Where to Paddle

Where there are beaches, there’s water!  And, in our case, lots of it, making this region a go-to destination for canoeing, kayaking and standup paddle boarding.  BruceGreySimcoe is home to rivers with rapids and without, calm inland lakes and the wide expanses of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  For inexperienced and new paddlers, many outfitters offer lessons, rentals and shuttle services.  Before embarking on your paddling adventure, be sure to review the Mandatory Gear required for your canoe, kayak or SUP (stand up paddleboard).

Rivers

The popular Saugeen River starts in Hanover, flows through Paisley and on to Southampton and Denny’s Dam, which marks the end of the paddling route.  One of the best canoe routes in Southern Ontario, the 102-kilometre river route passes smoothly by wooded shorelines, through small communities and between soaring bluffs. The gently flowing Beaver River, navigable from Kimberley to Heathcote, is just right for novice paddlers.  The route features some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Ontario.  Take a breather to marvel at the panoramic views of the Niagara Escarpment and the surrounding countryside. If only a river mouth could talk! The historic Nottawasaga River, stretching 23.5 kilometres from Edenvale to Wasaga Beach, would certainly have stories to tell.  It played a central part in the lives of the area’s First Nations peoples, was the route of famous explorers and played a significant role in the War of 1812.

Lake Huron & Georgian Bay

On calm days, there is nothing quite like a paddle along the Lake Huron shoreline. For intermediate paddlers, a popular destination is Chantry Island, a federal bird sanctuary about 2 kilometres off the shore of Southampton.  It’s also the home of the Chantry Island lighthouse and a restored lightkeeper’s home (tours are available).  Please note that foot traffic is not permitted on the island. Near Oliphant, the Fishing Islands are a chain of islands stretching 20 kilometres north from Chief’s Point to Pike Bay.  

For the very experienced and adventurous paddler, a sea kayak is generally the vessel of choice to explore the clear waters and majestic shores of Georgian Bay, “the sixth Great Lake”.  From Tobermory to Owen Sound to Collingwood to Wasaga Beach, up to Awenda Provincial Park and around to Midland, Victoria Harbour and Port Severn, the shoreline is dotted with numerous bays and inlets to explore.  In Tobermory, glide over shipwrecks in both Little Tub and Big Tub harbours and, near Thornbury, the wreck of the Mary Ward is a 4-kilometre paddle from Northwinds Beach.  Be sure to check the marine forecast before heading out and let someone know your paddling route and your itinerary.  And, remember, when paddling in Georgian Bay that much of this route is shared with larger, motorized boats.

Paddling Adventures

Other Lakes and Rivers

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