Paddling in Algoma Country

Updated: By Colin Field

Whether you’re simply paddle-curious or you’re an avid canoe adventurer there’s an experience waiting for you in Algoma Country. If you’re looking to do some paddling around Sault Ste. Marie, you’ve come to the right place; the stunning beauty of the region provides an incredible array of ways and places to get on the water. From St. Marys River to the shoreline of Lake Superior, there’s something for everyone. Thankfully there are also a number of great outfitting companies that cater to every level of paddler.

For first-time paddlers, the people at Thrive Tours offer the perfect, intimidation-free paddling experience. They set up every Wednesday evening at Topsail Island right downtown Sault Ste. Marie. With a fleet of canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards for rent, they couldn’t be more welcoming. It’s not unusual for someone to take their very first paddle strokes with Thrive.


The Indigenous-owned company is proud to share their heritage too; Brad Robinson often plays his drum and sings on the beach (or on the water!). It’s a friendly, all-inclusive scene that is the perfect spot to learn about Indigenous culture while also learning to paddle. Heck if you’re an experienced paddler, why not get out there? Make some new friends! Thrive also offers a range of outdoor experiences from indigenous interpretive tours to guided hikes and their sunset kayak trips at Gros Cap are incredible.


Just out of town on Lake Superior’s beautiful Batchawana Bay are the friendly couple at Forest The Canoe. Ryan and Shana are Hamiltonian transplants who absolutely fell in love with the region and moved their life here. Their beautiful property is right on the shores of Lake Superior and includes a bunky and prospector tent if you want to spend a night or more. Along with their friendly malamute Mason, they offer guided paddles, outfitting services and hiking. One of their classic paddles takes people out to Maple Island; a fairly easy paddle that gives you a glimpse of how beautiful Lake Superior is. And if Lake Superior is too wavy, they have backup spots to make sure you get paddling somewhere. They also rent camping gear, boats and everything you need to get out on the water, or into the wilderness.



For the more paddling-committed, the ultimate paddling experience can be had at Naturally Superior Adventures. Located at the end of a long dirt road, just outside Wawa, their Rock Island Lodge sits on a spit of land at the end of the Michipicoten River. It’s the perfect basecamp for adventure, paddle instruction and so much more. With a couple of yurts, four rooms in the lodge and a couple of prospector tents there are plenty of accommodation options. You can even pitch a tent on the beach if you want. You can opt in for an all-inclusive meal plan with beautiful home-cooked meals. The place was founded by David Wells back in 1994 and now functions like a well-oiled machine.


They offer every kind of paddling experience you could want. There are a range of paddling adventures ranging from one afternoon to seven-day expeditions. Plus if you’re looking to improve your paddling skills they offer level 1-3 sea kayak courses, standup paddle board instruction and canoe instruction. It’s also the perfect place to do a wilderness first aid course.


So whether you’ve never been in a boat before or are looking to do a full-on expedition, Algoma Country has what you’re looking for. Come check it out!


About Colin Field

Colin is an award-winning photographer and writer, specializing in outdoor travel and adventure. He is the editor-at-large with Mountain Life Magazine. He is based in Collingwood, Ontario.

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