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Windsor, Ontario, is a city in Canada that sits on the bank of the Detroit River and is very well known for not only its casino complex but also its major contribution to the automotive industry throughout Canada.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, an area with a collection of casinos doesn’t seem like the best place to go paddle boarding, but Windsor actually has a few incredible waterways that will give you a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle that comes with everyday city life.
If you’re visiting Windsor, or if you’re a resident of the city looking for a peaceful paddle that is only a stone's throw away, you’ve come to the right place. This article is going to highlight all of the best places to paddle board in Windsor, Canada for those times when you need to reconnect with nature and paddle until your heart’s content.
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The Cedar Creek Conservation Area is a popular place for paddle boarding in Windsor because of the numerous creeks and tributaries that offer up excellent paddling conditions that even beginner paddlers will appreciate.
While paddling in the Conservation Area, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the eagles, herons, turtles, and other animal species that call the largely protected area home. And you should also pay close attention to the banks of the water as Cedar Creek has a large variety of beautiful flora and fauna species.
You can launch your paddle boards from the Cedar Creek dock and paddle upstream through trees and foliage, or you can head in the opposite direction and enjoy the area’s widest section of water. Regardless of which way you paddle, you’re guaranteed calm waters and a relaxing time out in nature which is why Cedar Creek has made its way onto our top paddle boarding destinations in Windsor.
The Detroit River flows from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie so if you really wanted to, you could paddle from one lake to the other via the waters of the river. When you compare the river to the lakes that sit on either end, you get a completely different paddling experience as the shores are lined with skyscrapers and buildings as opposed to vegetation and wildlife.
It’s a unique experience paddling through the city, and if you’ve never done it before, we highly recommend it. The Detroit River is also a fantastic option for those staying in the city center as you can practically walk to the river from your accommodation.
There are so many lakes that make up the great lakes, and although Lake Erie is one of the smallest, it is still truly magnificent and an excellent place to launch your SUP on.
As I’m sure you can imagine, being a great lake, Lake Erie is a popular tourist destination with people from far and wide visiting to take in the spectacular waters and the surrounding views.
What makes the great lakes amazing places to paddle board is the fact that even though they’re lakes, they experience waves and currents similar to the ocean. This means that in some sections of the lake, even experienced paddlers can put their paddling skills to the test on waters more challenging than those of a standard lake.
If the waters at Lake Erie are too much for you, then you instead can launch your SUP at the Point Pelee National Park, which extends into Lake Erie. The national park has wetlands you can paddle down, a huge abundance of wildlife, stunning sunsets, and picnic areas where you can take a break from stand up paddle boarding and enjoy a spot of lunch.
Lake St. Clair is known as the “Heart of the Great Lakes,” and although it isn’t a great lake itself, it is an extremely popular fishing spot as many of the lake’s wetlands are home to a range of fish species.
The waters at Lake St. Clair are fairly calm and perfect for beginners and with numerous rental companies in the area, the paddling options are endless.
Although Peche Island, which is owned by Hiram Walker is technically in the Detroit River, we thought it needed a special mention of it was own. The island is 86 acres worth of land that is now a naturalized park with various walking trails. You can access the island on your stand up paddle board, kayak, or canoe, by the island's docks and set of exploring from there.
As Peche Island is so close to mainland Windsor, it is fairly easy to paddle over to and should take you around 20 minutes one way. And as it is located where Lake St. Clair meets the Detroit River, you can say you paddle all three locations in one paddling trip.
The River Canard is Canada’s southernmost river, with shallow weaving waters and a plethora of wildlife and plant species. One of the most unique flowers along the River Canard is the majestic water lilies that bloom in spring and early summer. These lilies usually grow in subtropical climates, however, they somehow come to life in this particular part of Canada, and it's a sight you won’t want to miss.
Yes, you can paddle board to Peche Island, and as it only takes around 20 minutes one way, even beginner paddlers should have no trouble with the journey. Once you reach Peche, you can secure your paddle board in place at the docks and set off exploring everything the naturalized park has to offer.
Although Windsor is fairly small in size, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good places to paddleboard. Our favorite paddle-boarding locations in Windsor include the following:
You don’t need a license to paddle board in Windsor, however, you are required to wear a life jacket. A personal floatation device can quite literally save your life, and if you don’t like the constriction of a standard life jacket, you can opt for a life jacket belt that sits around your waist and inflates when needed.
There are a few SUP rentals throughout Windsor, with some of the most well-known being:
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