How blessed are we to have this beauty right in our backyard? Island Lake is for sure one of the top spots in Orangeville and we’ve hiked it a million times. But until now, we’d only been hiking. Finally we ventured out to rent some kayaks for a long overdue paddle at Island Lake and we were not disappointed! It is just as lovely from the water.
Renting kayaks and canoes at Island Lake is pretty straightforward. You have to first pay to enter the main parking area of the conservation area, and proceed to the rental office. You have a choice of canoes, single seater kayaks, or tandem kayaks. For two adults, the tandem kayak is great, and more cost effective than renting the single seater. The staff take the kayak to the beach for you so you don’t even have to carry it yourself.
We headed out east (right) from the shore and paddled towards the north side of the lake to see the very scenic wooden bridges and boardwalks that connect the many small islands that comprise Island Lake. The water was a bit shallow that day so twice we got stuck on top of some logs and had to jiggle ourselves off! Close to the bridges is VERY shallow so be careful and try to navigate around the logs.
After going under the bridges we went as far north as we could go, admiring some gorgeous waterfront properties on the way. Heading back down the lake, we went around some other small islands, watching the geese, ducks and loons. This area of the lake is also known for herons and we were lucky to see a large grey one quite close, busy hunting small fish.
If you’re planning to go paddling at Island Lake, I’d recommend this route, which I’ve added in yellow onto the map below. You can rent by the hour, but one hour isn’t quite enough so I’d recommend two hours.
You can also book it online if you plan ahead. If you want to just show up and paddle, you may find that on a weekend all the kayaks and canoes may already have been rented. So plan ahead accordingly.