In honour of National Paddling Week (June 15 – 23) we thought we’d do a quick round-up of great paddling spots in the region!
Just a 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island is a paddlers paradise! A popular spot to launch kayaks is Snug Cove. Kayakers can explore the waters around Bowen and a variety of smaller islands. The views are spectacular and there are lots of wildlife spotting opportunities.
Kayaking Bowen Island | Photo credit: Alastair Smith via Flickr
Powell Forest Canoe Route
Located near Powell River on the Sunshine Coast, the Powell Forest Canoe Route is 57 km of canoeing and portaging. With 8 lakes and 5 portages, through amazing wilderness areas, the entire route can be paddled in about 5 days, though you are welcome to do any section of the route if you have less time! Locals tip: Travel the route counter-clockwise and the portages will be downhill!
Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park
The regions’ only Marine provincial Park, Desolation Sound is 8,449ha/20,878ac of protected boating waters. With more than provides an isolated area of safe boating waters. Crystal clear waters allow for views of marine life and it’s not uncommon to come across whales, sea lions, deer and eagles.
Entering Theodosia Inlet | Photo credit: PR Sea Kayaking via Flickr
River of Golden Dreams
Whistler’s River of Golden Dreams lives up to it’s name by providing stunning views around every turn. Paddlers drift through old growth forest and spectacular mountain views. The river connects Alta Lake and Green Lake and although the distance is only 3km, the full length of the river is actually 5km, due mostly to it’s tendency to twist and turn.
Granville Island – False Creek / English Bay
For urban kayaking at it’s finest, Granville Island in Vancouver is the perfect putting in spot. Paddlers can tour False Creek and English Bay and enjoy awesome views of the city.
Kayaking in Vancouver | Photo credit: GrahamKing via Flickr
Deep Cove – North Vancouver
With calm waters, Deep Cove is a great spot for beginner kayakers and it’s proximity to Indian Arm makes it attractive for accomplished paddlers as well. Indian Arm is a 25 km fjord surrounded by mountains and forest, and dotted with secret beaches. Wildlife is abundant with common sightings of seals, eagles and sea stars.
Paddlers on the Harrison River might not know that they are following in the wake of the gold miners. 150 years ago gold miners travelled along the Harrison River by paddlewheeler on their way to Port Douglas. Today the Harrison River is a calm and scenic place to paddle. Paddlers who make the trek in the late Fall are treated to a breathtaking show of bald eagles who winter in the region by the thousands.
Manning Provincial Park
High in the mountains, Lightning Lake is set amidst forest and mountain peaks. With no powered craft allowed, paddlers are guaranteed a peaceful canoe ride to the end of the lake and back.
From our friends at Paddle Canada — “National Paddling Week is a celebration of Canada’s paddling heritage. It is an opportunity to provide awareness and education for safety and skill improvement on the water, and a chance for novices and experts alike to make beginnings and connections in their local paddling community. Many associations, clubs and operators are putting on special events and offering free safety courses
BC is a coastal province with lots of lakes and rivers throughout. Paddling makes up a large part of our outdoor activities. Learning how do these sports skillfully and safely make them so much more fun and enjoyable, and avoids preventable tragedy.”
We thought this poem in honour of National Paddling Week was fun!
By: Sophie Kaufmanis
I am writing to share
A clarion call to your readers out there:
Calling all mothers and fathers and sons,
Daughters and lawyers and especially nuns,
Get your paddles at the ready and your wetsuits looking chic,
For it’s soon to be National Paddle Week!
The next time the blue sky lights up a day
Or the clouds, with their rain, weep the morning away
You can be there to watch it all from your canoe,
Your kayak, or even your stand-up paddleboard too!
It’s your bonding time with nature, an activity with your kids,
A time for profound life reflection, overwhelming bliss,
And in a lake or ocean you can watch your bad days
Dissolving like raindrops in your paddleboard’s wake
But don’t forget your whistle too when you head out to sea
And always make sure to securely fasten up your PFD.
Those are only two examples of safety at its best–
But join a paddle club in town and you can learn the rest!
Happy National Paddle Week!