Shuswap Blueway Paddle Trails

Weytkp! Welcome to the Shuswap Lakes region, within the unceded territory of the Secwepemc First Nation, homeland of the Adams Lake, Little Shuswap Lake, Neskonlith, and Splatsin.

The Shuswap is a place of water – lakes, rivers, creeks form a complex watershed that meet in Shuswap Lake before flowing through the Little Shuswap into the South Thompson River. 

These waterways are the ancestral paths of the Secwepemc people, and the nursery of the great interior Sockeye Salmon runs. The trails, rivers, and lakes remain the true routes of travel throughout the region and an important reminder of the responsibility to care for the land and water. 

Blueway paddle trails provide a special opportunity to better know this place by canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard. 

The Shuswap Trail Alliance is working to add blueway paddle trail access information to the website. Please check back for updates.

Paddle Disclaimer

Paddling is an inherently dangerous activity. Paddlers should ensure they have the training, knowledge and equipment sufficient for the activity and conditions. The Shuswap Trail Alliance, Shuswap Tourism, and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District assumes no responsibility for the safety of any persons, animals or equipment when using the paddle routes listed in this guide.

Paddle Safety

Paddlers should ensure they have the training, knowledge and equipment sufficient for the activity and conditions. Be prepared. Always wear your lifejacket. The Recreational Canoe Association of BC recommends the following basic safety guidelines:

  • Avoid paddling alone. A minimum of 3 canoes, kayaks, or SUPs is recommended 
  • Stay close to shore and group
  • Take a paddling course to improve your skills
  • Your lifejacket should be comfortable so you’ll wear it
  • Ensure your boat will float if swamped
  • Have a bow & stern line and an extra paddle
  • Carry a repair kit, 1st aid kit, survival kit and a change of dry clothing in a waterproof bag
  • Carry a communication device for the area you’re paddling such as a cell phone, radio, or satellite communicator
  • Appoint a trip leader with knowledge of the area and abilities of the group
  • Join a local paddling club

Transport Canada requires each canoe, kayak, or SUP to carry:

  1. One lifejacket or PFD for each person onboard
  2. Buoyant heaving line (throwbag) at least 15m
  3. Sound signaling device
  4. Bailer or bilge pump
  5. Navigation lights if operating in dark or fog

Lake Paddling – Shuswap Lake is a large body of water. When paddling keep close to shore. Sudden winds can occur. Beware of fast changing weather.

Rivers – all rivers in the Shuswap are prone to heavy spring run-off which can persist into July. Rivers become high, swift and lethal. Cold water can render you helpless in minutes. Dangerous obstructions including submerged trees, branches, logjams, sweepers, boulders, gravel bars, rapids, falls, and submerged fences should be expected. Paddling rivers requires skills and equipment additional to those listed for lakes. Acquire these BEFORE venturing onto moving water.

For more information on paddling skills and safety, visit: www.bccanoe.com 

And for more information on trip planning and safety, visit: www.adventuresmart.ca

Paddle Etiquette –

care for the land and water, promote safety, and respect others.

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on durable surfaces in approved locations only
  3. Dispose of waste properly (pack out all garbage you create or find)
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts and adhere to fire bans
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of others (give people fishing a wide berth)

Please, use only marked access points and public land for getting to the water and taking rest stops.
And practice leave no trace ethics out of respect for the natural environment and others. Visit: www.leavenotrace.ca 

Paddle Links:

Quick Picks

Quick Picks

Are you looking for an activity but don't know where to start? Visit our Quick Picks page to get some ideas, and figure out where to get started!

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Secwepemc Landmarks Project

Secwepemc Landmarks Project

The purpose of the Secwépemc Landmarks Project is to create awareness of Secwépemc traditional territory through the installation of approximately 100 trailhead posts, 8 Secwépemc Landmark sculptures modelled after Secwépemc Coyote Pillars, and 8 connected interpretive panels that feature Secwépemc oral histories, place names, culture and stories connected to the Shuswap Lakes region.

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Shuswap Blueway Paddle Trails

Shuswap Blueway Paddle Trails

The Shuswap is a place of water – lakes, rivers, creeks form a complex watershed that meet in Shuswap Lake before flowing through the Little Shuswap into the South Thompson River.

These waterways are the ancestral paths of the Secwepemc people, and the nursery of the great interior Sockeye Salmon runs. The trails, rivers, and lakes remain the true routes of travel throughout the region and an important reminder of the responsibility to care for the land and water.

Learn More

Cycle Touring

Cycle Touring

The Shuswap offers a multitude of road and gravel cycling opportunities. Nestled in the Monashee Mountains the Shuswap offers spectacular and varied roads for road riding, cycle touring and gravel grinding.

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Motorized

Motorized

Motorized and non-motorized recreational user groups throughout the Shuswap have made a commitment to work together through the Shuswap Regional Trails Roundtable and share in the responsible management of all recreational travel throughout the region. Together we are upholding the Secwepemc values of working together to take better care of the land through mutual respect, collaboration, and stewardship.

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Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing

The Monashee mountains are known for deep powder and steep well-spaced tree skiing. Well there are no formally developed ski touring areas there is a vast landscape to explore.

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Exploring Respectfully

Shuswap Trails

Fostering a healthy, engaged community in the Shuswap Region – economic/environmental/social – through well designed, maintained, and promoted trails connecting people, culture, and landscape

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