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“Can I canoe you up the river” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Canoe

Blue Canoe
Sundance Mall | 215 Banff Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta T1L 1B5, Canada
(403) 760-7629
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Owner description: Blue Canoe is a must visit for locals and visitors alike, we offer Canoe, Kayak, Cruiser Bike rentals and guided Voyager Canoe tours everyday of summer. A 5 min walk form Banff Ave, come down to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bow River. Ice cream and refreshments available - the experience on the water? Just read our reviews.
Biggar, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
536 reviews 536 reviews
194 attraction reviews
Reviews in 199 cities Reviews in 199 cities
578 helpful votes 578 helpful votes
“Can I canoe you up the river”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

Firstly how to get there - from Banff Avenue (near the Tourist Info Office) head down Wolf Street towards the Bow River and at the end of the road there is parking for the Blue Canoe office (staff were quick to check that we weren‘t just parking there for other reasons!).

No booking was required and when we visited at 10.00am mid-week at the end of September it was quiet. I have canoed before but only a handful of times and not recently whereas my wife had never been canoeing at all so it had the hallmarks of an interesting trip! The staff were very friendly and gave a brief introduction whilst kitting us out with lifejackets, paddles and getting a two-man canoe organised by the jetty. Assistance was given to board and within a minute or two we were off with the sound advice to head upstream in our ears (the Bow Falls are further downstream!). It made me think of a phrase my late Dad used to come out with now and then - "can I canoe you up the river" (I've since discovered on the internet it was a popular song) or the more common phrase used by many about being up a creek without a paddle!

Thankfully we had wrapped up well because out on the river it was even colder than it had been onshore although we quickly warmed up when paddling. The river is wide at this area and progress for us was quite slow against the current - the question did arise from my wife, is anyone steering?

There are a couple of route options - take a right shortly after leaving the dock and head towards Vermillion Lakes or just head up the main course of the Bow River. The Vermillion Lakes route is apparently easier however with me as “captain” we missed the turnoff…oh well. One of the staff who had just returned from an escorted tour on the Bow River route had indicated that they had spotted wildlife near the riverbank so we were on the lookout.

You are also able to take in the lovely scenery around which of course has an added attraction when you feel you are in the great outdoors. We came across a few other canoes in our travels but not many and you generally feel you could be miles from anywhere - without actually being miles from anywhere!

We had only hired the canoe for an hour (CAN$35.70 inc tax) so we managed to get upstream round a few bends before it was time to turn around. En route we had to avoid a few sandbanks and submerged logs close to shore and no thanks to my steering narrowly avoid a few fallen trees but it was all good fun. However the trip was further rewarded with the sight of a deer calmly grazing by the riverbank. Going back was much easier downstream and by then we had kind of got the hang of things - we made it back safely!

Tip:- keep your camera handy, it’s not so easy when your sitting, balancing in a canoe, to retrieve it from deep pockets.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

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English first
UK
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Great for the inexperienced, seniors and kids”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

I took the voyageur canoe tour where an experienced guide controls the canoe whilst the tourists have a go at paddling! It was fun and a great introduction to canoeing. We had no singing on our trip and it was for less than the advertised time but still we canoed say 1km down the river and saw an elk. It cost 40dollars a person. However having done this I would recommend everyone to hire a canoe and enjoy a river or lake whilst here. Apparently it takes just 15mins to canoe from here to Vermilion Lakes and that woul be a good trip.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Something I always enjoy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

If you're with another person, this is always something I recommend. Fair price. Good chance of seeing wildlife... but most of all, different and not crowded.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Voyageur Blue Canoe”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

Thanks you Andrea for the wonderful storytelling at the voyageur canoeing.
< http://youtu.be/zic_j5ZntxY?hd=1 >

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Singing down the river!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

We went our on the Voyageur canoe trip, a group of about 12 with a guide. It was a really fun introduction for the less canoe-confident (totally suitable for the less able/children as well) and you also benefitted from the informative guide. Participation in the Voyageur songs and actions were encourages, and with a group with a good sense of hunour, we had a great trip!

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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