Different terms to define the same increasingly popular phenomenon: that of standing on a board to glide over the water, propelled by the force of one’s paddle. The beast can be rigid or inflatable, longer if you plan to put a child, a backpack or even your dog in it. Paddleboarding can be practiced in calm waters, in white waters and in a stationary way to do yoga.
With its 500,000 lakes, 4,500 rivers and its magnificent St. Lawrence, Quebec is a great place to practice this sport.
Finally, equipment purchases can range from $500 to $1,500, which is perfect for unlocking the welcome bonus on our latest credit card .
Our top 10 favourite spots in Quebec
We asked Valérie and Emmanuelle, two great sportswomen from our group, to tell us their top 10 favourite places for paddleboarding in Quebec. Here they are, from 10th to first position.
10-The Jacques-Cartier National Park.
The Jacques-Cartier River in the SEPAQ park of the same name is located barely 30 minutes from Quebec City. If you don’t have your own equipment, we recommend renting paddles, boards and flotation jackets by the hour. First come, first served.
The Jacques-Cartier River offers several outings for beginners. The duration differs according to where you go. Launching is done at the:
- km 3: calm water perfect for contemplation.
- km 18: not many people go there, so if you are aiming for peace, this is the place.
9-A descent with a few rapids on the Missisquoi River in Sutton
Between Mansonville and Glen Sutton, a beautiful 15 km on a calm river but with a little current and some rapids for the most experienced. Canoe & Co. shuttles on the Missisquoi River depart daily from the parking lot to any point on the river.
All you need to do is let yourself go at your own pace to get back to your car. The Missisquoi River flows through fields and farms. Pastoral symphony guaranteed.
Opposite the village of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, near Rivière-du-Loup, Île verte is ideal for exploring on foot, by bicycle or by water. You may have heard of it through its annual “trail of mud” event or the torchlight crossing of the ice bridge in the winter. You can get there by shuttle bus.
Bring your board, head to the western tip of the island to hear the whales blow. But beware of the low tide which could surprise you and prevent you from returning. Talk to Emmanuelle and her travelling companion who had to walk back to the house pulling their board! Tide times here.
And even in July, a wetsuit is a must!
7-The Bostonnais River, near La Tuque
The confluence of the Saint-Maurice River, the little Bostonnais, lined with white beaches, winds its way through the territory for several kilometres. The GoPaddling app or people you meet on site will tell you where to park and launch your board. The majority of the path is in calm water.
6-The BIC National Park and the surrounding waterways
To find out where to launch your boat on our beautiful St. Lawrence and on the waterways of the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé regions, this site is very informative.
Îles du Bic
Access to the water through Archipel Aventure (bring your $8.50 entrance fee or your SEPAQ card ) or access through the parking lot of the Bic theatre, starting on the river before the waterfall, of course.
5-The Valin River of the Sepaq for its meanders
The Parc national des Monts-Valin in the Saguenay is best known for its Valley of the Ghosts, where the sight of snow-covered trees takes your breath away. But in the area, there is also a winding river, with lots of meanders on which we like to take our time.
Right at the foot of the imposing mountain, with an exceptional view of Mount Valin. A free guidance brochure is available at the Discovery and Service center to help you find your way around.
4-The descent of the Red River at La Conception
A river for swimming, rather calm and bordered by several beaches where you can picnic.
There are 2 routes: 12 and 24 km, and people are brought there by shuttle. The first route takes 3 to 4 hours, depending on how fast you go and how often ou stop. At the end of the route, people return to the starting point, where cars are parked.
The 2nd route (24km), takes 4 to 5 hours and requires that you book your spot by phone, as places are limited. Only one departure per day, in the morning.
Several types of boats are available for rent at Pause Plein-Air : single and double kayaks, paddle boards, canoes and life jackets. It is also possible to bring your own boat and be driven to the starting point at a lower cost.
3-The Hautes Gorges de la Rivière Malbaie National Park
In the beautiful tourist region of Charlevoix, you can try SUP on the Malbaie River. It is part of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park, which offers the highest walls east of the Rockies.
The river winds its way 161 km from the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve to the St. Lawrence River.
People launch their SUP upstream of the Érables dam, which is located at the Le Draveur service center. If you don’t have your OuiSurf x Maui SUP handy, you can always rent one 150 meters behind Le Draveur service center ($17.50 for an hour, $31 for 4 hours and $44.50 for the day). The rental center also offers canoes and sea kayaks.
Unlike the downstream section, the current is much weaker and there are no rapids, which allows you to paddle for hours between the vertiginous cliffs.
30 minutes southwest of Montreal, the St. Lawrence River widens to form Lake Saint-Louis. L’Île Saint-Bernard offers 8 km of trails for walking. But it is also possible to launch your paddle board.
From there, you can see the city’s skyline, large boats flotaing by, and an abundance of winged fauna. We are talking about more than a hundred species.
The parking lot, although free, has only 150 spaces and is often full by 10 a.m.
1-The Rocher Percé
For those who are more used to the waves, go to our beautiful St-Lawrence River and its iconic figure, the Rocher Percé.
Please note that the Bay can be windy, and it is strongly recommended to go in the morning when the water is calmer. By going around, you will discover the hidden side of the behemoth and its large colony of gannets.
This outing gets the first place of our top 10. Thank you Emmanuelle and Valérie!
This was only a brief overview of the 10 favourite spots chosen by two active Milesopedia members. There are of course dozens of others, given Quebec’s multitude of waterways.
Would you like to share your favourite places? Please, do! Have a good ride!