Where to paddle

In and around Edmonton

in the city

Located in the north-east end of the city, it’s a short walk from the parking lot to the main pond. There are multiple launch points, including a dock if you prefer not to risk stepping in the mud. There are a couple of islands to paddle around and see the birds. Bring your fishing rod and tackle if you’re so inclined, the pond is stocked with trout.

Located adjacent to the northwest corner of Edmonton/southwest corner of St. Albert in Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park. It’s about 8 km long and 3 km at its widest point. There is a dirt trail off the parking lot off Ray Gibbon’s Drive. There is also a new floating dock boat launch in St. Albert making it easier than getting your feet in the mud. This is a great option if you’re city-bound and looking to get out on the water. Fishing is good for pike, walleye and yellow perch (be sure to check the fishing regulations).

There are numerous boat landings throughout the Edmonton River Valley park system from which to launch. You can also get someone to drop you off in Devon and take an easy float trip back into the city. It’ll take you 4-6 hours depending on the water levels and how much you wan to paddle vs float. Overnight and multi day camping trips can be arranged for extended journeys into scenic and undeveloped routes along the river.

north

Sandy Lake is a shallow, extensively developed recreational lake that is great for paddling. Two summer villages, Sandy Beach and Sunrise Beach, are located on the lakeshore. The lake is situated 55 km northwest of Edmonton.

Two and a half hours north of Edmonton, Lesser Slave Lake is paradise found. At nearly 1,200 sq km you could mistake it for an ocean. White sand beaches are some of the best in Alberta. Great for beginners on calm days (be aware of weather changes), wave action can get big enough to surf on. It’s a great staging area to get out to other lakes in the area.

east

A true wilderness experience less than an hour east of the city. The calm waters are a great place to launch a SUP for the first time. Plan your visit around dawn or dusk to improve your chances of catching a glimpse of bison, elk, birds and other animals in the park. The boat launch is located 10-15 minutes from the park entrance at the north end of the lake, or launch from the beach.

About 30 km east of Sherwood Park, Islet Lake is a smaller cousin to Astotin lake. Beach access requires a 200 ft carry to come out to a sand and gravel beach (you’ll be glad to be carrying a 40 lb backpack instead of a 10-12’ board!). Very sheltered and some great wildlife and bird opportunities to be had.

A nice adventure 45 minutes from Edmonton. Great birdlife, fishing and paddling on this sheltered lake. Easy launch access with day-use areas and campground located onsite. It’s calm, has two beaches and is fun to explore. With campgrounds close by, it’s a great weekend trip too!

south

A small lake in Leduc. Nice and close if you need to get out on the water for a quick trip during the week or if you have a busy schedule. Calmer waters in the mornings or a great place to practice paddling in rippling waters.

An hour and a quarter south of the city, Twin Lake is a small, beautiful lake. Even in windy conditions, waves are unlikely. There are no power boats allowed on the lake making it a great lake to paddle for novice paddlers and families with small children.

west

Thirty minutes west of the city, Chickakoo lake is a small protected lake with good tree protection making it pretty calm most of the time. The boat launch is in the southeast corner and is the only way to get in and out with the boggy shoreline. As a bonus, there are toilets on-site.

One of the most heavily used lakes, it lies 65 km west of Edmonton. Although it is a popular motorboat destination, there is lots of space to keep away from traffic. Multiple launch points make it easy to explore. Great fishing on this lake as well

A bit of a jaunt but worth it with five lakes to explore. William A Switzer Park is a foothills oasis near Hinton. Calm waters are suitable for all paddlers and experienced paddles will love taking on the Jarvis Creek Canoe Circuit. When you’re done, stretch out on the Jarvis Lake beach. Great for lake time without the crowds.