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Five Great Ontario Paddling Escapes

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

Welcome to part three of our four part “Top Five Ontario Adventures” series. In week one we wrote about our top five hiking adventures in Ontario, last week we set out our top five cycling destinations in Ontario. This week, we’re excited to share our top five Ontario paddling escapes to look forward to this summer!

Get Out’s top five Ontario paddling escapes for summer 2021!

Fathom Five Marine Park - The Fathom Five National Marine Park lies in the turquoise waters of Lake Huron off the coast of Tobermory, at the far edge of the Bruce Peninsula. Peppered with ancient dolomite islands and over 20 shipwrecks, many of which are visible from the surface of the water, Fathom Five has become one of Ontario’s most popular summer destinations for a reason. You can rent a sea kayak for the day from an outfitter in Tobermory and explore or seek out a route further east on the Peninsula, outside the borders of the park and away from the crowds.

Thirty Thousands Islands - Another epic sea kayaking location, the east coast of Georgian Bay is the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, covered with endless rugged island outcrops that have inspired many Canadian landscape painters, including members of the Group of Seven. To escape the crowds we recommend heading to the northern corner of the islands, anywhere between Parry Sound and Killarney, to discover a quiet and rugged wilderness. Whether you just have time for a few hour day trip or you’re looking for a week-long backcountry expedition, an adventure into this rugged seascape should be at the top of your list this summer. (You can explore the thirty thousand islands on a private Get Out Sea Kayak adventure starting this June!)

Ontario’s Whitewater - When thinking of Ontario paddling, most people picture quiet lakes surrounded by peaceful forests, conjuring images of Muskoka cottages or the Algonquin backcountry. But as the waters drain from areas like the Algonquin highlands, making their way down to Georgian Bay in the west, and Lake Ontario in the east, they create a torrent of whitewater rivers extending like veins across the province. From the Magnetawan in the east to the Petawawa and Madawaska in the West, Ontario offers a wide variety of opportunities to experience the excitement of white water paddling. If you aren’t yet up for exploring one of these white water rivers yourself, check out our Bancroft Rock & River trip to discover the excitement and beauty of paddling Ontario’s rivers this summer with a private guide to show you the ropes.

French River Exploration - Connecting Lake Nipissing (Ontario’s third largest lake not including the great lakes) to Georgian Bay, the 110km long French River is a maze of wilderness waterways, countless islands and rugged Canadian Shield landscape. With its endless channels and tributaries, a French River paddle can be a steep whitewater trip or a lazy-river paddle, depending on the route you choose. Whichever way you go, you’re sure to find a beautiful wilderness and memorable adventure.

Killarney in Autumn - Killarney Provincial Park earned it’s protected status largely as a result of the advocacy of Group of Seven painter A.Y. Jackson. If you explore this park in autumn, you’ll quickly discover why its lakes and mountains became such a beloved escape for so many Canadian artists. With sapphire lakes, white quartzite mountains and fire-coloured foliage, Killarney in autumn may be one of the most beautiful sites our great province has to offer.

Contact us to discover more local paddling adventures and stay tuned for next week’s post, Five More Unique Adventures for 2021!


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