The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network

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Paddle Routes in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere

Canoeing and kayaking on the Frontenac Arch Biosphere is a fabulous experience! With the rugged Precambrian geology and topography, there are a myriad of lakes, rivers, wetlands and streams. While the region is known for the Thousand Islands, there are in fact more than 3,000 islands on a thousand lakes and rivers. As a satellite view shows, roughly 30% of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere is wet! This is a flatwater paddler’s dream, with days – even weeks – of exploration to enjoy.

3,000, and perhaps even 4,000 years ago, First Nations peoples knew these waterways very well. The winding network of rivers and lakes were the backbone of transportation and trade systems that brought people and trade goods together in eastern North America. Today’s paddlers can still trace those routes, and in so many places experience the same wild and dramatic character of the land. At the same time, canoeists and kayakers can see how settlers after the early 1800s modified some lakes and streams, with dams for power generation and lake control for cottagers, to the engineering of the Rideau Canal.

The paddle routes explore some of the possible routes across the region, but of course there are potentially several more. We hope to add more routes in the season and months ahead, and would be delighted to hear your suggestions. 


These area routes extend from Gananoque North and East through the inland waterways. They cover the eastern reach of the biosphere.
The Gananoque River contains marvelously scenic views, including the lakes and streams that extend its watercourse.
The North and Central Frontenac region offers beautiful scenes of the rugged, forested, and lake scattered features of the Canadian Shield landscape.
The Rideau Canal,a designated National Historic Site of Canada and UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching from Ottawa to Kingston.
This semi-wilderness park offers day and overnight paddling opportunities for over 20 lakes. The route you take is up to your imagiation.
A Thousand Islands, a thousand channels are a paddler's delight, from Kingston to Brockville on the St. Lawrence - one of the world's great rivers.

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