Map Regions My Trips How To Contribute Add Resource Add Trip Clubs Partners Get In Touch Search

Find your next paddling adventure!

Sorry no results found. Try expanding your search.

Region Details

Looking for the best places to Canoe in and around Nanaimo? Below are some great routes, trips and resources to help you Canoe in and around Nanaimo.

Click here to browse this area with our interactive map.

I think it was John Grace who once said "It's all just training for British Columbia". He was referring to the super challenging creeking and multi day wilderness whitewater trips that are located all over this mountainous province. There is a lifetime worth of easy and intermediate paddling too. Whether it is multi day ocean trips, winter whitewater paddling on Vancouver Island, surfing tidal rapids, creeking in the interior, remote trips up north BC offers it all and then some.

Canoe Trips or Routes


Classic Section
Nanaimo River - Classic class 3-3+ run that actually feels like a river not a creek. A super popular run for paddlers in the lower Vancouver Island area, this run an awesome play features a variety of flows. Rapids start out at a gentle class 2 and progress nicely to 3+ towards the end. I'd stick between the 30 - 100cms range but it's known to be paddled up 300cms+ by local hardcore boaters. At levels above 100cms, expect to dodge hole and surf waves. The last rapid is known to have wood in it from time to time, worth scouting or portaging river right. There is an emergency egress point half way down but it is on private property, please only use it in an emergency. Owners have expressed that there should be no one on their property. Rafting is not recommended because of the hike at the take out.
First Lake to Bridge
Nanaimo River - A great training run in a very natural scenic setting. Rapid difficulty builds as the run progresses. The most challenging one has a portage with allows it to be run multiple times or avoided, and is near the end.


Coastal Expression

(250) 591-3021

1840 Stewart Avenue, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Island Römer Adventures

(250) 618-5415

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island British Columbia

Jeff’s Kayak and Bike Rentals

(573) 598-4555

34 A Pirates Ln, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6R1

Local Paddling Clubs

Canoe Kayak Freestyle Committee National Programs

Canoe Kayak Canada Freestyle is responsible for the growth and development of Freestyle Canoe/Kayak in Canada. We work with provincial, territorial and local organizations to hold programs that support athlete development. We also host National Team trials and support athletes at the international level.


Stay Connected. Get the PaddlingMaps app today!