There’s nothing quite like seeing Edmonton from the water. Floating down the river by boat, canoe, kayak, etc. provides a very different perspective of our city and is sure to make one appreciate the river valley in a new and astonishing way. There are many different river access spots here in Edmonton, below are some of the main places to set sail.
There are two vehicle boat launches in the City. One is in Laurier Park and the other is at Capilano park. Both offer vehicle and motorized boat access. There is limited parking available at these boat launches. Launches are generally open from April to November but are subject to change due to weather, ice, water level, and emergency situations.
River Access points (Hand/carry boat launches)
If you’re adventurous and don’t mind a bit of exploring then there are countless places to access the river (though some are difficult to find and are challenging to negotiate with a canoe). Here are some spots that provide a safe and easy way to access the river.
- Terwillegar Park – There is access at the main beach area where all the dogs swim. It’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot with a canoe but it’s a good place to access the river upstream.
- Fort Edmonton Park – Right before reaching Fort Edmonton Park, drop off your canoe, kayak, floaties at the entry point underneath the Quesnell Bridge. You can then find parking for your car in the large parking lot.
- Whitemud Park – Located close to the Whitemud Equestrian Centre.
- Emily Murphy Park – You can drop your boat off at Groat Bridge on the west side of the park near the river and then park your vehicle in the parking lot.
- Louise Mckinney Riverfront Park – There is a public dock which provides easy access to the river for boats and for leisure enjoyment. The dock is located on the westside of the park down by the river.
- Dawson Park – There is a gentle sandy hill that you can walk down to reach the water.
The city has plans to improve river access by building 7 new public docks and improving carry on boat launches as well as improving Capilano’s main boat launch. This will provide increased water access and allows for a natural way to get more people to connect with the river.
To learn more about this project and updates on completion visit the City of Edmonton website.
Remember, as users of the River we are responsible for its health and conservation. It’s important that we enjoy and use the river – this also means looking after it and making sure we can enjoy it in the years to come.