When you need a break from city life, there's no better way to unwind than by hitting the water on your Silver Shark paddleboard. Luckily, there are plenty of incredible paddle board spots within a 2-hour drive of Ottawa or even right at your font-door. In this post, we've selected 20 of the best paddle board spots near Ottawa that will take you to stunning lakes, rivers, and waterways that are perfect for paddle boarding. So grab your Silver Shark board, pack your gear, and get ready for an amazing adventure!
1. Manotick This historic village on the Rideau River offers a charming backdrop for a paddle board adventure, with calm waters and beautiful scenery. Paddle boarding in Manotick is a truly fascinating experience that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical charm. Located just a short drive from downtown Ottawa, Manotick is a picturesque village that sits on the banks of the Rideau River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As you paddle board along the Rideau River in Manotick, you'll be surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including lush forests, towering cliffs, and sparkling blue waters. The river is home to a variety of wildlife, including beavers, otters, and a wide range of bird species, making it a prime spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike.
In addition to its natural beauty, Manotick is also steeped in history and culture. The village was founded in the early 1800s and has preserved much of its heritage architecture and traditional charm. As you paddle board along the river, you'll pass by historic homes and buildings, including the Watson's Mill, a restored 19th-century grist mill that is now a museum and cultural center.
2. Lac Leamy Located just across the river in Gatineau, Lac Leamy offers calm waters, nice views and a family park with public BBQs. Lac Leamy is a popular spot for paddle boarding due to its calm waters and views of the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel and Casino. Around the lake, there is a walking trail full of greenery. You feel like you are in nature, even though you are in the middle of Gatineau. There are several access points to Lac Leamy, including the public beach at Lac Leamy Park. Cross underneath the small bridge beside the Hilton Hotel to paddle near the huge water fountain in the center of the lake!
3. Lac Meech Meech Lake is a picturesque lake located in Gatineau Park, Quebec, just a short drive from downtown Ottawa. It's a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, including paddle boarders. Paddleboarding on Meech Lake is a unique and memorable experience due to the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it. The lake is nestled among thick forests, and rocky outcrops, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The water is calm and clear, making it an ideal location for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced paddlers. One of the highlights of paddle boarding on Meech Lake is exploring the shoreline and nearby islands. There are several small islands to paddle around, each with its own unique features, such as secluded beaches, rocky cliffs, and dense forests. Paddling along the shoreline, you can also take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and forests. There are several access points to Meech Lake, including the public beach at O'Brien Park and the P17 parking lot, which is located on the north end of the lake.
4. Mississippi Lake A large lake just west of Ottawa that offers excellent paddling opportunities, including secluded bays and islands to explore. Mississippi Lake is a large lake located about an hour west of Ottawa, in the town of Carleton Place, Ontario. It's a popular spot for paddle boarding due to its calm waters and beautiful natural scenery. Paddleboarding on Mississippi Lake is suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to more experienced paddlers. The lake is relatively calm and protected from strong winds, which makes it a great place to learn and practice new skills. There are also plenty of quiet coves and bays to explore, as well as several small islands to paddle around. One of the highlights of paddle boarding on Mississippi Lake is the abundance of wildlife that can be seen. The lake is home to a variety of bird species, including ospreys, herons, and eagles, as well as fish such as bass and pike that can be seen swimming in the clear waters. There are several access points to Mississippi Lake, including the public beach at Riverside Park and the marina at the Carleton Place Canoe Club.
5. Calabogie Lake This large lake in the Ottawa Valley offers clear waters and beautiful scenery, with plenty of opportunities for more adventures all around Calabogie. In the winter, a popular ski-area and in the summer these hills are full of hiking trails, reaching amazing viewpoints.
6. Petrie Island This island on the Ottawa River is a popular spot for paddle boarding, with calm waters and beautiful views of the city. Petrie Island is a beautiful natural area located in the east end of Ottawa, on the Ottawa River. It's a popular spot for outdoor recreation, including paddle boarding. Paddleboarding on Petrie Island is suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to more experienced paddlers. The water in this area is relatively calm and protected from strong winds, making it an ideal location for learning and practicing new skills. Paddle boarders can explore the river and its many inlets, as well as the nearby wetlands and marshes, which are home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife. One of the highlights of paddle boarding on Petrie Island is the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. The island is a natural oasis, with sandy beaches, grassy fields, and shady forests. There are also several small islands and channels to explore, each with its own unique features and wildlife. There are several access points to Petrie Island, including the public beach and boat launch, as well as the nearby marina.
7. Lac Philippe Located in Gatineau Park, Lac Philippe is a beautiful lake surrounded by forested hills, offering a peaceful and scenic paddle board experience.
8. Mooney's Bay Located in the south end of Ottawa, Mooney's Bay is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, including paddle boarding. The bay is a large, sheltered area of the Rideau River, making it an ideal location for beginners or those looking for a calm, relaxing paddle.
