March 05, 2023 8 min read

The Best Places To Paddle Board In Montreal

Green leafed trees beside a body of water

Montreal is Canada’s favorite French-infused city. This place hosts festivals, art scenes, tasty food, and a keen outdoor lifestyle. With an abundance of open natural spaces, it comes as no surprise that Montreal has some incredible places to take your inflatable paddle board.

European charm with a distinct Canadian embrace makes this a must-visit city with plenty to see and do. Alongside the gleaming skyline and urban experiences are open-air adventures, all within reach for anyone wanting to get a taste of fresh air. After all, Montreal is one of the best places to paddle board in Canada!

This place thrives in the summer yet keeps spirits alive throughout the winter. However, if you love to kayak or enjoy paddle board adventures, plan to visit Montreal in the summer months for the best conditions and maximum fun. Here are the best places to take your board in Montreal to give you some inspiration for planning that next trip to explore sparkling lakes and weaving rivers.  

Best Places To Paddle Board In Central Montreal

There are a surprising number of urban spaces to go stand up paddle boarding in Montreal. From lakes to parks, rivers, and canals, here are some of the best spots to take a SUP in and around central Montreal. 

Chambly Basin

Sunset on Lake Chambly, Quebec Canada

Chambly Basin, also known as Bassin de Chambly by locals, is a beautiful and calm river just a short drive out of Montreal. Technically, this blue space is a part of the Richelieu River. However, the banks open wide at the Basin and offer an almost lake-like stand up paddle boarding experience that is great for beginners. 

This is a great spot for a day trip out of Montreal. Public docks make launching your own equipment easy on the calm waters. This is also a great place to try out paddle boards for dogs and there is no better way to enjoy a day out than with your furry four-legged friend.

L'Anse-à-l'Orme Nature Park

L'Anse-à-l'Orme Nature Park is one of the most beautiful places in downtown Montreal and provides excellent access to the Lake of Two Mountains. This vast expanse of water is the perfect spot for many types of water sports. From paddle boarding, testing out your inflatable kayak, and windsurfing to kite surfing, you can do it all here.  

This beautiful national park is the perfect place to paddle board at your own pace and get to grips with the basics. It is also a great sunset spot in Montreal, so it can get busy at the weekends with groups of people. 

Plage Jean-Drapeau

Whale swimming at st.Lawrence river

Fancy staying urban for your Montreal paddle-boarding experience? Head over to Parc Jean-Drapeau, just 5 minutes from downtown Montreal. This is the perfect spot with calm water to explore by kayak or stand up paddle boards

You will be paddling on the St Lawrence River. Either take on a challenge to circumnavigate St Helens Island or simply enjoy a peaceful meander through the lagoon. Jean-Doré Beach is a popular place located on Île Notre-Dame Lake with a safe and sandy beach. 

Îles-de-Boucherville National Park

The Îles-de-Boucherville National Park consists of five islands in the St Lawrence River. This peaceful park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, skiing in the winter, and paddle boarding in the summer months. If you want an escape from the hustle and bustle of Montreal, then this is the place for you. 

Leafy channels, tall grass, and expansive marshes make for excellent paddle boarding. There are water trails clearly marked out for visitors on SUPs or kayaks so you can explore worry-free.

Lachine Canal

Lachine Channel, Quebec

Paddling on the Lachine Canal gives you an alternative perspective to Montreal. This historic waterway once used by merchants to avoid the treacherous Lachine Rapids is now simply a peaceful canal weaving through the city. 

Kayakers and paddle boarders alike can enjoy the Lachine Canal at a leisurely pace. There are a total of five locks on the 14 km stretch between Old Port of Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis. We recommend packing a picnic and loading your supplies on your SUP for a day trip on a beautiful summer day. 

Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles

Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is a protected wildlife area in Laval. There are several access points to the serene waterways: 

  • from the north shore – Rosemère, Bois-des-Filion, Boisbriand, and Saint-Eustache
  • from the south shore – Berge du Garrot in Laval

You can use your own SUP equipment here for a small fee. Money goes towards the work in the park and wildlife conservation. If you do not have your own stand up paddle board then there are good SUP and kayak equipment rentals available. All summer long, kayak and paddle board guided tours are open with superb guides.  

Vague à Guy

Man surfing on st lawrence river

Vague à Guy is an urban surf spot in Montreal. Yes, that is right – surfing in Montreal! This section of the St Lawrence River offers standing waves that are great to keep those surf skills in check and test the balance. Give this cool place a try on your surf paddle board.

The parking lot is at Parc des Rapides, where you can also take a look at the infamous Lachine Rapids. 

Ste Bernard Island

Ste Bernard Island is a stunning place to visit with or without a stand up paddle board! The island is a protected wildlife reserve with a large choice of hiking trails as well as the waters of Lake Saint Louis to explore.

