5 Amazing Places to Paddle Near Ottawa-Gatineau

Published: août 16, 2022
Last updated: janvier 9, 2023

Are you looking to go canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding near Ottawa-Gatineau? Whether you know our city, Eastern Ontario, and the Outaouais well, or you’re a first-time visitor to our part of Canada, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to paddle here.

The Ottawa Valley and the surrounding area boasts a huge number of rivers and lakes within driving distance of the city. As one of the premier paddling destinations in the country, there’s always somewhere to go paddling in Ottawa-Gatineau!

If you’re ready to head out on a paddling adventure, you’ll likely need canoe, kayak, or SUP rentals in Ottawa-Gatineau — that’s where we come in!

Locations Escape Rentals is located right on the Ottawa River at the southern end of Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau, Quebec. All our rentals are of the highest quality and maintained to guarantee your comfort and safety.

If you have any questions about our rental options or you’d like recommendations for places to paddleboard, canoe, or kayak, please get in touch.

For now, though, let’s look at five amazing places to paddle near Ottawa-Gatineau.

River kayaking near Gatineau

Enjoy Crystal-Clear Water at Calabogie Lake

Little over a one-hour drive west from our office in downtown Ottawa-Gatineau, Calabogie Lake is one of our region’s best places to paddleboard, canoe, and kayak.

This lake not only offers beautiful crystal-clear water, but stunning views of the Ottawa Valley’s impressive hills too.

Calabogie Lake is on the larger side, so there are numerous access points around the perimeter for paddlers to ease into the water.

Are you planning a weekend escape? You can also find various campgrounds, lodges, and resorts around the lake.

Discover the Beautiful Sand Beach at Golden Lake

Located in Renfrew County, Ontario, Golden Lake is just shy of a two-hour drive from Ottawa-Gatineau.

You can find public launches for lake access on the south shore at Bonnechere Lodge and at Station Park in Killaloe. If using the latter, you need to paddle down Brennan’s Creek to reach the lake.

The campground here has a wonderful golden sand beach while the water itself is home to pickerel, large- and smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, and lake trout.

With ample opportunities for paddling, fishing, and swimming, Golden Lake is a great place to forget about your worries for a day or two.

River kayaking near Gatineau

Stay Local with a Trip to Meech Lake

At around a 25-minute drive from our office in Ottawa-Gatineau, Meech Lake is the closest lake to the city. This makes it ideal for an adventurous day trip into nature.

The lake itself is calm and has almost no boat traffic. For optimal tranquility, not to mention breathtaking views of sunrises and sunsets, consider visiting Meech Lake in the morning or evening.

Arriving early or late in the day is also beneficial for parking. Space is limited, particularly at the weekend, and you have to pay. During the summer season, the daily rate is $13 between 9am and 3pm (at time of writing). The price then halves until 7pm and is free after this.

If you’re worried about accessing the lake, it’s less than 100 meters from the parking area at P12 to the water.

Explore Wild Rice Beds at Clayton Lake

Around a one-hour drive from Ottawa-Gatineau, Clayton Lake offers small dimensions, scenic surroundings, and trailer lots, camping lots, rustic cottages, and charming waterfront cabins.

Paddlers can use the public launch in Clayton Taylor Park. Be it by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, circumnavigating this lake is the best way to explore its wild rice beds and duck, marsh bird, and turtle habitats.

The Indian River flows into the lake on its northwest shore and its banks provide ideal picnic spots. The same is true for the small islands scattered around the lake.

River kayaking near Gatineau

Paddle the Gatineau River in Wakefield

There are plenty of opportunities for peaceful, pleasant paddling on the Ottawa River and Gatineau River. Wakefield is one of the most popular places on the latter.

Best of all, it’s less than 30 minutes from Ottawa-Gatineau by car!

Aside from its proximity to the city, Wakefield is a magnet for paddlers because it provides easy access to a picturesque stretch of the Gatineau River.

There are multiple access points along the riverside, including close to the Wakefield General Store. Once in the water, drifting downriver for a few kilometers is a delightful way to pass the time.

Alternatively, you can paddle upstream toward the photogenic Wakefield Covered Bridge. There’s a stronger current around this part of the river, so it’s worth walking your canoe, kayak, or paddleboard to the bridge along the shoreline.

Knowing your surroundings and being aware of your limits are both key points in our five safety tips for renting a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard.

River kayaking near Gatineau

Elevate Your Ottawa-Gatineau Trip with Canoe, Kayak, and SUP Rentals

The Ottawa Valley has some of Canada’s warmest, safest, and cleanest rivers. With more than 900 beautiful lakes in the region, it’s easy to see why visitors seek out canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals in Ottawa-Gatineau as a priority.

At Locations Escape Rentals, we love making trips to our city unforgettable. We recognize that paddlers range from total beginners to experienced veterans, so we take the time to ensure you enjoy your experience in the safest way possible.

If you’re new to stand up paddleboarding, we run SUP lessons on the Ottawa River all through the summer.

We also have a handy beginner’s guide to canoeing on the Ottawa River for you to read before you get anywhere near the water.

Are you ready to start exploring the many amazing places to paddle in and around Ottawa-Gatineau? Please contact us for all the information you need.

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