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Rocky Shoreline With their rugged, rocky coastlines and wind-tortured white pines, the Great Lakes have inspired artists and explorers alike for a hundred years. These huge bodies of water were made famous in the early part of the century by Canada's famous Group of Seven painters. The landscape of the Lakes have come to represent the essence of the Canadian wilderness. The rugged shoreline, with cliffs topped with pine and spruce, provides the perfect environment for the sea kayak. Inland from the Great Lakes, parks like Killarney, French River, Lake Superior and Pukaskwa provide some of Ontario's best wilderness canoeing.

The Great Lakes themselves offer some of the most unique paddling in the world. The vastness of these inland seas provides an opportunity for challenging ocean paddling without the hassle of salt water or tidal variations. Using the services of a guide is an essential starting point for any paddler on the "big water" for the first time. Lakes like Superior, Huron and Georgian Bay (part of Lake Huron and often called the Sixth Great Lake), have many faces. Calm, placid mornings can turn into long afternoon paddles with significant seas to contend with.

Kayaker Photo Local sea kayak guides find protected spots and inland passages amid a myriad of rocky islands. Members of Paddling Ontario offer trips on Lake Superior and Georgian Bay that follow the route of the Voyageurs along their famous fur trading route. Historical stops, traditional portages and favourite local fishing holes are all to be discovered on these sea kayaking journeys. Many trips are lodge-based and highlight regional cuisine, incorporate other soft adventure activities (hiking, canoeing and sailing) and offer a real local flavour.

The Great Lakes region is also home to inland parks like Killarney, French River, Lake Superior and Pukaskwa. These diverse waterways offer a contrast to the open water paddling of the big lakes: lake-to-lake canoe and portage trips, river tripping and whitewater adventures. Many outfitter trips weave the history of Canada's First Nations people with the fishing, fur trading and logging traditions that shaped the region's history. A comfortable lodge stay, a glass of wine and a tale from a local elder, and your Great Lakes exploration is complete!

- Click here to see a Trip Report on Lake Superior.
- or click here to see a Trip Report on Lake Huron.
- or click here to see a Trip Report on Killarney.

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