Horned Owl Kayaks
Kayak rentals on the Seine River in Grande Pointe, Manitoba
It's winter; the river is frozen. See you in spring!
A relaxing natural journey
While there are many beautiful natural places in Manitoba, many people overlook the beauty of small rivers like the Seine. On the Seine, you're close to both riverbanks, increasing the chance of spotting wildlife, and the slow current makes for a relaxing paddle.
Spot river wildlife
Beavers, great horned owls, painted turtles, belted kingfishers, and wood ducks are among the animals you can spot along the Seine River. Kayaks allow you to approach wildlife very quietly, allowing you to get closer than you could otherwise.
A beaver grooming itself
They sun on logs and dive in if you get too close!
Great Horned Owl
They're pretty well camouflaged sitting in the trees but will swoop over the river.
How does it work?
Horned Owl Kayaks will meet you at the launch point and provide you with the kayak, paddle, and life jacket, right where you'll get into the water. You don't need to figure out how to haul kayaks in your car; just show up!
We have a set course down the river that will take 1-2 hours of paddling to reach the end, then 1-2 hours of paddling back to the start point (2-4 hours round-trip).
When you've returned to the launch point, just leave equipment there and be on your way.
Kayak Rental Only
A kayak, a paddle, and a life jacket for 4 hours.
One kayak: $25 donation
Additional kayaks: $10 donation each
(Max 3 adult kayaks and 1 children's kayak available for rental)
We'll teach you to kayak, go with you, and point out wildlife and other interesting things (around 3 hours).
(Max 2 adult kayaks and 1 children's kayak available for guided tour)
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the kayak pick-up and return point?
North end of the north parking lot of Grande Pointe Park (by the mailboxes). Grande Pointe is 10km southeast of Winnipeg on Highway 59.
How far can I go? How long does it take?
To paddle from the Grande Pointe Park downstream to the northern end of the Seine River in Grande Pointe (where it approaches the floodway) and back will take 2-4 hours. You are of course free to not paddle the entire length (but you gotta bring your kayak back to the park!).
There is additionally a short upstream portion that will take you through the wooded area of Grande Pointe Park. This will take 30 minutes return.
Some people choose to "float" downstream and then paddle back; this is dependent on the current. If you wish to do this, please let us know and we can provide an time estimate and turn-around point based on current conditions.
When is the best time to see wildlife?
Different animals will be out at different times of the year, different times of the day, and in different weather. Turtles like to take in the heat, so they'll be out in the middle of the day when it's sunny. Ducks (with ducklings!) will be common in the late spring. Evenings can be nice, but mosquitos can be a problem if it's warm and calm.
How many kayaks can I rent?
We have 3 adult kayaks and 1 children's kayak available for rent. If you book a guided tour, we've got to use one of them, so maximum of 2 adult kayaks for guided tours.
What kinds/sizes are your kayaks?
The adult kayaks are 10/11 foot "sit-inside" kayaks that will fit teens and adults. They have adjustable footrests for users of different heights. Children can use them, but may have a bit of difficulty getting the paddle in the water without bumping their fingers on the side of the kayak.
The children's kayak is a 6 foot "sit-on-top" kayak and has a maximum weight of 100 lbs. Due to the design of this kind of kayak, it's expected that the seat will get wet, so this kayak is only recommended for warm weather.
Do you have any tandem kayaks?
No, all our kayaks are singles.
Can you get more kayaks for a larger group?
No, we don't have any additional kayaks available, but if you borrow or rent additional ones from somewhere else and bring them, you are free to use them.
Can I rent your kayaks and bring them somewhere else?
No, we only provide the kayaks for use on the Seine River in Grande Pointe.
Isn't the river dirty?
As the river crosses the prairie, it picks up mud, which gives it its brown colour. This colour does not mean it is polluted or unsafe to kayak on.
Is kayaking hard or dangerous?
Kayaking the Seine does not require a high degree of effort or skill. The current is slow and there are no rapids to traverse. There will sometimes be obstacles such as fallen trees you will need to navigate around. Realistically, the worst that can happen is your kayak tips over.
What happens if I fall in?
Our adult kayaks are sit-in, but you are not enclosed in them; it's easy to slide out if you tip over. The children's kayak is sit-on-top.
You are provided with life jackets, so if you tip over in water deep enough that you can't touch the riverbed, you'll need to swim your kayak to the bank, dump the water out (for sit-ins) and get on again. You'll get wet and muddy, but it's not dangerous.
Is it hard to paddle upstream?
The current in the Seine is very slow. Going against the current will be a little slower than going with it, but definitely not hard.
Is it hard to paddle against the wind?
The river banks are mostly treed so the wind has minimal effect on your speed. Some of the more open portions may be more difficult on a very windy day.
Will the way be blocked by fallen trees and branches?
Due to erosion, sometimes trees will fall across the river and can block your way. In this case, you just need to go to the riverbank, disembark from your kayak, portage around the obstacle, and put yourself back in. This isn't terribly hard, but you might get muddy. Horned Owl Kayaks will attempt to keep the river clear, and you can read our River Reports for current conditions.
What should I wear and bring?
Clothes and shoes/sandals you don't mind getting wet, a hat and sunscreen (if sunny), bug spray, a filled water bottle, a waterproof container for your phone.
What if there's inclement weather?
Give us a call more than 3 hours before your booking and we can reschedule.
What is your relationship with the charities you list?
We do not have an official relationship with any charity. We just chose to make donating to these charities the "payment" for the kayak rental. We want to let people experience the nature of the area while supporting organizations who help protect it.