Canoeing & Kayaking & SUP

For the Adventure Enthusiast:
Canoes, Kayaks and Stand-Up Paddle Boards

Kayaking Through Wilderness

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is the newest rage amongst adventure and fitness enthusiasts.  The sheltered lakes and bays on the Bruce provide an excellent opportunity to explore on an SUP or perhaps give one a try for the first time.

Canoes and kayaks get more popular with each passing year. They will get you to places no one else can get to.

A few of the best places to launch are:

Sauble River at Sauble Falls Provincial Park – moderate skill required; the river has a significant current. Launch your canoe, kayak or SUP for free, but you have to pay for parking. They also rent canoes and kayaks by the hour.

The Rankin River – Launch from Isaac Lake or the portage access on Road 13. Both offer washrooms and parking. Free. Skill level — relatively easy. You can go from the dam south of Boat Lake all the way up to Sky Lake.

Exploring the National Park Escarpment by Stand-Up Paddle Board. (Photo Credit: Fathom Paddle Guiding)

Exploring the National Park Escarpment by Stand-Up Paddle Board. (Photo Credit: Fathom Paddle Guiding)

The Fishing Islands – Launch at Howdenvale or Oliphant.  Skill level — on a calm day, novices are fine if they stay close to shore. Otherwise: moderate to expert.

Colpoys Bay – Launch at the government dock. Free. Parking and a porta-pottie on site. Easy to expert, depending on the wind and waves.

Lion’s Head – Launch at the beach. Free. Parking and washrooms. Paddle along the shore to the east at the foot of the cliffs. Moderate to expert depending on the wind.

Sandy Beach/Black Creek Provincial Park – Launch at the beach. Free. Parking and vault toilets. Explore Knife Island, Lyal Island and Stokes Bay. Moderate to expert, depending on wind and waves.

Stokes Bay – Launch at the Government Dock. Skill level: easy to expert depending on the weather.

Miller Lake – Skill level: total novice. It rarely gets rough and it’s impossible to get lost. Canoes/kayaks can be rented at Summer House Park. Fees may apply for launching your own canoe or kayak.

Cyprus Lake/Cameron Lake –  Launch your own canoe, kayak  or SUP from Adams Park on Cameron Lake (free) or from the beach at Cyprus Lake (National Park pass required). Canoe and Kayak rentals are available at Cedar Grove Cottages on Cameron Lake. Skill level — novice. The creek that connects the two lakes is a particular treat, meandering from sun to shade. Leave your kayak at the east end of Cyprus Lake and it’s a twenty minute walk to Indian Head Cove and the Grotto.

Kayaking and Canoeing can get you to places no one else can get to.

Kayaking and Canoeing can get you to places no one else can get to.

Tobermory offers three excellent places to start. Big Tub Harbour Resort rents SUPs, canoes and kayaks but does not offer public launching. The Little Tub Harbour boat launch is excellent (there are rental outfits nearby including G&S Watersports) but is very busy and nearby parking has a two-hour limit. Drop your vessel off and then drive out to one of the all-day parking lots (you can walk back in about 3 minutes). Dunks Bay beach is a great place to launch but it too can get crowded so you may have to carry your vessel for 100m or more. PLEASE DON’T DRIVE ON THE BEACH.
Skill level: Big Tub Harbour — novice. Little Tub Harbour — moderate to expert depending on how far out of the harbour you venture. Dunks Bay — moderate to expert, depending on the wind.

Canoeing, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding among the Tobermory Islands (some of the best paddling in Canada) is for experienced people only. The weather can whip up a lot faster than you can get to cover. That’s why there are all those shipwrecks out there. If you’re not comfortable in three foot waves, don’t venture out of the harbour.

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