19 Jul Kayaking on Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park
If there is a body of water nearby, it’s a safe bet to assume we will try to find a way to paddle. Clear Lake in Canada’s Riding Mountain National Park was no exception. We joined a midmorning tour and were excited to get out kayaking on Clear Lake. It was great to learn a bit about one of the iconic lakes in the park.
Parks Canada offers a variety of activities during their summer programming every year, and we had the chance to participate in a couple of them: Driving Safari – Meet the Bison and Paddle Clear Lake.
Our 9:00 a.m. paddling tour met at the Riding Mountain National Park Visitor Center in Wasagaming, so we showed up and hoped the rain would hold off for a couple of hours. Once our group was all in attendance, we made the short walk over to Clear Lake to get our gear in order. We were fitted with life jackets, paddles and kayaks, and Micah and I were assigned a tandem kayak. It’s a good thing we’ve learned to get along in a double kayak because we’ve had a lot of tandem kayaking experiences recently–it’s a challenge, guys!
Thankfully, when we launched our kayaks for the two-hour paddle, we were welcomed to a fairly calm lake, partly sunny skies and most importantly, no rain. It was a perfect day to get out on the water.
Annik, the wonderful ranger guiding our tour, led our group of five along the shoreline. It didn’t take long to feel like we were out of town, completely immersed in nature. As we paddled, she told us about her favorite places in the park, details about the lake and its ecosystem, what the winter season is like in the area, and info about the nearby town, Wasagaming.
We heard stories about how the lake froze over perfectly smooth one winter. You were able to see the fish swimming below the ice and you could even ice skate across the entire lake! We had a great time chatting—it’s always fun learning about a place from someone who loves where they live.
About halfway into the paddle, we beached our kayaks near a waterside bench for some stretching and snacking. Annik had packed iced tea and delicious banana chocolate chip bread from a local bakery, and wow, it was amazing! We couldn’t have asked for a better treat, and the views weren’t too shabby either.
After we all had our fill of treats, we jumped back into our kayaks and paddled our way back towards Wasagaming. Clear Lake is the largest lake in Riding Mountain National Park, and you can find plenty of exciting things to do both on the water and off. In addition to kayaking, we also took a sunset cruise on the lake, hiked the trails running along the lake’s shoreline, and shopped and dined in the adorable town of Wasagaming, located right next to the lake.
The two-hour kayak tours are typically offered four days a week—two days in the morning at 9:00 a.m. and two evenings at 7:30 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and groups are limited to 8 people per trip. The tours are currently priced at $22.00 per person and this includes your kayaks and equipment for the tour. You can also rent kayaks from the marina in town if you would like to head out on your own. Either way, kayaking on Clear Lake is an experience you shouldn’t miss when you visit Riding Mountain National Park!
Have you ever been to Riding Mountain National Park?