August may be coming to a close, but if you ask me, it’s the best time to hit the lakes with your kayak. The sun is still high in the sky long into the evening and the lakes are nice and warm, but it’s not melt-you-into-a-puddle hot during the day – the perfect time to fit in some solid paddle time.
I’m so lucky to live in Prince George, where I can strap my kayak to the roof of my SUV after work and be at a lake within fifteen minutes. Or I can drive an hour on the weekend for a bit more solitude – whatever I want. But either way, I’m in for a beautiful paddle.
In no particular order, here’s a treat for you: a random sampling of some of my favourite local spots for kayaking. West Lake, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of PG, is always one of the first lakes recommended, as it’s one of the closest lakes to town. It makes for a great quick getaway after work. If you’re short on time, or impatient to hit the water, this is the best, and there’s plenty of room to paddle around and check out the cabins and houses along the shore. The only downside is an abundance of motorboats that can be a bit of a nuisance on busy weekends if you’re looking for a quiet experience.
Similarly, Summit Lake, 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of town, is a beautiful lake to explore, quite large with lots of arms and bends (great for stowing the boat for a quick swim!). Just watch out for those pesky motorboats here too.
I really enjoy finding the lakes that don’t allow bigger boats, but still offer lots of room to tour the shores, on the look out for beavers, ducks or, if you’re lucky, even moose! Eena Lake is one such perfect spot – super close to town, only about 25 kilometres (16 mikes) northwest of Prince George, but offering that quiet solitude to escape your day. At the risk of breaking the fisherman’s code, Eena Lake is a popular fishing spot too (but don’t tell anyone I said so!). My only warning: watch out for the beaver as you paddle the narrow channel to the larger portion of the lake!
East of town, my husband and I took a random drive down Upper Fraser Rd one day, past the small community of Willow River, and came across a couple of fantastic lakes that we’ve visited with our kayaks again and again. Eaglet Lake, 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of Prince George, is a very long lake running along the road, with lots of access points and flyfishers scattered about. Amanita Lake is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) past that, and we stumbled across it purely by accident, checking out the back roads. Amanita is small but beautiful, and also has a couple campsites along the edge.
Finally, Berman Lake is a spot that I’ve seen become more popular over the last few years, along with kayaking, and always has a handful (or two) of kayakers testing the waters. It’s located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of PG, and also boasts a great beach area.
There are dozens of other options near Prince George, but you’ll just have to discover your own favourites! Where else have you enjoyed kayaking this summer?
Prince George, BC