Home / Adventure / A Paddlers’ Personal Paradise: Murtle Lake, BC

A Paddlers’ Personal Paradise: Murtle Lake, BC

By Naomi Osborn (Ms. Adventure)

Murtle Lake is North America’s largest kayak-and-canoe-only lake. I like that. It’s quieter. It’s safer. It’s cleaner. It’s a little brag-worthy. 🙂

It’s more than that.

Canoeing is to me like slipping into a sanctuary; in pushing off from the shore I can almost feel all the cares and worries wash off my face and drop into perspective below in the deep water.

Life is simplified. Meditation feels easy. Hard work is good. Food tastes better.

Murtle Lake, BC

We were a bit nervous at first about this trip, though.

After all, the ratio was 2 adults, 3 teenagers, and 4 kids.

There were three canoes, three tents, three nights, three hot dinners to make, three duffle bags jammed full of food and kitchen items alone, and three teenagers with trusting parents waiting for them at home.

It's all going to be worth it...
It’s all going to be worth it…

Just one portage and then it’s plain sailing paddling!

It's just 2.5 KM...
It’s just 2.5 KM…

We had paddled just 1.6 KM the first day when we pulled off to the first group site; a storm had billowed up and the lake was choppy. None of us had slept more than 3 hours the previous night, so we just cuddled up and pretended we were Voyageurs under our canoes for the afternoon.

Hunkered down under the canoes.
Hunkered down under the canoes.

The next day was still peeping around clouds and sighing wind over the waves, but we went 20.5 KM that day.

Eagle Point beach.

Fresh fried fish and sushi for dinner! And then, for those bold enough to venture not just from city’s shelter, but from the cozy warmth of a well-earned sleeping bag (not me), an endlessly starry sky to feast upon (apparently).


Mmm, fresh trout sushi.
Mmm, fresh trout sushi.

Saturday bloomed beautifully over the glassy mirror of the lake. At the north end of the lake, Murtle Beach, an earnest committee of hungry mosquitoes welcomed us as we celebrated our trip’s halfway point.


While the mozzies snacked on us, we snacked on handfuls of these little wilderness candies:

Wild blueberries, yum!
Wild blueberries, yum!

After paddling 23 KM, we made it back to the south end of the lake. Pizza night!

Deconstructed trail pizza.
Deconstructed trail pizza.

Click here for the recipe! Deconstructed Pizza.

Some pizzas turned out better than others...
Some pizzas turned out better than others…

See that photo below? This is real beauty.

Sunset, Murtle Lake, BC

Sunday was a leisurely 8 KM back to the launching site, the three food bags emptied, three garbage bags filled, and all the kids accounted for.

While not as carefree as it would have been had we traipsed the lake alone, every ache in my arms felt good, even after all the laundry was done.

Thank you to my kids, especially the oldest, who can now paddle with Daddy in her own canoe. Well done!

Thank you to my other three for enjoying the ride and eating an impressive amount of candy and berries.

Thank you to G, M, and N for joining our family and willingly pulling their own weight at the paddle, portage, tent pitching, and pots and pans!

M – thank you for a perfectly spiced, perfectly crisped trout treat!

G – that portage out was really something. Thank you.

N – Thanks for all the quiet quips! (And for not losing your toe.)

Camp cooking team, Murtle Lake, BC

Thank you, too, to the Murtle Lake Park Operators! The campsites are beautifully appointed and idyllically rustic, and the speedboat regularly coming by was a peace of mind for this mama!

Thank you for oohing and aahing over our daughter’s catch!

OOooo I can’t wait to show my granddad this!

Our route and camping sites.

Our route and campsites: Night 1: Site 2 Murtle Lagoon South. Plenty of sites. Night 2: Site 17, Eagle Point. Beautiful beach. Great fishing! Night 3: Site 20, Strait Creek. Pretty crowded!
Our route and campsites:
Night 1: Site 2 Murtle Lagoon South. Plenty of sites.
Night 2: Site 17, Eagle Point. Beautiful beach. Great fishing!
Night 3: Site 20, Strait Creek. Pretty crowded.


Eagle Point, Murtle Lake, BC
Eagle Point, Murtle Lake, BC


Check Also

The Jump – How to tell a very short story with video

Last weekend the family was out skating and playing out on a frozen pond in …


  1. Wow! Truly a beautiful place!!!
    Thank you SO much for taking Nethaneel.
    What a fabulous experience for all the kiddos.!!!
    I wasn't worried about my Nethaneel at all. I knew he was in good hands. Smile.
    And I am glad he kept his toe too.
    Thank you, thank you!
    You guys were very brave.

  2. This is a great lake! We did five days on it last September and really look forward to going back again.

  3. Thanks Karen! He was a blast to take with us! Yah, that toe needed some attention. Did he tell you how it happened?

  4. Whoa, you had me at sushi! You guys know how to pack, fish, and eat! So impressed!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *