About Paddling

Experience adventures on the water with like-minded paddlers. Paddlers of all levels are welcome. This is a sea kayak and recreational kayak friendly club, however, due to safety concerns, inflatable kayaks are not permitted. For more information regarding the recreational kayak program, please read The Halton Outdoor Rec Kayaking Program.pdf 

From the first- time paddler to the more experienced paddler, the Club offers opportunities to learn and to practise throughout the season. The Club begins the season with a focus on safety, offering a variety of introductory and refresher safety and rescue options for both sea kayak and recreational kayak paddlers. When offered, Paddle Canada Instructors provide the courses to help paddlers learn and improve at any skill level for both sea kayak and recreational kayak paddlers. Then we go have some fun on the water.

We offer paddles for both sea kayaks and recreational kayaks throughout the season. We travel for our day trips to interior lakes and rivers such as the Grand River, Rockwood, Welland Canal, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Weekend and extended trips take paddlers to such locations as Franklin Islands, Whales Back, Benjamin Islands, Lake Superior and North Channel to name a few. Some of our day and weekend trips utilize the resources of outfitters who provide rental kayaks and equipment so you don't always need to own a kayak to get involved. Any surplus funds which may be generated from the running of our paddling trips or events, will be used to support the running of other other paddling trips or events.

We also have workshops where we learn from each other. Workshop topics may include water safety guidelines, paddle strokes, rescues, wilderness trip packing, navigation and much more.

Don't paddle alone.  Share your paddle in the safe and friendly group environment the Club provides.

Paddling is Magic, Come join us

  • We are all here to have fun, be safe and learn from each other.
  • We are all volunteer trip leaders who enjoy organizing and sharing our experiences.
  • We ask that you have the proper kayak, safety equipment, training, skill level required for the various trips and courses.

Lessons and Practice Opportunities

The Halton Outdoor Club welcomes all levels of paddling for both sea and recreational kayaking; we really like helping beginners. Our goal is to make it easy for a new paddler to get started.  We offer practice opportunities in both the pool (April) and lake (June) with all the equipment included, depending on our arrangement with our chosen paddling company.

In addition, we offer dryland and water opportunities (May-June) to share and to practise with other club members. Whatever your level of experience, we are happy to have you join us. Check the events calendar for more details and to register.

Kinds of Trips

Day Trips

Throughout the paddling season, we offer day trips that are within 2 hours drive time of the Halton Region. Every outing has a volunteer trip leader and a detailed paddling plan. Check the events calendar for the schedule and to register.

Car Camping Trips

We offer weekend car camping trips through-out Ontario during the season. We book a campsite on an inland lake, paddle for the weekend and enjoy each other’s company. Check the events calendar for the schedule and to register.

Wilderness Camping Trips

We offer wilderness paddling trips throughout the season. This is usually on open water, waves and wind conditions are considered. Paddle up to 20 kms per day based on conditions. Certified Outfitters may be used to guides. Check the events calendar for more details and to register.

Extended Trips

Halton Outdoor Club will offer extended out of province and country throughout the year. This is guided by a certified Outfitter, normally 5-7 days either in the backcountry or coastal areas. Check the events calendar for more details and to register.


Trips and Safety

The Halton Outdoor Club provides several trip formats based on skill level and conditions while on the water. Safety is the overarching principle of the HOC paddling. In the event that the conditions exceed the skill level of the participants, the volunteer trip leader has the final call to cancel the trip for some or all of the paddlers, before or on the day of the paddle.

Safety Requirements

  • Trips follow the HOC Trip Rating System
  • Proper fitting PFD must be worn at all times. 
  • Kayaks must suit the conditions of a trip. Recreational kayaks are more suited for flat water conditions and shorter distances; while sea kayaks can meet more challenging conditions and longer distances. We will specify recreational kayak friendly trips. 
  • Sea kayaks must have double bulk heads.
  • Affixed sprayskirts are required for sea kayaks at all times.
  • Recreational kayak: 12 feet long or less, with one or no water tight compartments. Fold up or Sit on top acceptable. Air bags for floatation is strongly recommended.  Due to safety concerns, inflatable kayaks are not permitted. 
  • Proper clothing must be worn to suit the air and water temperature. Never wear cotton on the water. Wet suit and dry suit based on water temperature recommended. 
  • Proper safety devices required by law must be in the kayak: whistle, bailer/pump, paddle, buoyant heaving line.
  • In order to paddle with us, a mandatory wet exit must have been completed within the past 12 months.

