5 places for a kayak rental

Posted on June 09, 2021 | By Ashley Fitzpatrick | 0 Comments

By-the-Sea Kayaking, Victoria, P.E.I.


By-the-Sea Kayaking-Victoria, P.E.I.
Known also as “Victoria By the Sea,” the village of Victoria on the Island’s South shore has been the beloved home of By-the-Sea Kayaking for over 20 years now. The business offers kayaking rentals and tours, including a well-reviewed paddle and foodie experience titled “I Dig Therefore I Clam” (it’s chef’s-kiss a perfect name, isn’t it?). Apart from double and single kayaks, there are paddleboards and bicycles available seven days a week, but with opening depending on the weather. Half an hour away from popular tourist stays, it’s typical for demand to be high, particularly on sunny weekends, so reservations are essential really. Then again, thinking ahead might also capture you a particularly special moment or Insta-worthy photo, on a full moon paddle for instance. When you’ve completed your introduction to paddling, corporate excursion or expert day-long trek along the Northumberland Strait, stay a while in the community to visit the local restaurants, theatre and craft shops.


Shediac Paddle Shop, Shediac, N.B.


Shediac Paddle Shop-Shediac, N.B.
Inside the Shediac Rotary Park (look for the big lobster), you’ll find Paulette LeBlanc’s retail and rental shop, offering you the opportunity for a particularly relaxed escape. The shop rents one and two-person kayaks and paddle boards by the hour for use on the adjacent Scoudouc River. Rentals should be booked ahead of time using the shop’s online system. The required waivers are available on the site as well. The river has a muddy bottom with shellfish, meaning covered water shoes or an old pair of running shoes you can immerse in water are considered a must. The surrounding environment is otherwise enjoyable, And LeBlanc’s lessons for first-timers right up through to the company’s yoga and meditation sessions can have you appreciating the riverland in no time. A reminder: Tuesday nights are “paddle with your dog” sessions, so your four-legged companions can also have the kayak or paddle board experience.


Wildwood Water Sports, Dartmouth, N.S.


Wildwood Water Sports-Dartmouth, N.S.
If you’re keen to kayak for the first time, but not so keen on the idea of the ocean or big river, Shubie Park offers a perfect starter. Lori McKay and her husband Jeff Carruthers started their rental business in the urban park last year, happily welcoming first-timer paddlers of all ages. The family business (the couple’s son and daughter have contributed to the effort) offers kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle board rentals for travel through the park on the Shubenacadie Canal and Lake Charles. The park has an easy-access boat launch and the canal is narrow and sheltered relative to many other locations, offering a peaceful tour. Booking information is available online, along with the standard, required waiver. A single kayak is available at just $15 for the hour, or $20 for a two-person model, but a quick note that there is no ATM, though Email money transfers are accepted. Wildwood can serve a perfect day trip to the park. Last boats go out at 5 p.m.


East Coast Outfitters, Lower Prospect, N.S.


East Coast Outfitters-Lower Prospect, N.S.
A mainstay paddle sports stop in Nova Scotia for 20 years now, East Coast Outfitters (ECO) is found sheltered on the coast between Halifax and Peggy’s Cove, a short drive in from the highway to the small community of Lower Prospect. The location offers rentals, but also Paddle Canada-certified introductory lessons to sea kayaking. Bring a group and learn everything you need to know to wildly expand your paddle adventure options. There are also half-day or full-day tours, and shorter (roughly two-and-a-half hour) “seascape” or sunset runs. The latter comes with the option of a barbecue on the wharf to cap the evening. Booking ahead is mandatory. Notably, ECO is community and safety-minded in communications and programming, using social media to post regular promotion of lifejackets and hosting sessions. In late May, for example, they held an information session for paddlers interested in local search and rescue demands and operations, featuring the regional supervisor for Maritime SAR from the Halifax Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre. Company guides emphasize learning essentials for safe future and present experiences.


Rafting NL, Grand Falls-Windsor, Exploits River, N.L.


Rafting NL-Grand Falls-Windsor/Exploits River, N.L.
Rafting NL is known for its tour experiences in Central Newfoundland for groups of all sizes and experience levels. For kayaks and canoes, the business offers rentals at Gorge Park in Grand Falls-Windsor. If it’s your first time, you can book an introductory lesson. If you’re up for a little more adventure, take a four to five-hour tour from the Park to the Bishop’s Falls Trestle Bridge, with some small rapids along the way. Use a traditional kayak for a leisurely and escorted run. If you are looking for real adventure, take on a higher-energy stretch of the Exploits system in a “sportsyak” two-seater, accompanied by your Rafting NL guide. The Canyon Run is designed for ages 14+, starts at the salmon interpretation centre in town and will take you through Class 3 and Class 4 rapids. Husband and wife team Erica and Jason Nault, and brother Geoff Orendorff, own and have operated the business for the past six years, priding themselves on having options for all skill levels. They keep bases both at the interpretation centre and at a location about 20 kilometres West of town, off the Trans-Canada Highway, on the same waterway. Book ahead and they set you up at the starting point with gear and guide and full support. Erica Nault told Atlantic Business Magazine the business doesn’t shy from custom experiences and takes an easy-going approach to proposals, while bringing their own knowledge to the planning table. “Basically, if you call us up and have an adventure in mind, we’ll try and make it work,” she said. •

About our “5 Places” series: It’s been a difficult period for small businesses, particularly in tourism and hospitality. While it’s not deep investigation, we wanted to encourage the sector by taking a moment each week to shine a spotlight on some of these small businesses in Atlantic Canada, “5 Places,” with the hope of encouraging people to make some staycation plans and get out to support local (albeit with COVID and related restrictions in mind). We’re featuring spots in no particular order, but with representation from all provinces. The series will continue at least until fall 2021, looking at some hidden gems or popular stops for ice cream, kayaks, comics and more. Any tips on BIPOC-owned businesses, ideas for future themes or general feedback are welcome: [email protected].

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