Kayaking the Ottawa River is one of the most popular activities in the capital city. Whether you go solo, with a friend, or even take a guided tour, paddling the Ottawa Gatineau waterfront is an unforgettable experience!
There is no need to travel far for afternoon fun, as Ottawa’s newest attraction is right below the Alexandra Bridge. Paddle downstream with Locations Escape, and you can find an abundance of iconic Canadian wildlife, landmarks such as the Parliament Building, and many more stunning views. Coast the shorelines, and discover the Rideau Falls Park and Green Island along a sunset paddle. What makes this activity so popular is the fun you can have while paddling. Everyone alike, beginner or expert, will enjoy the scenic views, refreshing air and chaotic fun of kayaking.
As a former park ranger, I have guided countless times, and I have never seen it as easy to rent kayaks (solo or tandem), canoes, or paddleboards. You can reserve online or walk into the Locations Escape Office, and someone there is always happy to help you. On the day of your booking, come with an ID, safety deposit and the proper clothes/footwear that you are not afraid to get wet! This is one of the most affordable and exciting ways to experience the outdoors in Ottawa, and you can pay after you have fun!
This is one of the safest activities in Ottawa. Before you start your journey, each kayak, canoe, or paddleboard is inspected for damage and given a safety equipment bag. Don’t worry about falling in, as everyone leaves shore with supplied life jackets and floating paddles. You will also be accompanied by your friends or a guide if you choose and will receive a quick safety briefing to ensure you can get moving. Pack a water bottle and grab a snack before you leave. For those who wish to learn a new skill, check out the Intro to SUP (stand-up-paddleboarding) lessons, where anyone of any age can learn how to safely operate a paddleboard.
If you wish to stay on land, feel free to checkout out our central Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals location. There are a million ways to rent a bike, but my favourite is the Peddle and Paddle Combo! Enjoy the afternoon cycling the highlights of Ottawa. After 2-3 hours of finding new foods and unique sights, you can end the day with a calming hour-long paddle along the Ottawa River. You can also experience a picturesque Ottawa sunset on a guided kayak tour, watch the national Canada Day celebrations, see the Casino Lac-Leamy’s Firework in August, and book a personal guide for a marriage proposal, friends and family event or work event!
Written by: Grant Kowalsky