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There are so many great places to stand up paddle board in Edmonton and the game is slowly heating up. Have you given it a try yet? Maybe your next SUP or kayak trip around Canada will take you to the capital of Alberta. Expect to have tranquil paddling as you explore the largest northernmost metropolis surrounded by beautiful Canadian wilderness.
Edmonton is a modern city with an abundance of blue spaces. From micro man-made lakes in the suburbs to the larger natural lakes surrounding the city limits, there is plenty of sheltered and shallow waters around for beginner-friendly places to paddle board in Canada.
Want a bit more of a challenge? The North Saskatchewan River flows through the heart of Edmonton and provides some challenging sections that will test your skills and how you paddle board rivers.
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Edmonton is home to the longest stretch of urban parkland in Northern America. Many of these parklands have large ponds where you can take a stand up paddle board or a touring paddle board out for a spin. Here are some top places to explore with your own SUP or a rental.
The North Saskatchewan River flows through the heart of Edmonton. There are many access and exit points along the banks within the city as well as further afield. One of the most popular routes along this river is paddling from Devon, in the southeast, towards the city. This is often a gentle paddle with a moving current, however, beginners should be cautious if the river is moving fast as this adds another element to navigate.
Rentals are available between July and September. But this is not to say you cannot stand up paddle board throughout the rest of the year. If you are feeling adventurous, and are happy to dodge the ice, pick up your thickest wetsuit and booties and enjoy an even quieter paddle-boarding experience.
Hermitage Pond is an awesome little spot for some inner-city paddle boarding. There are a number of walking trails to enjoy. It is a short walk to the main pond from the parking lot. Here, you will find a dock to launch from, or you can put your SUP into the water simply from the shore.
As this pond is sheltered, you can expect calm conditions, making it great for beginners learning how to paddle board. If you are into fishing paddle boards, then be sure to bring your rod and tackle box. The ponds in Hermitage Park as stocked full of trout!
Rundle Park is another inner city location that offers great access to outdoor space. The park is just south of Hermitage Park, separated by the Yellowhead Highway.
The ponds in Rundle Park are fairly small. They are great for a quick afternoon paddle or activity for the kids to burn off some energy. Keep your eyes peeled for nesting birds and other wildlife living in the park.
Big Lake is located on the northeastern outskirts of Edmonton. This is a great option for anyone who wants an expansive place to stand up paddle board close to the city center. The lake is about 8 km long and 3 km at its widest point, giving you plenty of space to explore.
You can park at the Lois Hole Provincial Park day area, located off Ray Gibbon Drive. Or choose to launch closer to St Albert for river access and then paddle down into Big Lake.
Head further north from Edmonton to step into Canada’s wilderness and experience a raw stand-up paddle board or kayak adventure. These locations are remote so we recommend getting your hands on inflatable paddle boards or inflatable kayaks to make your journey as easy as possible.
Sandy Lake is a short drive out of Edmonton and is a safe place for beginners to try stand up paddle boarding. There are several campgrounds on the lakeshore, so if you wanted to make it into a weekend trip you can. The lake is relatively shallow which adds to the beginner-friendly elements of this spot so newbies can discover the enjoyment of what is paddle boarding.
Pinehurst Lake is one of the best places to choose for a weekend SUP staycation from Edmonton. It takes just under 3 hours to drive here and offers camping pitches with basic amenities. So if you are keen to escape to the wilderness and get off the grid, this is the spot for you.
The lake itself has clear waters and beautiful sandy beaches. You can enjoy a secluded paddle around the shorelines or take on the 4-mile distance across the middle. Be sure to keep a lookout for wildlife including deer, waterfowl, and even bald eagles.
Continue the adventure and take your stand-up paddle board east of Edmonton. Experience the vast Provincial Parks filled with natural beauty and wonder, all within reach of the city.
Elk Island National Park is best known for its roaming bison herds. However, it is also one of the best places to stand up paddle board in Edmonton. The park is only a 35-minute drive from the city center and offers incredible scenery.
Head to Astotin Lake with your stand up paddle board. This is the main waterway of the park, offering sheltered bays and a whole island chain to navigate on the water. The sunset opportunities here are second to none and you will also get an incredible view of the night sky if you camp with your paddle board overnight.
Read More: Paddle Board Camping Guide
We have snuck this spot into our list for the main reason that it is a super quiet place to go with a paddle board. It is not the most popular or the biggest lake around Edmonton. But because of this, it is a great place for beginners to take their first stand up paddle board and give it a test ride.
Unlike other larger lakes, you will not have to contend with motorized boats and their wakes. You can simply paddle on flatwater and be immersed in the nature of the area.
Head out for a day trip south of Edmonton, heading towards Calgary, and discover even more lakes to paddle. Whether you are into inflatable paddle boards or a hard paddle board, you are bound to fall in love with these breathtaking lakes.
