Looking for something to do in a canoe? Canoe the Grand River!
The Grand River meanders from the middle of nowhere somewhere south of Collingwood, through Fergus and Elora before passing through Waterloo Region on its way south into Lake Erie. It is one of the largest rivers in Southwestern Ontario and certainly worth a visit. The river’s rural character, ease of access and lack of portages make it a desirable canoeing location, especially the stretch through Waterloo Region between West Montrose and Paris. The Grand River Conservation Authority manages a number of conservation areas along the river.
One great way to visit the river is by renting a canoe, kayak or tube and riding the river’s gentle current south. For as long as I can remember, a company called Canoeing the Grand has been operating a boat rental and shuttle service that will deposit guest as far north as West Montrose (home of the Covered Bridge) for a leisurely adventure through Waterloo and Kitchener to their riverside office at Freeport.
The 38-kilometre route from West Montrose will take you as long as eight hours, depending on the water level and how hard you go at it. From Conestogo, the 28-kilometre route will take you seven hours and there are shorter routes from Kaufman Flats and Breslau that are perfect for most families.
I’ve done the Grand a couple of times, with canoes and with kayaks. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with nature. You can stop for a picnic, take a swim or even drop a line in the water and have a chance to catch your dinner. The gentle moving waters make it a safe and relaxing adventure, great for the whole family.
Further south, you may want to check out the Grand River Rafting Company
Have a paddle?
If you already have a boat and want to paddle with friends, maybe consider the Waterloo Wellington Canoe and Kayak Club