The “unusual debris” was found on the southbound carriageway of the motorway between junctions 30 and 29a in Derbyshire on Sunday morning.
Highways England said traffic was held briefly while the red canoe was cleared from the road.
It tweeted: “#M1 southbound J30 - J29A. Unusual debris this morning... take care in the area. Our #TrafficOfficers are heading to the scene to clear...
“1 canoe now cleared from outside lane after short hold of traffic... safe onward journey.”