The following article was written by Anne Rodrigue-Beaudoin from Quebec Wonders
While Quebec is home to two of North America’s most beautiful cities, there are plenty of outdoor adventures waiting for you as well. In the winter, you can hit the slopes and in the summer, you can go paddleboarding on its various rivers and lakes. As an outdoor enthusiast myself, today I’m sharing the most scenic places to stand-up paddleboard in Quebec. I promise there’s an experience for everyone.
When is the SUP season in Quebec?
The SUP season in Quebec typically spans from late spring to early fall. It generally starts around late May or early June and continues until September or early October.
If you are planning to SUP in Quebec you should know that specific dates for the beginning and end of the season can vary depending on weather conditions and the region within Quebec.
Those of you that are used to SUP near Toronto, know that the SUP season in Quebec is slightly shorter than the Great Lakes season.
Where can you SUP in Quebec?
Quebec offers numerous beautiful locations for SUP, providing paddleboarders with a variety of settings to explore.
There is no shortage of different bodies of water in Quebec, as the province has lakes, rivers and coasts. This implies that you can choose in what kind of setting you want to SUP.
Do you want to ride challenging places with currents or very calm lakes? Quebec has them all.
10 Best Places to SUP in Quebec
1. Au Diable Vert, à Glen Sutton
Location: 169 Chem. Staines, Glen Sutton, QC J0E 2K0
At Au Diable Vert, you will be paddleboarding on the calm waters of the Missisquoi River. What makes this place unique is the beautiful and wild 3-km section. Au Diable Vert is located just 1.5 hours from Montreal. Dogs are welcome (one per SUP), but unfortunately children are not. SUPs, paddles, and lifejackets are available for rent. The serene river boasts shallow waters, inviting you to venture upstream or downstream at your leisure. Along the way, discover numerous inviting beaches and charming pebbled shores, perfect for taking refreshing breaks and embracing the tranquil surroundings.
2. Lac Memphremagog a Magog
Location: 155, Chemin de la Plage des Cantons Magog, Québec, J1X 4W3
Situated in the lovely Eastern Townships, Lac Memphremagog has a history of being home to all kinds of watersports. This location is especially beautiful because you’ll be exploring the gorgeous area and enjoying a perfect day in the sun.
Rentals are available from the Club de Voile Memphremagog and they are open from 9 am to 6 pm every day (seasonally of course). You can also bring your own SUP. Maybe try navigating the meanders of the nearby Riviere aux Cerises for an extra challenge.
Lac Memphremagog is just over an hour away from Montreal. If you’re someone that likes to escape from the city buzz, make sure you check out Quebec Wonder’s list of day trips from Montreal.
Location: 210 Rue-Sainte Anne, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC G3Z 1P8
For a relaxing SUP journey, head to the Baie-Saint-Paul wharf! Paddle at your own leisurely pace along the Rivière du Gouffre’s estuary. Just try not to get too entranced by the breathtaking vistas of L’Ile-aux-Coudres and the middle estuary of the majestic Saint-Lawrence River or you might topple in!
Rentals are available from Katabatik in blocks of two hours, half-day (3.5 hours) or full-day. Baie-Saint-Paul is located an hour away from Quebec City.
4. Parc National de la Mauricie
Location: Chemin St Francois, Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, QC G0X 1N0
Parc National de la Mauricie beckons you to immerse in nature’s true essence. Most people come here for a camping trip or a day trip. One thing that makes this national park special is the tranquillity of its 30 wonderful lakes. The park has three location centres where you can find paddleboards but you can also bring your own. The park is conveniently located two hours from Montreal and 1 hour and 45 minutes from Quebec City.
5. Parc National des Îles de Boucherville
Location: 55 Île Sainte Marguerite, Boucherville, QC J4B 5J6
Parc National des Iles de Boucherville is a breathtaking park near Montreal that offers two distinct trails for river surfing. The intermediate-level Grand-Heron nautical trail is eight kilometres in length and will take about three hours to complete. The four-kilometre Le Castor nautical trail is for beginners and will take you 1.5 hours.
