Top 10 Canoe Destinations In The United States And Canada
“There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace.”
~ Sigurd F. Olson
Canada Day and Independence Day are coming up soon, and we want to celebrate the natural beauty of both countries. By coming together and working to rebuild nature with our Better Together collection, we can all make a difference in preserving the beautiful landscapes of our home countries. And... what better way to celebrate the natural beauty of North America than, well, getting out into nature!
Canoeing can be either a relaxing experience or an epic adventure depending on where you go and how strong the currents are. North America features numerous rivers for canoeing. Here are our 10 favorite canoe spots in Canada and the United States.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, USA
The first canoeing spot on our list can be found on the border between the US state of Minnesota and the Canadian province of Ontario. It is a protected wilderness area that is prime for seeing wildlife like bears, birds, wolves, and moose, and provides the ideal canoeing conditions! The wilderness area features almost 2,000 different camp sites to rest and relax after a day of paddling!
Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Did you know that Terra Nova National Park was Newfoundland’s first national park? Terra Nova offers views of incredible coastlines, stunning boreal forests, rivers filled with salmon, and frequent wildlife sightings. It’s not uncommon to see whales, eagles, bears, and even icebergs depending upon the time of year you’re visiting. Canoeists have more than 200 kilometers of coastlines and rivers to paddle through.
Buffalo National River, USA
Buffalo National River, located in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, offers more than 130 miles of canoeing and is suitable for beginners as well as expert canoers. The river features both calm and choppier waters. The entire river can be canoed in approximately 10 days given the right weather conditions and time of year. Plan accordingly with the season, as the water levels get too low to successfully canoe the full river during dry weather.
Clearwater River, Canada
Clearwater River, located in Saskatchewan Canada, was designated a Canadian Heritage River in 1986. The river is historically significant in Canada, where it played a role in the development of the fur trade by creating an easy-to-navigate trade route.. Today, it is still a popular spot for paddlers. The scenery is second to none, though the river does feature waterfalls and challenging rapids that may be more than a beginner is ready for.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, USA & Canada
This paddling trip is not for the faint of heart! The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which runs through both Canada and the United States, is a 740-mile trip that takes approximately a month to complete. Along the trail, you’ll see huge lakes, choppy rapids, calm waters, and the occasional portage, which is a pathway for transporting your canoe from one stream to the next.
Bois Brule River, USA
A 45 minute drive from Duluth, Minnesota is the Brule River State Forest where you’ll find the Bois Brule River. The 44-mile stretch of river is a popular canoeing area that takes paddlers through a variety of ecosystems, from bogs to boreal forests. Most of the river is leisurely to paddle, but some areas do get choppier. The upper river is recommended for beginners.
Nahanni River, Canada
The Yukon Territory is home to 70 known rivers, which makes it one of the most incredible places in Canada for canoeing aficionados. Among those rivers is the Nohanni river, which is perhaps the most scenic and popular. Nohanni National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1978. When you paddle it, you’ll see why its protection is so important. It features white-water rapids, mountains, valleys, and some amazing geological features. This is a river recommended for only experienced paddlers.
Current River, USA
Current river, located in Missouri’s Ozarks, offers up a view of lush, southern forests and numerous caves. Current river is a great choice if you’re looking for a paddling adventure with views of fall foliage too. The river is safe for canoers of all skill levels, but it is worth noting that the upper river features choppier water, which is preferable for advanced paddlers. Even the most challenging rapids aren’t all that serious, though the strong current of the river can sometimes create hazardous conditions.
Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit, Canada
Located in Bowron Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia, the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit is known worldwide for stunning views and attracts paddlers from all across North America and Europe. The circuit stretches 116 km, consisting of a chain of lakes as well as 7 portages. The park is located an hour drive northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Everglades National Park, USA
The Everglades, located in Florida, offer nearly endless possibilities for paddlers. The Everglades are home to 10,000 different islands as well as countless mangroves and a labyrinth of rivers. Paddling through the Everglades is as simple as setting up camp on one of the islands and exploring the surrounding rivers. Wildlife sightings include animals like herons, dolphins, alligators, and bears.