Kayaking in Manitoba, Canada is a popular outdoor activity for exploring, sightseeing and discovering the waterways of the province. The north of Manitoba is rugged and remote with tundra and boreal forests and the south explores prairie grasslands - as well as - aspen and oak parklands.
Northern and eastern kayaking routes are very remote and isolated providing some of the most challenging kayaking routes with whitewater rapids, waterfalls, portages and wilderness camping opportunities. Kayaking routes in the southern region of Manitoba, Canada explore more controlled environments like urban parks, provincial parks, wetlands and protected wilderness areas. Some parks provide kayak rentals onsite and most have a kayak launch, pier and docks.
There are thousands of lakes, rivers and wetland areas to kayak. The vast network of lakes and rivers provides many opportunities for casual day paddles and multi day kayaking adventures exploring the entire province of Manitoba. Throughout the province there are self guided kayaking adventures for experienced kayakers and guided adventures for beginners. The kayak touring companies provide the experience and knowledge of the waterways... and more importantly they provide the equipment, lessons, accommodations, meals and guides in many cases.
There are many rivers in the province for kayakers. Red, Hayes, Bloodvein and Seal Rivers are all part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. All provide long haul kayaking adventures.
- The Hayes River was once a fur trading route for the Hudson's Bay Company and a transportation and fishing river for the First Nation people.
- The Bloodvein River tells stories of the First Nation people through the pictographs painted on the many granite cliffs.
- The Seal River connects to a historic migration route of a caribou herd numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Other rivers you may want to kayak include the Cochrane, Caribou, Manigotagan, Grass, Whitemouth, Winnipeg, La Salle, Seine, and Assiniboine Rivers.
In the western region of Manitoba, Canada the Assiniboine River in Brandon, Manitoba is a good urban kayaking river. There is a boat launch and dock for accessing the Assiniboine River in Queen Elizabeth Park. TheSpruce Woods Provincial Heritage Park is situated on the banks of the Assiniboine River as well. The river is part of a larger 125 kilometre kayak route which starts in Brandon and ends in Holland, Manitoba. The Turtle Mountain Provincial Park is also located near the community of Brandon, Manitoba. The Oskar Lake Loop (19 kms) is a good route to explore. Accessing the kayak routes in the park is best from the boat launches on William, Adam and Max Lakes.
The eastern region of the province is home to some of the best long haul kayaking adventures. Routes explore three remote wilderness nature parks - the Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park, Nopiming Provincial Park and the Whiteshell Provincial Park. The Bird (34 kms), Black (95 kms) and Rabbit Rivers (30 kms)... plus Seagram, Elton, Cole and Elbow Lakes are part of kayaking routes in the Nopiming Provincial Park. In the Whiteshell and Atikaki Provincial Parks are some remote, long-haul whitewater routes for the experienced kayaker like the Whiteshell River (85 kms), the Bloodvein River (225 kms), the Pigeon River (153 kms) and the Gammon River (107 kms). These routes include wilderness camping and portages. Another kayak route which passes through Whiteshell Park is the Winnipeg River route. It explores 12+ lakes and 15 portages... and takes 14-18 days to complete. It is a 410+ kilometre one way paddle route connecting Keewatin, Ontario with Winnipeg Manitoba.
Kayaking is popular in the Grass River Provincial Park located near The Pas, Manitoba and the Paint Lake Provincial Park located south of the community of Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. Both parks are part of the historic Grass River kayak route. A 570-kilometre long network of lakes and rivers.