Lake kayaking is a lot like taking a light shower in sewage … and equally enjoyable.
For the second time in my life, I tried kayaking – this time at Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Iles in Laval, Quebec, about 20 minutes outside of Montreal. The good news is sitting in a small plastic boat almost level with the surface of a large water expanse no longer terrifies me.
Bad news is I’m clearly not a fan.
In Quebec, I struggled to keep up with the group travelling around one of twenty islands throughout this regional park site designed with water sports in mind. Each dip of the paddle strained my wrists and sent a sprinkling of stinky cold water across my chest.
I saw a turtle.
I didn’t finish the route, but turned back, paddling with the current back to terraferma, after an ungraceful dismount at the dock.
What’s also unappealing about kayaking is there’s no room for the dog. At least not in the kayaks I’ve been in.
A canoe is a different story. A dog sits comfortably in a canoe.
Yes, you can also rent canoes here at Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Iles currently building an interpretive centre at its entrance – adjacent to residential development.
People like two things about visiting this park.
The first is the labyrinth of water trails around about 20 islands, most accessible by canoe or kayak and all dog friendly (on a leash). If you’re taking the dog, I strongly recommend a canoe. It’s easier to paddle than a kayak – especially with two – and it’s never a race – especially with the dog.
You can rent canoes, kayaks, life jackets, and paddles by the hour or day at the park. Lunch is up to you. Also, you’ll need some experience if you don’t speak French.
Oh, the second thing people like about this area?
Celine Dion owned a home near here. However, she sold it recently, so don’t expect any surprise visits. I can’t imagine her kayaking anyway.
(Note: this is not a National Parks Canada site so the 150 Parks pass won’t apply, Check out this dog-friendly Parks Canada site: Point Pelee).
What else can I do in Laval, Quebec?
TRAVEL GUIDE: Located about 20 minutes from Montreal, Laval, Quebec is an interesting stop of its own especially for those how like indoor fun. Starting at CF Carrefour Laval, one of Canada’s largest shopping malls, international visitors often make Laval the gateway to stereotypical outdoor Canadian adventure in other parts of the province.
But those who stay in Laval – either at the newly renovated Hilton (affiliate link) or conference centre Sheraton (affiliate link) – can get in touch with their inner teenager – just not with the dog:
- Test your problem-solving skills at Immersia, the area’s newest escape room.
- Fly a 737 or fighter jet via simulator at AeroSim Experience.
- Stock up on orchids at Le Paradis des Orchidees, a 2500 square metre working organic greenhouse.
- Catch a wave by indoor surfing at Maeva Surf.
- Experience a parachute free fall thanks to an incredibly powerful vertical wind tunnel at SkyVenture.
- Train like an astronaut at Cosmodome, Canada’s only space science museum.
- Individually scale about 20 colourful walls at Clip ‘n Climb thanks to a floor to ceiling rigging system.
- Get your smooth grove on at the House of Jazz where there’s Louisiana-style dinner and live music every night.