It’s no secret we love Canadian canoe trips, our favourites so far being Desolation Sound and the Powell Forest Canoe Circuit. In the guest post below, Joe shares his top picks for Canadian canoe trips that should be on your bucket list. Thanks Joe!

Do you wish to get away from your daily hustles, and take up an adventure? Well, Canada is famous for its open canoe, so a Canadian canoe trip should do the trick! You can be at one with nature and enjoy nature with your loved ones or in perfect solitude.

Here are seven top Canadian canoe trips that you could consider.

The elegant Nahanni River

The South Nahanni River emerges you in Canada’s wilderness. From the Selwyn Mountain, it courses 540 Km to the southeast. The river is famous for the Virginia falls which proudly drop 90m down – a marvellous view. If that is not enough, you will be lucky to see the Tufa Mounds, Pulpit Rock, canyons and hot springs that will take your breath away. While drifting through the Nahanni on your inflatable canoe, be sure to spot wildlife such as the Trumpeter swans, Grizzlies, Woodland caribou and Dall sheep, and more than 180 different bird species. You don’t need to be an expert paddler either, as basic whitewater canoeing skills will pass for the Nahanni River.

Paddling the Yukon River by canoe

The Thelon River of the remote, barren lands

Starting from the Northwest Territories, the river flows 900 km to drain its waters into Hudson Bay, via Nunavut. The Thelon River brags a dense wildlife concentration compared to the surrounding area. The environment holds wolves, caribou herds, musk oxen, grizzly bears and definitely the most amazing array of birds. For a decent landing and pick up from these waters, a float plane is required. You will enjoy the Thelon River if you are wildlife and birding enthusiast.

The Classic Mackenzie River

The river occupies a space of 1850km – a two-day journey. Sculling the Mackenzie River starts from the Great Slave Lake and ends on the Arctic Ocean, that is Hay River and Tuktoyaktuk respectively. For this river, challenges such as icebergs tend to slow paddlers down. It is thus advisable to hit the waters mid to late June. You get to pass through ten different communities, learning and enjoying their cultures. The wildlife and wilderness is like nothing you have seen before.

7 Canadian canoe trips you must do - canoe in beach on Okanagan Lake

The Churchill River in Northern Saskatchewan

This great river came about as a result of a chain of lakes joined by falls and rapids. Portaging the 150 Kilometer long river may seem impossible and arduous due to the rapids. However, it is quite an exciting adventure. The river boasts amazing flora and fauna. A paddling trip introduces you to nature’s beauty and tranquility. Foxes, wolves, and bears will be in your view all along your journey.

The Bloodvein River of Manitoba

The timeless river takes its name after the red granite bedrock. Both novice and expert paddlers cruise its waters. Bald eagles and lady slipper orchids are the glorious wildlife you will come across. Manitoba River goes through the Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park and the Boreal forest. The 9 to 15-day cruise exposes you to shield rocks that resemble beach whales. It’s important to have right gear including life jackets and helmets as the Bloodvein river can be a challenging paddle. It’s worth the effort though as the red-granite-bedrock waters promise the paddle of your life.

7 Canadian Canoe Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List - Canadian Canoe Trips

The Quetico Provincial Park of Ontario

There is a lot to see in the Quetico Provincial Park located 160 kilometers west of Thunder Bay. The park boasts spectacular sunsets, islands, and water lapping beaches. It is no secret why many consider it the best place for canoeing in the world. You will see beavers, loons, moose, and herons. The draw, however, lies behind the 600 plus lakes and over 1000 backcountry campsites. The sculling takes a maximum of 16 days for a smooth navigation of the turbulent waters.

The Bowron Lakes Circuit – British Columbia

The Bowron Lakes Circuit hits the maps as one of the top ten canoe trips in the entire world. It is like the holy grail of canoeing. The lake has had its fair share of paddlers who are after an adventure and seclusion. The circuit is 110km long and is doable in 6 to 10 days. It has a back view of the Cariboo Mountains, six lakes, and two rivers.

7 Canadian Canoe Trips That Should Be On Your Bucket List - Bowron LakesCanoeing is a popular activity in Canada that is sure to take your breath away. Some trips are doable in a day or two, and others go on for a week. It’s a scenic activity where you get to interact with wildlife and it’s great for bird spotting.

I hope going on one of these great Canadian Canoe trips is high up on your bucket list.

Author bio: I’m Joe. I run Nature Rated. I love spending time in the outdoors. Whenever daily life gets me down, I head to the nearest lake or river with my kayak and my camera, and I spend time recharging my batteries. I hope you’ll love my no fluff to the point reviews and that they’ll help you choose the right gear for your next adventure!

Read next: A Guide to the Sayward Forest Canoe Circuit, Vancouver Island

7 Canadian canoe trips that should be on your bucket list - offtracktravel.caPIN this post for future reference – simply click the top left-hand corner of the above photo


One half of a Canadian/British couple currently based in New Brunswick, Canada. Gemma is happiest with a kayak/canoe paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.

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