Driving time from Montreal
Once you arrive at the parking lot for Parc national des îles-de-Boucherville, you’ll find a canoe and kayak rental spot by the boat launch area (or you can come prepared). Put on your PFD, hop in your boat and head to your right, down the Grande Rivière Channel, to follow the markers for an 8km route. Make sure to give way to the ferry bringing cyclists and hikers from one island to the other.
At the end of the channel, turn left to join up with the St. Lawrence River and follow its current heading north. From there, you’ll be able to see Île de la Commune and the city of Boucherville. You may encounter some larger crafts, so stick to the edge of the park.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, make a stop at marker number four. There you’ll find a great picnic spot by an old archeology dig site. You can also visit a recreated longhouse and discovery centre before you pack up again to continue your journey.
Into the wild
From marker number four, head west into the La Passe Channel. Hopefully you brought your binoculars because this park is home to lots of bird species. Herons, American bitterns and eagles are among the park residents you might be able to spot.
Just keep paddling
At the end of the channel, make your way south. Keep your eyes peeled for an elusive green dragon. Don’t worry, it’s not a fire-breathing giant lizard. It’s an endangered flower that grows in the Quebec wetlands. The park is also home to approximately 120 white-tailed deer that may cross your path if you decide to go out for a hike after your paddle.
Making your way back
Once you turn left past marker number ten and re-enter Grande Rivière Channel, your tired arms will be glad to feel the wind and the current doing most of the work to take you back to your starting point. If you’re up for more, go for a hike or rent a bike and explore the trails. If you’d like to spend the night, there are camping options and even ready-to-camp Huttopia tents.