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Canoeists paddle beneath Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, Campbellford

Canoeing and Kayaking

Discover the Hidden Gems of the Trent-Severn Waterway

Canadian Canoe Culture

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Experience Canoe Culture
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“If it is love that binds people to places in this nation of rivers and in this river of nations then one enduring expression of that simple truth, is surely the canoe.”

— James Raffan, adventurer, acclaimed author and Director Emeritus of the Canadian Canoe Museum.

Historically, the canoe connected these lands. Originally a technology of Indigenous people, the canoe played a vital role in Canadian history. This, and much more, can be felt by a trip to The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. The canoe continues to connect us to the lands that have been inhabited by the Indigenous peoples from the beginning. Paddling offers a healthy social activity that connects us to each other. The canoe is a vehicle for creating unforgettable memories, exciting adventures, and your own sense of what it means to be Canadian.

Canadian canoe culture reaches beyond the canoe to include all forms of paddling and symbolizes the core values and ideals of our province, our country, and ourselves. We now use canoes and other forms of paddling to escape the noise and distractions of modern life. Canoeing appeals to the wild-at-heart, the introverted, the romantic, the explorer, allowing all of us passage in our own ways to places no other vehicles can take us.

With nearly 400km of interconnected lakes and rivers along the Trent-Severn Waterway, and some of Ontario’s hidden gems for paddling, Kawarthas Northumberland is a paradise for both new and seasoned paddlers.


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Make Memories with These Paddling Routes

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Videos of Each Route
Paddling from Balsam Lake west

A paddling trip to Kawarthas Northumberland can give you more quality time with your family and friends and less time in the car. Check out these four routes, each selected because it offers a great escape into nature, has rental canoes and/or kayaks available right on the route, and accommodations nearby.

The Trent-Severn Waterway is full of hidden gems, places where you can take in the delicious food and fun activities of a small town, and also paddle around the corner to escape into a provincial park or other secluded wilderness area. Watch the videos from each route to see for yourself. Get out on the water. Disconnect from your daily distractions and forge unforgettable memories that connect us to who and where we are.

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Videos of Each Route

The Canadian Canoe Museum

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Canadian Canoe Museum Website
The Canadian Canoe Museum

Originally a technology of Canada’s Indigenous people, the canoe played a vital role in Canadian history. This, and much more, can be felt by a trip to The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. At the heart of all things Canadian, multi-cultural, and artisanal, The Canadian Canoe Museum is home to the largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world – some of them several hundred years old. This is a museum that parents and kids will both enjoy.

The museum tells the remarkable story of paddling as a tradition which helped build Canada as a country. Home to Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s famous buckskin coat and some of the fastest canoes and kayaks in the world, it is also home to some of the world-class, finely engineered boats used by Canada’s many Olympic champions. There is sure to be something here that will make you proud to be Canadian.

Be sure to follow our blogs about paddling that include trip inspirations from local guides, videos, and different paddling routes and locations.

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