Home #WHERETONEXT Canada Why BC Is a top travelling destination for paddlers of all levels

Why BC Is a top travelling destination for paddlers of all levels

There aren’t too many places in the world where you can don a wetsuit in the morning and then board a helicopter that whisks you to a whitewater river, which you’ll raft down all afternoon before celebrating the experience with après drinks at a waterfront bar. Yet that happens multiple times a week in British Columbia from spring to fall.  

Canada’s western-most province is one of the few places on earth where you can enjoy heli-rafting and the staging area is the famous Kicking Horse River, which flows from the Rocky Mountains to the small town of Golden. It’s one of many unique experiences BC has to offer and the new Paddle BC website makes it easy to determine those that are perfect for you.

Here are five other reasons why British Columbia is a top paddling destination.

#1. Paddle With Rare Animals

Sea kayakers exploring the southern Gulf Islands and the coastline near the city of Nanaimo regularly spy pods of Orca whales and herds of sea lions. And those paddling the shoreline of the Great Bear Rainforest can view grizzlies as well as white Kermode or “Spirit” bears feeding in the shallows. More info: paddlebc.ca/region/vancouver-island

#2. Kayak Fish For 6 Species of Salmon

Kayak fishing is a popular pastime in the Salish Sea because five species of salmon can be caught there. But the Kootenay region, in the province’s interior, also offers excellent salmon fishing: the Kokanee is a land-locked Sockeye and the largest one in the world was landed near the city of Castlegar. Another unique kayak-fishing experience takes place on the Fraser River where anglers go after white sturgeon, which can grow to be 12-feet long. More info: paddlebc.ca/region/vancouver-coast-mountains and paddlebc.ca/region/kootenay-rockies

#3. Paddle Year-Round

Certain areas of British Columbia enjoy mild temperatures all year so it’s not uncommon to see people stand-up paddleboarding during the winter months. In fact, people do the 27-kilometre-long paddle route near the city of Kelowna every month of the year. And companies such as Norm Hann Adventures in Squamish offer guided paddleboard excursions year-round and he says, “Some of the most spectacular times I have had paddling on Howe Sound have occurred in the winter months. Winds will shut off allowing for beautiful afternoons paddling glassy waters.” More info: paddlebc.ca/region/thompson-okanagan and paddlebc.ca/region/vancouver-coast-mountains

#4. Canoe Around Mountains

There are many canoe circuits in BC and the most famous is Bowron Lakes, a 72-mile-long loop at the base of the Cariboo Mountain Range that links 10 lakes together. Paddlers enjoy seeing moose, beaver and even wolves in the foreground and spectacular peaks in the background. Another lesser-known, yet equally stunning tour is the Powell Forest Circuit in the appropriately named Sunshine Coast region. More info: paddlebc.ca/region/cariboo-chilcotin-coast

#5. Ride the Supsquatch

The existence of the forest creature called Sasquatch has yet to be proven in British Columbia but the Supsquatch is very real. The giant, inflatable stand-up paddleboard can carry a maximum of eight people and guided experiences are offered on the Elk River in Fernie. More info: paddlebc.ca/region/kootenay-rockies

Whether you’re in search of the Supsquatch, a heli-rafting adventure, or another unique paddling experience in British Columbia, you’ll find all the info you need at PaddleBC.ca.