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Paddling Sites in Nova Scotia

Coastal Launch Sites

Public launch sites suitable for paddlers, part of the Nova Scotia Coastal Water Trail. This CKNS project helps both resident and visiting paddlers access the coast and plan day trips or longer tours. Each launch site description provides directions by land and sea, GPS coordinates, photos and on-site amenities.  Local services such as places get groceries are listed which helps local businesses. Possible paddling tours in nearby waterways are suggested.

Inland Paddling Routes and Launch Sites

Download our CKNS Paddling Maps made in partnership with Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Office of Health Promotion - Sport and Recreation Division. Although these maps were produced in 2005, they still have valuable information for these historical paddling routes. This section also includes many launch sites located around the province and the historic Shubenacadie Canal waterway.

Musquodoboit River

Paddle Routes Lunenburg/Queens counties

Annapolis County Paddling Routes

Friends of Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes

Nova Scotia Provincial Parks

HRM Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Keji National Park - Keji map

Wilderness Area Maps

Wilderness Area Maps 

Areas mapped by Tristan Glen as well as areas plotted by CKNS members. 

Wilderness Areas are administered by Nova Scotia Environment. For more information visit: or call 902-424-3600. These maps were produced by Tristan Glen, 2019. For information regarding these maps, contact Tristan via email at:  [email protected]

  • Waverley Wilderness Area Water Trail Waverley - Salmon river.  Long lake wilderness area canoe routes. Halifax regional municipality, Nova Scotia.
  • Medway Wilderness Area Water Trail Medway lakes wilderness area canoe routes. Annapolis county, Sova Scotia.
  • Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area Skull lake loop managed water trail. Ship harbour long lake wilderness area. Canoeing, angling, camping, snowshoeing and other adventure.
  • Cloud Lake Loop (Cloud Lake Wilderness Area). Water trail map for canoeing, angling, camping, snowshoeing and other adventures.
  • Whale Cove Loop (Terence Bay Wilderness Area). Preliminary water trail map for canoeing, kayaking, angling, camping and other adventures.
  • Melopseketch Lakes and Liscomb River  (Boggy Lake + Liscomb River Wilderness Areas). Preliminary water trail map for canoeing, angling, camping, snowshoeing and other adventures. PLEASE NOTE: Many of the portages in the area are impassable due to severe damage by Hurricane Fiona. Only the portages from Melopseketch lake to Liscomb River Road and from Liscomb River Road to Middle Lake have been fully restored. New Chester Road is in good shape but Liscomb River Road has been severed at West River Lake. (May 2024)
Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia whitewater paddling
Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia whitewater paddling
whitewater kayaking

Whitewater Paddling

Some of Nova Scotia’s rivers offer good whitewater paddling opportunities. There is a small but enthusiastic whitewater kayaking fraternity that paddle regularly throughout the year. We also have some very good Atlantic coastal surf for those who enjoy the sport of kayak surfing.

Here is a link to a website created by one of CKNS' member instructors/volunteers with data on some NS Whitewater Rivers -

Kayak Surfing Nova Scotia
ocean kayaking nova scotia
kayak surfing

Kayak Surfing

Nova Scotia’s coastline faces the open Atlantic, providing some of the best surfing opportunities along the eastern seaboard. Whitewater and sea kayakers have been taking advantage of these breaks all year round. Stoney Beach at Lawrencetown outside Dartmouth provides good access to the point break here. Other locations include Martinique Beach, Cherry Hill Beach and Clam Harbour Beach. To be safe, you should have a good roll and always wear warm clothing and a helmet. Never surf alone and remember to practice good surfing etiquette and wait your turn.

Here are some useful resources for Kayak Surfing in Nova Scotia:

Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia
Chebucto Peninsula canoe portage
big paddle
canoe kedge

A Paddler's Paradise

The fishing and hunting tradition in Nova Scotia has created a web of portages and trails. Look at Inland routes for some suggestions. You will find links to inland paddling route maps produced by the province, as well as other on line resources to help you plan your trip.

Safe Boating

CKNS promotes safe boating through a combination of skills training, proper preparation and equipment. We strongly support the proper use of personal floatation devices (PFDs). These should be worn whenever a paddler gets into a boat.

Nova Scotia allows camping on crown land and in designated wilderness areas without cost; however, much of Nova Scotia is privately owned. Please ask permission before crossing or camping on private land. Please practice No Trace Camping.

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