Get Active On The Water on Your Ontario Vacation
Whether you are on a lake or river, it’s the water that’s the star of any cottage rental vacation, and there’s many ways to enjoy it. Most cottages will come with a non-motorised boat of some sort – a rowboat, paddleboat, canoe, kayaks, or paddleboard, and some will have a range of boats to try out. To experience boating at higher speed you’ll need to rent one as cottage owners are unlikely to offer you the use of their boats because of insurance restrictions.
Before you go out on the water, make sure you have a life jacket that fits correctly and there is a safety kit on the boat that has a bailer, rope and whistle. Not having these on board could get you into trouble with the OPP and result in a hefty fine.
Canoeing and Kayaking
There is little more peaceful than paddling an Ontario lake or river in the early morning mist, listening to the haunting call of a loon and the slap of a beaver’s tail. If you are lucky you may see deer or even a moose at the water’s edge.
If you’ve never paddled before and are unsure of how to do it, there’s plenty of help at Paddling.net so do a little research before you go, and you’ll be off to a great start.
Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP)
More cottage owners are including paddleboards with their rentals as they gain in popularity, so you’ll want to try this out! Anyone can do this and it makes for a great workout, exercising most muscle groups. Most new paddlers want to know how to stand up and manoeuvre the board, so check out this video before you go:
Whether you just want to sit on the dock and dangle your line for a sunfish or two, or you are an avid angler aiming for the big one, there’s something for you. For the best information on fishing in Ontario, take a look at these Adventure Fishing Maps and check out the one for the lake you’ll be staying on.
Don’t start fishing unless you have an Outdoors Card that you can purchase online here.
Water skiing and tubing
Not all lakes are suitable for waterskiing or tubing. Some are just not big enough to have a good experience and many need a strong knowledge of the lakes to avoid submerged rocks and shoals. The locals might do it expertly, but if you don’t know the lake, it’s best not to risk an accident.
If you have your own boat and intend taking it to the cottage, check with the owner or agency to make sure there is dock space, a nearby boat launch, and that the lake is good for water skiing or tubing.
No boat of your own? Don’t worry – there are plenty of marinas and outlets that will rent you a boat. Some will even deliver to your lake. Some rental companies will require you to have your Pleasure Craft Operators Card and others will provide a short tutorial in lieu of the PCOC.
Click here for boat rental companies in each Ontario cottage country region