Telford Lake is a stone's throw away from Edmonton International Airport. As you paddle here you will get to watch arrivals and departures overhead. For some this may be a turn-off, so consider how quiet you want your paddle-boarding session to be.
The lake is long and fairly narrow. It is often used for boat races and can be great for touring paddle boards training speed or endurance. You can rent paddleboard equipment at the lake. There is also a walkway around the whole of Telford Lake which is great for a post-paddle walk.
Pigeon Lake is just over an hour and a half drive from Edmonton and is totally worth the trip. This is central Alberta’s largest lake and one of our top places to enjoy an all-around paddle board day out. Accommodation and paddle board rental are both available from The Village at Pigeon Lake if you fancy making this a longer trip.
There are several places to get onto the lake with your SUP, in particular along the western shore. We recommend setting up base camp on Ma Me O Beach at the south end of the lake. The sandy beach and clear waters are super inviting in the summer months!
Moving further south is Gull Lake. This is yet another beautiful sheltered lake that is ideal for learning how to paddle board. Beginners can feel safe here and really hone in on their paddling skills. There are several beaches you can choose from to start your paddling session.
Gull Lake is a resort town area that offers loads of camping and overnight stay options throughout the summer months. Just be aware that the lake can get busy during peak seasons.
Sylvan Lake grew in popularity back in the ’90s. This was the super cool and trendy place to go for a hangout and splash about. Nothing has changed as it maintains its status as the place to go for fun, which includes stand up paddle boarding!
The lake is sheltered and safe for all levels of paddle boarders. However, the main attraction here is the resort town that has everything from lakeside ice cream parlors to waterparks and mini golf.
Go west into the wilderness. But before you reach that, you will stumble across more awesome places to stand up paddle board from Edmonton. Heck, why not take your four-legged best friend with you for the ride on a dog paddle board for the best adventure?
Just 30 minutes west of Edmonton is the beautiful Chicakoo Lake Recreation Area. This region is a chain of lakes and parkland, providing incredible outdoor space for those that want to escape to nature. You can pack up your inflatable paddle board and explore other lakes in the parkland, escaping crowds and finding your own adventure.
Chickakoo Lake is the main place to go with your paddle board. There is good tree protection around the whole lake, meaning it is generally calm and sheltered from the wind and harsh conditions. Be sure to use the boat launch in the southeast corner to avoid muddy and boggy shorelines.
Lac Ste. Anne is often referred to as Alberta Beach by locals. It is a popular place for a day trip out of the city in the summer months.
The lake is small enough that it typically remains calm and does not get choppy. However, it is large enough to give variety and space to explore. You can paddle between small islands that are in the middle of Lac Ste. Anne, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for resident pelicans. Make use of floating docks and boat launches to avoid paddling through the weedy shorelines.
Last but not least, we have got Wabamun Lake. This is possibly one of the busiest locations near Edmonton for days out on the beach and enjoying watersports. Just bear that in mind when planning a paddle-boarding trip here.
Despite it being busy, there is plenty of space for everybody to spread out. There is also a number of docks and launch sites across the lake, so you can find your own quiet corner. Fishing at Wabamun Lake is highly recommended, so make sure you bring your paddle board or fishing kayak along.
Edmonton has many places to stand up paddle board. The North Saskatchewan River flows through the heart of the city, offering several places to enjoy a paddle. There is also an abundance of lakes and ponds in and around the city center that provide calm and flat water conditions.
Yes! You can take your own stand-up paddle boarding equipment to locations in Edmonton. There are also plenty of places where you can rent equipment from. Note, many of the SUP rental outfitters in Edmonton only operate in the peak summer months. If you want to continue paddle boarding in the winter, dodging ice, you will need to buy your own paddle board.
July to September offers the peak season for stand-up paddle boarding and other watersport activities in Edmonton. These summer months are generally warmer. That is not to say you cannot paddle board for the rest of the year. If you are feeling adventurous, try paddle boarding the North Saskatchewan River in winter for a solitary experience dodging patches of ice.
There is a huge range of places in Edmonton for beginners to learn how to paddle board. This is due to a large number of sheltered lakes and ponds in the area, providing calm and safe conditions to learn and practice. Beginner paddle boarders should check out Sandy Lake, Gull Lake, or Miquelon Lake Provincial Park.
You can join in with the yoga paddle board movement in Edmonton in the Kinsmen Sports Centre dive tank. Check out their schedule for the next SUP yoga class to give you the basics and have fun indoors. Otherwise, take your own paddle board to one of the many calm lakes and enjoy your own yoga flow on the water.
Canadian laws and regulations require everyone to use a life jacket when on a stand-up paddle board. There is an exception when paddling in recognized surf spots. We recommend using a life jacket at all times.
Read More: The Best Life Jackets: A Buyer’s Guide
Edmonton is a great place to enjoy general recreational stand up paddle boarding. The lakes around the city are all relatively sheltered from windy conditions, promising calm and flat water. For more of a challenge, you can explore sections of the North Saskatchewan River to test your skills in moving water and rapids.
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