Saskatchewan – Paddle Your Own Canoe

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Otter Rapids

Otter Rapids, Churchill River
Photot: Tourism Saskatchewan/Douglas E. Walker

Saskatchewan waters draw outdoors people from around the globe for world-class canoeing. Our 100,000 lakes and extensive river systems offer endless opportunities for water recreation. More than 50 documented canoe routes have been researched, recorded and compiled into a series of user-friendly booklets. A variety of routes exist throughout the Precambrian Shield of northern Saskatchewan, offering a complete getaway to clear blue lakes and breathtaking scenery.

To avid canoeists, northern Saskatchewan ranks as one of the all-time great adventure destinations. Here, you will paddle great distances through vast, unspoiled wilderness via interconnecting lakes and rivers that seldom see visitors. The possibilities are endless. Choose a trip that offers whitewater, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and majestic canyons. Along the way you may spot ancient pictographs left behind by Plains Indians and you’re sure to see a variety of wildlife. For a more leisurely day or two of paddling, choose one of our less challenging and readily accessible trips, such as those found in our National and Provincial Parks.

North of the 55th parallel, the Churchill River rages across Saskatchewan, providing canoeists with some of the most exhilarating whitewater around. The river system surges with rapids and tumbles over many falls, but it also holds great stretches of smooth water and strings together dozens of quiet and beautiful lakes.

While most canoeists head north, rivers in the south shouldn’t be ignored. Saskatchewan has more than 50 mapped and documented canoe routes, most of them accessible by road. There are many outfitters and guides that will help you plan the perfect canoeing getaway and provide you with all of the equipment, instruction and assistance that you will need.

Explore this region without seeing a soul – only abundant amounts of fish, phenomenal whitewater, and a great diversity of wildlife. For the real keen adventurer, travel to the far north to explore the Athabasca Sand Dunes – the most northerly active sand dunes in the world!

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