Paddles up! There’s still lots of summer left to make memories on the water in South Eastern Ontario. Hit the fabled rivers and lakes in the region by paddling to experience nature up close and personal. With pristine water, unique scenery and friendly local communities along the way, South Eastern Ontario is a paddler’s dream.

1. Locking through the Rideau Canal

One of the best things about Rideau Lakes is, of course, the lakes! Get a new perspective on the outdoors while hitting the water on a canoe, kayak or SUP excursion. Rideau Lakes has many paddling routes that showcase the wonderful waterways that give the region its special character. Did you know that visitors come from all over the globe to witness the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rideau Canal in action? Rent kayaks or canoes from Rideau Tours in Chaffey’s Lock, Pattison’s Paddles in Newboro or Rideau Classic Rental in Portland and be sure to experience a lock on the historic Rideau Canal along the way – either locking through or by a portage and picnic. Get your paddle on to experience it for yourself.

2. Kemptville Creek

Grab your paddle and make a splash paddling Kemptville Creek to wind your way through North Grenville in the Rideau region. Use the launch in Anniversary Park, then explore more than 5 km of waterway running from the Rideau river, past Ferguson Forest Centre and into to downtown Kemptville. Tie up at the docks at Rotary Park downtown for a post-float brew at O’Heaphy’s Irish Pub, or dinner at the fushion Cajun restaurant, Salamanders, or Hyde Smokehouse and Bar. Don’t have a boat? No problem. Visit Drifters Outdoors in Kemptville to rent a kayak or SUP! North Grenville is made for waterway adventure.

3. Upper Rideau Lake

Upper Rideau Lake is one of the biggest along the Rideau Canal and is a favourite for boating and paddling. The lake is known as one of the most stunning spots in the region. The scenic town of Westport is at one end and Newboro’s renowned fishing to the south. Couple that with the ancient Narrows Lock at the east end and the massive cliffs of Foley Mountain overlooking the north shore and it adds up to a picture perfect paddling day

4. Frontenac Outfitters

Created by paddlers, for paddlers! Frontenac Outfitters is well known for its 30-plus years as one of Canada’s largest on-water paddlesports centres. Specializing in new and used kayak, canoe and SUP sales and rentals, Frontenac Outfitters is also a teaching facility with a full complement of courses and workshops running into fall. Its location at the entrance of wilderness park, Frontenac Provincial Park, makes it even sweeter. Slow down and enjoy nature with wooded and waterfront campsites available at Frontenac Outfitters, too. They’re known as the experts for a reason!

With 160 km of looped and well-maintained backpacking and hiking trails, Frontenac Provincial Park is an exceptional spot for wildlife viewing, interior camping, and backcountry exploring. As Ontario’s most southern wilderness park, it also includes 22 beautiful lakes with great paddling, fishing and swimming opportunities – and all interior campsites are accessible by hiking trail, too.

5. 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 way and the river winds for about 6 km 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 Bluffa 240-acre rocky headland unlike any other in eastern Ontario, rising about 100 feet above the water and inhabited by rare plants! The cure for cabin fever: explore someplace different and embrace the beauty in nature!

6.Dip your paddle

Get out on the water with kayak, canoe or SUP rentals in the Bay of Quinte area!  The Trenton Rowing and Paddling Club, Quinte West has social events throughout the summer for water enthusiasts of all skill levels. From evening group paddles to paddle potlucks, the club also has stand-up paddle boards, canoes, and kayak rentals available during July and August. Also look for Seven Paddles, Quinte West which is offering weekend kayak and canoe rentals at the boat launch in Centennial Park. Happy paddling!

7.1000 Islands Kayaking

Want epic river paddling on the St. Lawrence? Weave among the grand islands with 1000 Islands Kayaking! Perfect for those looking for an adventure, 1000 Islands Kayaking has all the equipment and instruction you need to set off. Share an intimate guided tour of the islands by kayak to explore the magnificence in a new way. Check out the intriguing channels of the Thousand Islands and find something to fascinate you around every bend: sunken ships, historic castles, and a landscape steeped in history. Glide through the water with a 1000 Islands Kayaking guide or set out on your own, paddling at your own pace to discover the inlets, opulent cottages, and island life surrounded by nature. Look here for guided camping tours, too!


8.Get on the water and land a great time

With more than 100 lakes for you and the fam to explore and stunning views awaiting – the water is calling your family this summer in Lennox & Addington. Self serve kayak and SUP rentals are available through Kayakomat to get you enjoying the water in no time. Make a splash with time on the lake in L&A County!

9. Explore the Kingston shoreline

Unwind and enjoy a hot summer’s day by dipping your paddle along the Kingston shoreline! Hit the water with Ahoy Rentals for canoeing, kayaking or SUPing – and even sailing. Enjoy the beautiful blue waves of Lake Ontario on a skippered sailing charter aboard a 26’ sailboat with no sailing experience required. Or, cool off with Trailhead in Kingston this summer! Rent SUP boards or kayaks, and even take a lesson. Included is everything you need to enjoy an evening on the water. Did you know there are six great beaches in and around Kingston from the urban Gord Edgar Downie Pier to the rocky pebble beach at Lake Ontario Park they’re ready to help cool off the heat of late summer.

10.Mike and Jenny’s Paddle Fit

All ages and skill levels are  welcome here! Families enjoy Mike and Jenny’s Paddle Fit – getting the whole crew out on the water in a safe and friendly way. With hourly and daily rentals of canoes and kayaks, Mike and Jenny’s Paddle Fit on the Long Sault Parkway at Milles Roches Beach ($) is the perfect way to connect with your family or friends while getting out on the water and maybe trying something new.

No matter where you start paddling in South Eastern Ontario, you’ll be sure to finish with unforgettable moments of discovering new perspectives and places on the water!