The coastline provides excellent shelter from wind and weather fronts, making this a great place for beginners to water sports to enjoy their first try. You can master the basics, find your balance, and enjoy beautiful surroundings. 

Montreal Paddle Boarding Adventures Further Afield

Fancy a bit more of a paddle boarding or kayaking adventure outside of Montreal? Here are the best places to stand up paddle board within a 2-hour journey of Montreal. 

Old Beauharnois Canal

Old Beauharnois Canal, Montreal Canada

Distance from Montreal: 45 minutes

Paddling the Old Beauharnois Canal is a popular activity, so why not join in? Because of the popularity of watersports in the Salaberry area, finding rental equipment is fairly easy. 

This canal is surrounded by woodland and parkland, making for picturesque views while you glide along the calm waters. After a relaxing paddle, you can explore the neighborhood's restaurant and microbrewery scene.  

Parc National d’Oka

Distance from Montreal: 45 minutes

Parc National d’Oka is on the other side of the Lake of Two Mountains and gives you yet another amazing place to stand up paddle board in Canada. There is a gorgeous beach located within this park that is perfect for safely launching a paddle board. Note, there is an admission fee into the national park which includes access to the beach. 

This spot is perfect for families wanting to introduce their kids to the SUP world. The waters are generally calm and inviting. The beach is sandy and safe with designated swim zones. 

St Timothy Beach, Valleyfield

Distance from Montreal: 52 minutes

St Timothy Beach is a stunning place to take your stand-up paddle board. From this sandy beach, you have direct access to the St Laurence River and several smaller islands to paddle around. The surrounding woods and parkland are good to walk through either before or after your paddle. 

Parc Marcil, Valleyfield

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour

Parc Marcil is another breathtaking paddle boarding location in the Valleyfield region of Quebec, just outside of Montreal. Again, this spot is on the St Lawrence River and provides calm and friendly conditions for beginner levels to enjoy. The water close to shore is incredibly clear!

Val Morin

Whitewater Val Morin, Montreal Canada

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour 15 minutes

From Val Morin, you have a couple of options. Either head to Lac Raymond for more glistening lake paddle boarding, or choose to go on an adventure downstream. 

You will need two cars for this expedition. One will be parked up in Val Morin for the end of the trip, the other will take the stand-up paddle boards and group to Val David, to start the adventure. For this river paddle boarding trip, you will need to have a certain amount of skill and knowledge of how to paddle board rivers to stay safe. The total distance from Val David to Val Morin to paddle board is around 7 km. 

Lac Superieur, Mont Tremblant National Park

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour 30 minutes

Lac Superieur is nestled in between some of Canada’s most loved ski resorts and mountains. During winter months this lake is not suitable for stand-up paddle boarding. But come summer, the cold conditions have melted away, leaving a green and lush landscape. 

If you are looking for dramatic horizons and want to paddleboard under the shadow of looming mountains, then Lac Superieur is the perfect place for you. 

Rivière Rouge, Labelle

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours

Rivière Rouge, Red River in English, has a range of moods that can challenge experienced paddle boarders or introduce newbies to running rivers. You will be able to find calm meandering waters or test rapids along the length of this river. We recommend a touring paddle board for adventures like these.

We recommend starting your adventure from the village of Labelle. From here you can find many sandy beaches with impressive cliffs to discover. You will also have a large choice of longer routes to stand up paddle board if you wish.  

Interactive Map


🏆 Where are the best places to paddle board in Montreal for beginners?

Montreal has a whole range of places to stand up paddle board that is suitable for beginners to learn the basics. We recommend checking out either Chambly Basin, Ste Bernard Island or Parc Marcil in Valleyfield. All three of these spots generally have calm and inviting waters that are perfect to learn on. 

👍 Do I need a life jacket to paddle board in Quebec?

Canada laws require the use of PFDs with a paddle board. The only exception is if you are paddle boarding in a recognized surf zone. The life jacket should also include a sound signaling device, ie. a whistle. 

🏝️ Can I take my own paddle board to Montreal?

Yes, you can use your own paddle board in many places in Montreal. Some parks may require a permit for you to bring your own equipment for insurance purposes. If you are yet to get your own SUP, then there are several outfitters with quality rentals available.  

❓ Is Montreal a good place to go stand up paddle boarding?

Montreal offers a unique mix of urban and nature, which is a beautiful combination when it comes to stand up paddle boarding. You can escape the city’s hustle and bustle, take to the water, and get a moment of tranquility. In our eyes, that makes Montreal a great place to go stand up paddle boarding.

📦 When is the best time to paddle board in Montreal?

Paddleboarding in Montreal is best done in the summer. The temperatures are comfortable and you can find some spots that are warm enough to not wear a wetsuit. Winter is not suitable for stand-up paddle boarding. The shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall) can be unpredictable for weather and temperatures, so not the most recommended season for stand up paddle boarding.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

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