If you get the chance to experience a lake by kayak through the summer months, go for it! Whether you’re bringing your own, or taking advantage of the rentals available for families, try it out. As young as four, our kids have been on the water and it’s always incredible to see them ‘get it’, paddling away, exploring somewhere new.
As part of our ‘Glamping’ trips this year, in an RV, we were lucky enough to have the space to bring along the kayaks for the kids, and us – and got the chance to paddle on a handful of places that were new to us, experiencing rock walls, paddling beside wildlife and even a close call from a thunderstorm that rolled in fast!
Are you searching for a place to start kayaking with the kids? Here are a few of our favourite places, near Edmonton, to start with kid-friendly and calm waters.
Jasper National Park | In Jasper National Park, you’ll find many options for smooth and easy kayaking spots with the kids. One of our favourites is a side of the road spot, just past Pocahontas campground as you enter the park. Park on the side of the road, where there’s a popular hiking spot, when you see the left a couple of kilometers past the campground, and the first pull over rest area on the left. It’s enclosed, and there’s a cool rock wall the kids can explore, on their kayaks. Getting down to it can be dicey, make sure you’re wearing good shoes, but the small area is worth it. Camp Nearby at Pocahontas, there’s lots to explore in the area.
Kelley’s Bathtub | Located in William A. Switzer Provincial park this is one of our favourite new spots to explore because it’s small enough of an area for beginners on the kayak, like our four-year-old, and there’s enough to see that you can spend a few hours. Hiking around the lake, spending time on the small beach, wading in the water and playing in the sand, are all things you can do while you spend an afternoon in the area. Camp nearby at the Gregg Lake campground, it’s got a couple of playgrounds, places to kayak on Gregg Lake, and big campsites to accommodate a large RV.
Kinbrook Island National Park | One of the larger bodies of water we like to explore, you might want to break it up and spend a couple of days exploring the area. Launch from the boat dock, to the left of the beach and make sure you choose a sunny day because the water can get quite choppy when it’s windy. On sunny days, there is lots to explore near the shore and around the man-made lake, and you’ve got the convenience of camping near the beach at the Kinbrook Island National Park campground.
Elk Island Park | Close to home, there’s Elk Island Park, where you can easily make a day trip or spend the night at the campground. Easy to get to, you’ve got close access to Astotin Lake, where you can kayak with the kids to the island in the middle, and the waters are calm (but can be murky). Kayaking here, we were warned of leeches, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing this close-to-home location. On the weekends, you can rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards through Haskin Canoe.
This feature is a part of a series that we’re working on to encourage families to get outside. We’ve teamed up with Go RV to explore four campgrounds in Alberta. To make it easier for your family to get out there and discover a new Alberta campground, Go RV is giving one reader the chance to win a week long RV rental to see what the RV Experience is all about.