    Paddling Committee

    As part of the Halton Outdoor Club (HOC) paddling community, we formed a Paddling Committee consisting of volunteers who want to make an impactful contribution to the HOC.

    • Our mission is to create a positive, safe, respectful, inclusive paddling community for novice, beginner and intermediate paddlers.
    • Our vision is to grow the Halton Outdoor Paddling Community by providing a respectful and encouraging environment where we develop our paddling skills, respect the environment and nurture each other resulting in a positive paddling experience.
    • Our values are safety, respect, inclusiveness which enable us to offer the best member experience while paddling with HOC.

    The paddling committee consists of 2 co-directors, Paul Leppik and Ed Brunato, who are backed up by a team of hard working, dedicated individuals to bring HOC a fantastic paddling program. They are Anne Marchildon, Bob Annis, Lise Sorensen, Gabriela Sebestyen, Katrina Blom, Ken Besser and Virginia Martin.

    We meet once a month for the purpose of coordinating and planning meaningful paddling experiences for our Halton Outdoor Club members. Contact the paddling directors if you wish to join us. 

    To Contact Paddling Co-Directors

    To reach out to the paddling directors, please send and email to hocpaddling@gmail.com

    Paddling Committee Meeting Minutes

    Club members can find the business of our meetings by logging into the the website and clicking here.

    Volunteer Paddling Trip Leader Development Program

    As a volunteer organization we rely on people who are willing to help out in all capacities, from organizing paddling excursions behind the scenes to volunteer trip leaders who lead them. Our goal is to grow as an organization and to continue our robust paddling program. Here are some resources to guide you along this journey.

    2022 HOC Volunteer Trip Leader Guide.pdf - This is a paddling specific trip leader guide.

    2022 HOC Trip Leaders Best Practices.pdf - This is a best practices guide specific to paddling.

    2022 HOC Float Plan.pdf

    Paddling and Camping Resources

    Paddling Trip Calendar - For Planning

    This calendar is for planning and organizing paddling trips for the season.  Events become official when they are active on the club's events calendar. (They can also be found in the Paddling Events list below.)  Keep in mind that we sometimes overlap wilderness camping trips, car camping trips and day trips.  If you have a trip in mind, be sure to contact our paddling co-directors!

    The HOC Trip Rating System

    How we grade our trips for expected conditions and skills required:

    We endeavor to have everyone remain safe on our paddling excursions and to have participants make informed decisions regarding the suitability of such trips. Therefore, we have adopted a trip rating system based on the typical conditions that one may face on any trip and the skills needed to meet such conditions. It is the discretion of the volunteer trip leader to increase a trip grade depending on changing conditions on the day of the paddle.

    Special thanks goes to Jeff Arbing (O.S.K.C.) whose input and paddling experience was instrumental in its creation.


    Grade A - Beginner
    Grade B - Comfortable Beginner
    Grade C - Intermediate
    Grade D - Comfortable Intermediate

    HOC Paddling Launch and Parking Locations Map

    DISCLAIMER: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the locations of the HOC Paddling Launch and Parking Locations Map

    Official Scheduled Trips

    Upcoming Paddling Events - List Form

    Upcoming Paddling Events - Active paddling events can also be found on the club calendar or in list here below. By clicking on an event you will find all trip information and the opportunity to register for our paddling events! You may wish to bookmark this page.

    Day Trips

    Lessons, Workshops, Pool Sessions

    • No events currently scheduled

    Car Camping

    • No events currently scheduled

    Wilderness Camping

    • No events currently scheduled

    Join Us Membership Sign Up

    Email Us info@haltonoutdoorclub.ca

    Call Us  905-634-2012

    Mail Us 3023 New St.
    P.O. Box 91565
    Burlington, ON L7R 4L6

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