Canoeing is a big part of our Canadian history. The First Nation people first used canoes to navigate the rivers and lakes of our country. For the longest time canoes have been the pioneers when it comes to discovering our Canadian rivers and lakes. There are some amazing historical long haul canoe paddle routes in Canada. Today we will be sharing some canoe routes with you.
History shows the canoe was the first to navigate our rivers and lakes. The First Nation people of Canada used the rivers and lakes as transportation routes. Canoes were used to travel to hunting and fishing grounds; moving between summer and winter villages; gathering supplies and for going to war with neighboring tribes.
The European settlers arrived and they too accessed the lakes and rivers of Canada by canoe at first. Canoes were used for discovering Canada from east to west, for accessing trading posts and military forts. Soon more settlers arrived and started establishing villages and townsites… most on the banks of rivers and on the shores of lakes. It was the canoe that mapped out our country as civilization continued to push west. By many accounts the canoe discovered Canada.
Can you imagine paddling a canoe route measuring 100s of kilometres long. Imagine the thrill of exploring down rivers and across lakes – and into forests, wetlands, bogs and through canyons, meadows, valleys and around mountains, islands and waterfalls. Canoeing in Canada is an opportunity to explore the untouched, naked, wild and primitive side of our country told to us by the rivers and lakes of Canada.
Some of the major canoe routes have resorts, guides and tours. They will provide lessons, equipment, accommodations and meals in most cases. You should be warned – you will become addicted to the amazing scenery and to the sport of canoeing.
Some canoe routes are so remote there are no services on them and one must pack their own supplies according to a good trip plan. Theses route are reserved for the most skilled outdoors person with excellent backcountry canoe and survival skills. The portages are challenging, the wilderness campsites are bare and the white water rivers are difficult to paddle.
Here are a few canoe routes in Western Canada. You will have to wait for Eastern Canada canoe routes as that information will be launched on our upcoming new websites which are under tight security and are being developed at an undisclosed secret location. LOL.
Below is a small sample, mixed bag of Western Canada Canoe Routes to plan for this summer – some are easy while others are out-of-this-world gut wrenching difficult. Each has a story to tell.
Grass River Canoe Route near Flin Flon in Manitoba, Canada – The canoe route is a 570-kilometre long network of lakes and rivers that begins at the Simonhouse Lake Campground and follows the Grass River to its confluence with the Nelson River. The route is often referred to as the Grass River Corridor. It is a canoe river route decorated with waterfalls, rapids, fast currents, lakes, petroglyphs and portages. Coming soon to our ManitobaEH.ca Travel Website.
Bowron Lakes Canoe Route near Quesnel in British Columbia, Canada - A 116.4 kilometre paddle route connected by 10 lakes, a few rivers and 6-7 portage routes creating a scenic circle route known as the Bowron Lakes Paddle Route. [ LINK ]
Powell Forest Canoe Route on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada - A canoe route navigating 8 lakes following a 80 km paddle route. A popular river and lake route found in the northern portion of the Sunshine Coast area, nearest to the community of Powell River, BC. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Moose Valley Canoe Route near 100 Mile House in British Columbia, Canada – a wilderness route canoeing a chain of 12 small lakes with portages in the backcountry wilderness regions of the park. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Yukon River in the Yukon Territory, Canada – The Yukon River is a major historic waterway exploring the Yukon Territory, Canada and Alaska, USA. The river is the 5th largest in North America measuring 3,185 kilometres long. There are many access points to the river. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Mackenzie River Canoe Route in the Northwest Territory of Canada – The river begins from Great Slave Lake in the southern section of the territory near Hay River, NWT and travels north to the Mackenzie Delta and then eventually empties into the Arctic Ocean’s Beaufort Sea. It is the longest river in Canada measuring at 1,738 kilometres (1080 miles). Plus… if you combine the headstreams of the Mackenzie River – the Peace and Finlay Rivers – it is the second longest river in North America measuring 4,241 kilometres ( 2635 miles). Many access points. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territory of Canada – A popular adventure for the very experienced paddler located in the north end of the park. The paddle route is a 21 day, 517 kilometre route exploring the South Nahanni River from Moose Ponds to Fort Simpson, Northwest Territory, Canada. Many access points. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Lac La Ronge Provincial Park near Prince Albert in Saskatchewan, Canada – is a canoe destination with 30 canoe routes. The village of Lac La Ronge is a staging area for fly-in canoe adventures located in the remote far north regions of Saskatchewan. Tours and guides in the region. [ LINK ]
Bow River Canoe Route in Alberta, Canada – The Bow River is a major canoeing river in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is a glacial river beginning from the Bow Glacier in the Wapta Icefield on the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In total the river measures over 620 kilometres. [ LINK ]
Please take the time to look at some of the beautiful wilderness and wildlife photos we have accumulated in our Canadian Photo Galleries. [ LINK ]
So… what is your favorite canoe destination?