Paddles Ready!

There’s no better way to explore this summer than hitting the water and soaking up paradise. See nature up close and personal and enjoy every nook and cranny of the fabled rivers and lakes in South Eastern Ontario. With pristine water, lush forests, and friendly local communities along the way, it’s a kayaker’s dream. Here’s a handy list of places to go, things to bring and where to rent equipment.

1. Kingston

Ahoy Rentals 

Travel down the waterfront bike trail 10 minutes from downtown Kingston to reach Ahoy Rentals at 23 Ontario Street. With over 20 years of experience, Ahoy Rentals offers a variety of sporting equipment 7 days a week including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and sailboats that can be launched into the water right from their rental location. Feeling a little nervous? Take a guided tour with one of their skippered sailing charters, and enjoy the beauty of the Sunset Sail.

Trailhead

Cool off with Trailhead in Kingston this summer! Rent SUP boards or kayaks, and take a lesson with Trailhead! Join them for the famous paddle and pint evenings in the warmer months, which include everything you need to enjoy an evening on the water. Guaranteed to make you smile!

2. Frontenac County

Frontenac Outfitters 

If this is your first time trying out paddlesports such as kayaking and canoeing, you may want to check out Frontenac Outfitters. With guidelines to help you choose the best equipment for your trip – from canoes for groups with small children, to kayaking with a small dog! They even give tips on what to consider when planning your trip – porting your kayak/canoe, how much to carry, and what types of crafts are best in different waters.

Gould Lake Conservation Area

History and nature intertwine at this kayak haven! Gould Lake Conservation Area located just outside of Sydenham in Frontenac County, is a day-use area begging to be discovered. Rent a kayak at Harrowsmith Rental Centre nearby and launch at Gould Lake’s beach area with plenty of shoreline to discover. This is the headwaters of the Millhaven Creek System and Gould Lake provides great viewing for wildlife. Kayakers can easily spend a day at the conservation area, between paddling and hiking. In fact, the Mine Trail Loop at Gould Lake is recognized as culturally significant with old pits and a large boiler still featured from a time when mica mines operated here.

3. Cornwall & SDG Counties

Crysler Park Marina

Take a relaxing paddle or kayak along the St Lawrence River!

Hybrid Marine Aquatic Adventures 

Travel the shores of the St. Lawrence River by way of kayak with Hybrid Marine Aquatic Adventures – The Drift. Beginning your journey upstream in Cornwall, you will paddle your way back to Hybrid Marine in Summerstown. Choose your kayak and grab a map before getting in the water to begin your journey downstream. Looking for a guide? For an extra fee, you can request a guide for your 20 km journey down the river.

4. Prince Edward County

Sandbanks Provincial Park – Westlake Watersports 

Plan your next camping trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park, located near Picton, Ontario. With a variety of camping locations including cabins, as well as trailer and tent lots, you can settle in with friends and family and explore the sand dunes. Team up with Westlake Watersports to ensure that you won’t run out of fun activities to do. Pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks and stand up paddle board rentals are available with guidance and instruction provided.

Cabin Fever Kayak

We’ve got a fever – and the only prescription is more kayak! Cabin Fever Kayak launches boats in the quiet and scenic Black River in Prince Edward County, known for its calm waters and wildlife galore. It’s like a choose your own adventure: paddle one was and the river winds for about 6km to the town of Milford – or take the other direction and head in the other direction and go under a bridge where the river opens into a small bay on Lake Ontario. Look here for Macmahon Bluff –  a 240-acre rocky headland unlike any other in eastern Ontario, rising about 100 feet above the water and inhabited by rare plants!

5. Brockville

Paddling Trails 

Take a half or full-day excursion down the St. Lawrence River and choose your own adventure with one of their 9 paddling routes. Paddle the Arch on the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, a true geographical site to be seen with their combination of rivers, wetlands, lakes, and streams. If you are looking for something a little more low-key, journey two km down from Highway 29 to the Mac Johnson Wildlife area and enjoy a large reservoir located within their 11 kilometers of trails. Set up a picnic, spark up a barbeque or sit around a fire pit and enjoy the wiles of nature.

Dive Brockville Adventure Centre

Kayaking on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands has to be experienced to be believed. With unparalleled beauty at every turn, castles, opulent cottages and even public islands to picnic on, renting from Dive Brockville gets kayak enthusiasts out exploring in no time. Multiple kayak rental locations in Brockville make it even easier to reach, dip, and repeat.

Have you ever done anything with scuba diving and shipwrecks? Super interesting info here about the shipwrecks around Brockville and Rockport.

Prescott

The Town of Prescott is making it easier to cross kayaking off your summer bucket list. Adult and youth sit-on kayaks are available for free use through the Town’s recreation lending library, located at the Prescott Centennial Pool building. All equipment is available for borrow, as well. Spend the summer discovering the freedom of being on the water!

6. Rideau Canal

Rideau Tours

This Authentic Rideau Experience comes with paddling on one of the most beautiful sections of the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal with overnight camping at a Parks Canada lockstation. You can enjoy some local “Flavours of the Rideau” with 2 gourmet picnics, an authentic outdoor Paddlers breakfast and a tasty reward of dining at the newly renovated historic Opinicon Resort at Chaffey’s Lock!

Drifters Outdoors

Make your own ripples along the Rideau and hit the water paddling. Rent kayaks and more through Drifters Outdoors, and paddle the south branch of the river. Opportunities are endless – paddle to downtown, dock at a trail head or find the beaches and play all day. There’s no better way to get a feel for the Rideau!

Firefly Adventures

Firefly Adventures offers a plethora of adventures that are perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. Try out their Outfitted Instructional Wilderness Canoe trips to the World Heritage Site Rideau CanalFrontenac Provincial Park, and others!

7. 1000 Islands Gananoque

1000 Islands Kayaking 

If you haven’t had the chance to experience the beauty of the 1000 Islands, then you need to adventure through this famous location with 1000 Islands Kayaking. Meet with certified guides and leisurely paddle for a lesson, half-day or full-day trip! You will reconnect with nature with unique views of great blue herons and muskrat families, learn about the history of the 1000 Islands, and take in the undeniable beauty of the Canadian waters.

8. Bay of Quinte

Cruising Canoes 

Partake in a real adventure with Cruising Canoes located in Belleville, Ontario! With all-inclusive adventures, you don’t have to worry about a thing except having fun! Whether you are looking for a full-day excursion, or a Friday night outing – Cruising Canoes has an activity that will fit your needs. Gather your best buds and take on a full day adventure that includes lazy river runs and canoe fishing, or meet your pals for a Friday night ‘Pint and Paddle’ at Signal Brewery.

Adventure Awaits, Reach, Dip, & Repeat.

Updated by Rosanne Lake and Lindsay Medeiros