Imagine waking up every morning, getting in your kayak and canoeing alongside orca whales—this can be your reality in British Columbia. There are many tour companies, including Wilderness Adventures and North Island Kayak, which offer everything from overnight to six-day excursions around Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island. This locale is where killer whales feed on salmon from mid-July to early September. Other Canadian wildlife that may be spotted include eagles, deer, otters, and seals.
Nahanni National Park was the first park to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The South Nahanni River was made famous when former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau canoed through its white water in 1970. Parks Canada recommends that kayakers take trips alongside a registered and licensed outfitter. The best time to visit is June to August. Highlights include 42 mammal species, Virginia Falls, canyons, and hot springs.
Stretching 202 kilometers (125 miles) from Canada’s capital to Kingston, the Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a perfect place to paddle. If you want to tackle it in its entirety, it’s best to set aside six to 10 days and begin in Kingston. The canal is less crowded on the cusps of summer, such as May/June and September/October. There’s also many access points and campsites along the way. For a half-day adventure, kayak from Ottawa’s Dow Lake to Chateau Laurier.
Kayakers have begun to flock to Desolation Sound in recent years. Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park has more than 60 kilometers (37 miles) of shoreline, as well as many islands, bays, and snug coves. It’s also home to the warmest salt water north of Mexico. Although there are many tour companies offering trips, there are also rental shops located in the Powell River and Lund Area, for an independent adventure.
Alex Hall from Canoe Artic Inc. has paddled more miles in the barren lands than anyone else. Let him take you on an arctic canoeing adventure in the Northwest Territories along the Thelon River and other tundra and barren land rivers. His trips range from eight to 12 days. Expect to see a myriad of wildlife, including wolves, bears, muskoxen, moose, and so much more. Prepare to experience one of the most remote locations on the North American continent.