You’re free to bring your own SUP and must make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance (and no later than eight days in advance) if you wish to rent one. The park is located less than 30 minutes away from Montreal.
6. Le Bic
Location: Rimouski, Quebec
This area of Quebec has some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets, so why not plan a sunset paddleboarding excursion on the waters of the Saint-Lawrence estuary? Like the other SEPAQ parks on this list, Le Bic offers various campgrounds and rental stations. You can also bring your own SUP. Come here if you want to paddleboard among the seabirds, rare plants and seals basking in the sun. This destination is well worth the three-hour drive from Quebec City.
7. Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier
Location: 103 Chem. du Parc-National, Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury, QC G3C 2T5
Embark on an exhilarating paddleboarding adventure along the Jacques Cartier River, where you can start at kilometre three, 18 or 25 and be surrounded by breathtaking valley vistas immersed in pristine wilderness. For a thrilling ride, commence your journey at km 25 and navigate through varying rapids, ranging from r1 to r4. This park is 45 minutes away from Quebec City.
This destination promises an unforgettable experience blending natural beauty and exhilaration. There are no SUP rentals at this park, so you must bring your own paddleboard. It’s also necessary to call in advance to make a reservation if you want to attempt this challenging experience.
8. Parc National des Hautes-Gorges-De-La-Rivière-Malbaie
Location: 500 Rue Principale, Saint-Aime-des-Lacs, QC G0T 1S0
The Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park gets its name from the presence of deeply carved valleys in high mountains. The Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie boasts some of the highest walls east of the Rockies.
The significance of the elevations, the beauty of the landscape and the unique course of the Malbaie River make this site enchanting. The relaxing Malbaie River is accessible to all levels of paddleboarders. The park offers onsite rentals and is located 1 hour and 45 minutes from Quebec City in the stunning Charlevoix region.
9. Iles de la Madeleine: Parc de Gros-Cap
Location: 74 Chem. du Camping, L’Étang-du-Nord, QC G4T 3P2
Les Iles de la Madeleine is one of the most beautiful destinations in Quebec and SUPs has recently been added to the list of watercraft that the park rents. You can also bring your own, of course.
When you explore the landscapes of the Magdalen Islands, you glide along beautiful red sandstone cliffs that leave you in awe. The waters here are calm and although the Parc de Gros-Cap is further away from Montreal and Quebec City than the other destinations on this list (it’s a two-hour flight from Quebec City), the views and uniqueness of the location are definitely worth a visit.
10. Gaspesie: Rocher Perce and Bonaventure River
Location (Rocher Perce): Perce, Quebec
Want to go paddleboarding in front of one of Quebec’s most popular rocky islets? Our only advice: check the conditions and tides before diving in. Percé Bay can get windy and the water can be choppy.
If you plan to venture out, we highly recommend going in the morning when the water is calmer. Perce is a 1.5-hour flight or eight-hour drive from Quebec City. Rentals are not offered, so you must bring your own SUP.
Location (Bonaventure River): 200, ch. Athanase-Arsenault, Bonaventure, Québec, Canada, G0C 1E0
CIME Aventure offers many points of access and difficulty levels from calm to challenging on the beautiful Bonaventure River. This river is known for its extremely clear waters – some of the clearest in the world.
Some courses, like the 20-kilometre La Populaire, require a river flow rate of 25 m3/second or more for SUP to be a viable option. Other segments of the river, like La Familiale, allow SUP at all times. Rentals (and shuttle service up and down the river) are offered with a reservation. You can also arrange drop-off and pick-up independently and bring your own board.
It’s evident that if you stand-up paddleboard in Quebec, you’re in for a treat! Choose between fun experiences like a relaxing sunset paddle or an exhilarating all-day adventure. Now, I bet you’ll be starting your journey in either Quebec City or Montreal. If it’s the latter, check out this bumper guide to things to do in Montreal. I guarantee you won’t be bored for a second!
Anne Rodrigue-Beaudoin is an outdoor enthusiast from Quebec City. She and her team at Quebec Wonders specialize in providing helpful tips and recommendations for locals and tourists visiting the province of Quebec.