9. Algonquin Provincial Park A bit of a further drive, but definitely worth it for a multi-day paddle board adventure. Algonquin Provincial Park is located about 2.5 hours west of Ottawa and offers some of the best paddle boarding opportunities in Ontario. The park has several lakes that are perfect for paddle boarding, including Canoe Lake, Smoke Lake, and Lake of Two Rivers. These lakes offer stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains, and are home to a variety of wildlife, including moose and beavers. In the park you can do multi-day paddle board trips, camping along the way.
10. Lac Saint-Pierre A large lake in the Gatineau Hills that offers calm waters and beautiful scenery, with plenty of wildlife to spot along the way.
11. Lac La Pêche A large lake in the Gatineau Hills that offers clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding forest. Lac La Pêche has numerous small islands where you can dock your paddle board for a swim along the way. The main beach has public barbecues to use and if you follow the path along the beach you will find a small cliff where you can jump in the fresh lake water!
12. Lac vert, Lac St-Marie With over a 3-hour drive, it is a bit further from Ottawa, but definitely worth mentioning in this list. The drive is worth the adventure! This enchanting lake has been on many Canadian's bucket list for the summer months. The water is so unimaginably clear. You can see the bottom full of fish, driftwood and light coloured rocks. There is a catch: the lake is hard to find as it has no car access. Lucky for you, we wrote a blog where we explain step-by-step how to get there! Read it here.
13. Britannia Beach This popular beach on the Ottawa River is a great spot for paddle boarding, with calm waters and views of the city. The beach is right in downtown Ottawa, so no need to drive for hours to get to this paddle board spot. Right at the beachfront, the water is fairly shallow so you might have to walk out a bit further with your paddle board until it is deep enough for the fin.
14. Lac Echo
This lake is part of the SEPAQ nature reserve. Only a 1.5-hour drive from Ottawa, you will feel immersed in nature paddle boarding in Lac Echo. No motorboats are allowed so it is quiet and relaxing. The main beach can get crowded on a sunny day, but by paddle board you can paddle away from the busy beach. Tip: you can book off-the-grid campsites and enjoy this amazing lake for a couple of days!
Install your Silver Shark Hamac in between two trees at your campsite and enjoy life!!!
Photo: Lac Echo 15. Charleston Lake Charleston Lake is located about an hour and a half south of Ottawa and is another great spot for paddle boarding. The lake is surrounded by rugged cliffs and forests, and has several islands and inlets to explore. Paddle boarders can also enjoy the nearby hiking trails and campgrounds, making it a great spot for a weekend getaway.
16. Sharbot Lake Sharbot Lake is located about an hour and a half west of Ottawa and is a popular spot for paddle boarders. The lake is surrounded by beautiful forests and rocky outcrops, and has several beaches and picnic areas. Paddle boarders can explore the lake and its many coves and inlets, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.
17. Otty Lake Located about 45 minutes west of Ottawa, Otty Lake is a small, quiet lake that's perfect for paddle boarding. With its calm waters and peaceful surroundings, the lake is a great place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.
18. White lake
White Lake, located about an hour west of Ottawa, is a beautiful and peaceful spot for paddle boarding. The lake is surrounded by dense forest, and its clear water makes it a popular destination for water sports like paddle boarding.
There are several access points around the lake where you can launch your paddle board. One popular spot is the public boat launch located on Burnstown Road. From there, you can paddle around the lake and explore its many bays, inlets, and islands.
If you're looking for a fun challenge, you can try paddle boarding to White Lake's many islands. These islands offer a great opportunity to take a break and relax on the sandy beaches or enjoy a picnic.
19. Bobs Lake Located about 1 hour and 45 minutes west of Ottawa, Bobs Lake is a large, pristine lake that offers excellent opportunities for paddle boarding. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and is home to several islands and secluded bays that are perfect for exploring. The lake is also popular for fishing, so if you're a fan of angling, you can combine your paddle boarding with some fishing.
20. Port de plaisance Jacques-Cartier
In this blog post, we have mentioned stunning lakes and vast national parks. But beauty can be found up-close, right in the heart of Ottawa. Here you can paddle board overlooking the the Parliament building, Ottawa locks and historic hotel Fairmont Château Laurier. You can launch your paddle board at the boat launch of Port de Plaisance Jacques-Cartier on the Quebec side. Important notice: paddle boarding in this location is at your own risk. Only paddle here if you are an advanced paddle boarder and are using all the right safety equipment. Big boats pass through this part of the river and further down there are rapids. Stay very close to the shore and don't cross over to the other side.
Paddle boarding at any of the locations mentioned in this blog is at your own risk. Make sure to always wear a Transport Canada-approved lifejacket on your paddle board and other safety gear requirements for paddle boarders that are set by the government. These requirements may vary depending on the province or territory in which you are paddle boarding, so always check this in advance. Also, check weather and wind conditions before heading out and make sure the water temperature is acceptable. Generally in the Ottawa region, the lakes and rivers have warmed up by mid-June. Before that, we recommend wearing a wetsuit. We don't recommend paddle boarding in the winter months unless you are an advanced paddle boarder and take extreme precautions.
Enjoy your summer on the water with Silver Shark paddleboards!
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