BC's Top Ten Canoe routes?

Author: [ hawke_gh ]  Dave Falkins   Contact Author: hawke_ghThu Jan 13 20:07:46 UTC 2005

Happy New Year! I'm the Canoe editor for trailpeak and living in BC this "top ten" list will concentrate on BC canoe routes and specifically ones posted to trailpeak.com. That's not to say there aren't lots of great paddling routes in any of the other provinces! Just check out my series of News items on Joe O'Blenis' Solo Cross Canada trip from this past summer!

  1. Nanika Kidprice canoe chain - Burns Lake area. An easy fairly flat lake and portage chain with marsh ecosphere and lazy creeks. Some falls to hike to as well.
  2. Main Lakes canoe chain - Quadra Island off Campbell River, Vancouver Island. A beautiful example of an inland lakes chain on an island. Warm waters in summer! Minimal to no portages depending on water levels & your mood. All easy paddling.
  3. Powell River Forestry canoe route - Powell River area. This is very close to full circuit. Kurt and I did this in August covering the Great Canadian Canoe Race and I would love to spend more time on this chain! Many of the nicest campsites are located on the portage trails beside creeks. Some larger lakes and bigger waters & wind here too.
  4. Bowron Lakes chain - Quesnel/Barkerville area. This is arguable the Jewel of BC paddle routes. A perfect 114km circuit that brings you back to where you started from. Although the route can be done faster plan for at leat 7 days to fully enjoy this route! There is a "West Side only" option that take 3-4 days if time is short. Barkerville is 20 minutes away and offers a taste of gold rush days.
  5. Nazko Lakes chain - Williams Lake/Alexis Creek area. Another easy fairly flat lake and portage chain with marsh ecosphere and lazy creeks. No facilities other than at Deer Lake. While a canoe cart can be used on one or 2 of the portage trails others are far too rough for them. One of the only locations you will find the North American White Pelican in Canada.
  6. Sidney Spit Marine Park - Sidney, Vancouver Island. This is an ocean paddle to one of the Gulf Islands Marine Parks and has the advantage of a passenger ferry to allow you to perform logistics for larger parties (e.g. setting up a base camp). Pay attention to weather, marine traffic and tides/currents.
  7. Fleming Bay - Cole Island - Victoria, Vancouver Island. Another ocean paddle near Esquimalt this tends to be fairly sheltered much of the time wending it's way through lagoons and bays. Pay attention to weather, marine traffic and tides/currents.
  8. Beaumont Marine Park - Pender Island, Gulf Islands. Located in Bedwell Harbour, on the west shore of South Pender Island, this 58 hectare park offers 15 campsites, pit toilets and a hand pump for fresh water, making it a great base for water based exploration of the Penders and Saturna Islands. Same comment on weather, marine traffic and tides/current as above.
  9. Mackenzie River Yellowknife - NWT. A classic northern river paddle - mostly class 1 but headwinds and currents can rapidly up the rating in places. Also has the honor of being the longest route posted on trailpeak to date! (not counting Joe O'Blenis' Cross canada route - see link above)
  10. Fraser River - Rosedale to Port Mann Bridge. Check out this article of a solo kayak trip.
    Deas Island Slough - Marshy delta paddling on the lower Fraser in Deas Island Regional Park.

Enjoy, Happy paddling & Stay Dry (if that's "ur thang")
Dave Falkins, Canoe Editor, BC, (dave@trailpeak.com)

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