Spring is the best time to enjoy fast waters on Parkland rivers, but canoeing and kayaking on Parkland's many lakes can be enjoyed anytime from spring to winter freeze-up.
Canoe rentals are available at Clear Lake, Madge Lake, Lake of the Prairies, Blue Lake, and Childs Lake. Some favourite waters for experienced canoeists are Valley River, launching in Duck Mountain Provincial Park and continuing to Lake Dauphin; the Assiniboine River, with good starting points at the Saskatchewan border and Asessippi Provincial Park; the Red Deer River starting at Erwood on PTH77 and ending at Red Deer Lake; the Woody River at PR588 southwest of Bowsman to Bowsman; the Swan River starting from the towns of Swan River or Lenswood; Steep Rock Lakes in the Porcupine Provincial Forest; and the Turtle River near Ste. Rose. Lakes to try include Laurie, Beautiful, and Shallow lakes in the Ducks, and Clear, Katherine, Whirlpool, and Bob Hill lakes in Riding Mountain National Park. The Whirlpool River in Riding Mountain is a popular route for canoeists in spring. Also, segments of the Shell River, ending in Lake of the Prairies, offer interesting canoeing. The Chain Lakes canoe route in Duck Mountain Provincial Park offers calm paddling for the novice canoeist. Contact the Park offices for maps and route information.
Canoeists should always let someone know where they're going and how long they'll be gone. Always carry flotation devices (worn), and a map and compass for extended trips. Also, proper care should be taken when canoeing on frigid spring waters.