The canoe –whether a traditional birch bark, a modern fiberglass, a common touring variety, or an oversized voyageur –is more than just a mode of transportation; it is a vessel that has been used throughout history to establish deep and meaningful connections; it is quintessential to the Canadian identity.
Chances are that, like many Canadians, you look back fondly on summers spent at camps and cottages, carefully focusing your efforts on propelling yourself forward; on mastering the j-stroke. It’s a feeling of serenity and pride that Ontario’s Highlands’ locals know too well – out here, canoes are second nature; some learn to use a paddle before they learn to use a spoon.
The paddling culture of Ontario’s Highlands runs deep through our communities, connecting people around rich memories and a common icon. It’s a culture that welcomes paddlers of many crafts, skill levels, and backgrounds; it encompasses not only the canoe, but celebrates the tranquility, excitement, and unifying motion of paddling.
To watch the full documentary film on The Canoe by Goh Iromoto, please click here.
Experience Paddling Culture
There’s no better way to experience the paddling culture of Ontario’s Highlands than by connecting with the locals who spend their days exploring the rivers, creeks, and lakes of the region. Take a tour with one of the friendly folks below to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and embrace the beauty of paddling.
Canadian Voyageur Adventures: Explore local waterways and travel back in time to relive Canada’s exciting and colourful history during a guided tour on the Ottawa River.
Cruising Canoes: With all-inclusive tours covering everything from backcountry canoe trips to river runs, and even winter camping, you can truly escape into nature with this team of expert guides.
Madawaska Kanu Centre: Discover paddling techniques, or improve your skills in an atmosphere of fun and friendship as you canoe, kayak, or raft the Madawaska River.
Madawaska River Rentals: Take a guided trip to explore the history of the region from the perch of a canoe, or discover how to identify a variety of aquatic plants.
OWL Rafting: Let the teamwork required to steer your raft over rapids bring you closer to your friends than ever before, or challenge the dynamic Rocher Fendu rapids in a two-person inflatable kayak during a Sport Yaking adventure.
SUPnorth: Stand tall and feel your paddle push through the water, propelling you forward as you improve your balance, coordination, and strength during a SUP tour.
Wilderness Tours: Hold tight and paddle hard as you soar down the river in a raft filled with friends, test your skills as you maneuver a kayak around rapids, or discover the history and wildlife of the area during a sea kayaking experience.
Yours Outdoors: Dip your paddle and carve through still water as you discover the natural beauty and history of the Haliburton Highlands during a guided tour. New to paddling? Master the basics and learn to Canoe Like a Canadian.
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.