entire year. In both you can expect endless deep lakes, waterfalls, pine and spruce and beautiful campsites just waiting for your tent. See Quetico and BWCA canoe trips here.

The BWCA in the sunset.

3. Temagami

Temagami sometimes gets lost in Algonquin Park’s shadow. Perhaps it is Temagami’s slightly longer distance from major cities, but if you spend even a day canoeing there you will be forever committed. You can canoe through a handful of pristine provincial parks in the area, hike Maple Mountain and climb the abandoned fire tower, pick wild blueberries, visit an old growth forest and see if you are up to the Diamond Lake Death March—the hardest portage you will ever do. See Temagami canoe trips here.

An orange and purple sunset in Temagami

READ MORE: Seven most important skills for wilderness canoeists 

4. Northern Canada

Robert Frost. Jack London. The Aurora Borealis. The Klondike Gold Rush. Four great reasons you should head north. Paddling in the great white north is as much as about adventure as it is absorbing the fascinating and distinct history of the region. Float down the Yukon River and end up in Dawson City just in time for the Dawson City Music Festival in late July or embark on a remote river trip down the Coppermine River. See trips in Northern Canada here.

A beautiful purple Yukon River sunset with a red canoe in the foreground

5. British Columbia

Do you like coastal mountain views, barbecued sockeye salmon and mischievous otters swimming near your kayak? Then you should probably plan a trip to the west coast of British Columbia. The west coast is a kayaker’s dream, filled with islands, archipelagos, marine provincial parks, rich aquatic life and outfitters who can hook you up with whatever you need. Find your west coast adventure here.

An Orcka whale in the Johnstone Strait of BC breaches.

6. The Amazon River

The mammoth South American river has a basin area of 7 million square kilometers and charges through Colombia, Peru and Brazil. A kayaking trip on the Amazon River could mean touring the jungle and spotting wildlife, visiting different communities along the river and learning about their culture and relaxing in hammocks after an exciting day exploring. See Amazon River trips here. 

Kayakers pass through a flooded forest on the Amazon River.

7. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has amazing whitewater for paddlers looking to continue warm water paddling even in the North American winter. When you aren’t kayaking you can enjoy hikes through thick jungle, visit volcanoes and soak sore paddling muscles in hot springs. See Costa Rica trips here.

Two whitewater kayakers on a river in Costa Rica


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