Canoe Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old canoe quotes, canoe sayings, and canoe proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


With one foot in the canoe, and one foot on shore, you are sure to fall into the river.     

Tuscarora proverb

A canoe does not know who is king. When it turns over, everyone gets wet.     

Malagasy Proverb

Canoes, too, are unobtrusive; they don't storm the natural world or ride over it, but drift in upon it as a part of its own silence. As you either care about what the land is or not, so do you like or dislike quiet things--sailboats, or rainy green mornings in foreign places, or a grazing herd, or the ruins of old monasteries in the mountains. . . . Chances for being quiet nowadays are limited.     

John Graves

As one goes through life, one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move.     

Katharine Hepburn

The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness, and of a freedom almost forgotten.     

Sigurd F. Olson

Paddling a canoe is a source of enrichment and inner renewal.     

Pierre Trudeau

Refuse to accept the belief that your professional relevance, career success or financial security turns on the next update on the latest technology. Sometimes it's good to put the paddle down and just let the canoe glide.     

Simon Mainwaring

Women are like canoes, full of soup. At first everyone is suspicious but then everyone wants one.     

Dylan Moran

Voyager upon life's sea, To yourself be true, And whatever your lot may be, Paddle your own canoe.     

Sarah T. Bolton

There's no mastery to be had. You love the attempt. You don't master a story any more than you master a river. You feel lucky to canoe down it.     

Garrison Keillor

The rule of the universe is that others can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and one can paddle every canoe except one's own.     

C.S Lewis

Travel by canoe is not a necessity, and will nevermore be the most efficient way to get from one region to another, or even from one lake to another anywhere. A canoe trip has become simply a rite of oneness with certain terrain, a diversion off the field, an art performed not because it is a necessity but because there is value in the art itself.     

John McPhee

A family, like a canoe, must be steered or paddled, or it won't take you where you want to go     

William J Doherty

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.     

Pierre Trudeau

Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe.     

Henry David Thoreau

Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe - you can't take a taxi.     

Alan Alda

You can't fire a cannon, from a canoe!     

Charles Poliquin

Every man paddles his own canoe.     

Frederick Marryat

So long as we think dugout canoes are the only possibility-all that is real or can be real-we will never see the ship, we will never feel the free wind blow.     

Sonia Johnson