8 Lakes to Take Your Boat in Western Canada

By joanne lemna | August 18, 2016

Whether you enjoy fishing in the early morning water sports with the family in the afternoon or kayaking at sunset there are thousands of lakes in Western Canada for you to enjoy. Once you’ve got a boat the appropriate licenses and  insurance  all you need to do is pick where you want to go! Here are some suggestions:


  • Lake Newell

Lake Newell is a man-made lake located in Southern Alberta just south of Brooks. Known for it’s warmth and variety of activities this lake is a great choice for a family vacation. All types of boats are allowed with launches and a marina for your convenience. You can choose to camp at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park . Take advantage of the lake’s sandy beach or spend your time swimming in the designated area (here boats are limited to a 12km/h speed limit). You can also fish for the Walleye and Great Northern Pike and there are derbies held throughout the year. If that’s not your thing you can take part in water-sports like sailing windsurfing canoeing and kayaking. Rentals are also available on this big lake.

  • Buffalo Lake

Located to the north-east of Red Deer this huge lake is excellent for boating. The lake is home to Rochon-Sands Provincial Park  several recreational areas and several campgrounds. There are protected swimming areas and boat launches as well as many activities for the whole family. Wildlife is frequent and you’re allowed to fish as well. Burbot and Northern Pike are common although currently Pike are catch-and-release only.

  • Garner Lake

Stay in Garner Lake Provincial Park  north-east of Edmonton and take advantage of all this lake has to offer. Enjoy the fishing with populations of Northern Pike Walleye Burbot and Yellow Perch. You can take in the scenery and abundant wildlife with your canoe or have some fun with tubing and waterskiing. There’s plenty to do if you need a break from the water with a beach hiking and more activities for everyone.

British Columbia

  • Harrison Lake


This lake is over 60km long and while it can be very cold (it’s glacier fed) this is an awesome lake to visit. Harrison Hot Springs  a world famous resort is located on site and offers world class accommodation as well as a variety of activities. You can also opt to stay at a campground and RV park. Take part in a variety of water-sports on the lake enjoy the hot springs or take a break from the water with hiking and horseback riding. Fishing is second to none!

  • Cowichan Lake


Exploited by logging companies for many years this lake and surrounding area is now becoming a popular place to visit on Vancouver Island. Stay in the town of Lake Cowichan or camp nearby and enjoy the 31km long lake. There is an abundant number of fish species in this lake including trout and salmon making it an excellent place to fish. Water-sports are also popular on the lake as is swimming.

  • Otter Lake


This lake is part of Otter Lake Provincial Park  which offers camping canoeing and kayaking swimming fishing hiking and interpretive programs. Launch your boat in the park or in nearby Tulameen and enjoy cruising the shoreline or water-sports. This park has all the amenities you need paired with scenery and great weather.


  • Lake Diefenbaker


While this lake is hardly ‘little known’ travelling to Saskatchewan for boating isn’t as common as it should be! This province is full of wonderful lakes and parks with many that are great for boating. One of the most popular is Lake Diefenbaker located a few hours south of Saskatoon. There are three full service marinas on the lake all offering boat launches and fuel. Once you’re in the water go enjoy all this lake has to offer – excellent water-sports fantastic fishing and many other activities. Camp or stay at one of the many facilities offering accommodation on or nearby the lake.

  • Meadow Lake Provincial Park


Taking its name from the nearby town of Meadow Lake this provincial park is actually a collection of over 20 lakes. Some of these have boat launches and you can enjoy the scenery or water-sports from the comfort of your own boat. Rentals are also available. Some of the lakes are open only to canoes and kayaks making them peaceful retreats for paddling or fishing. There is hiking and golf if you need a break from the water and there are four campground areas to choose from each with their own unique ‘vibe.’

There are far more lakes that offer a variety of activities and services. For example some parks do not allow motor-powered boats – but allow you to paddle in a canoe! These places are excellent choices if you’re looking for a quieter weekend. Check out these sites for Alberta  BC  and Saskatchewan to find more destination lakes this summer. If you’re looking for more boat info check out what to do if you’re in a boating accident .