Toronto’s Backyard Canoeing, On Your Front Door!

August 28, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
In the year 2000, the Grand River won a national award for the best managed river in the world… those are bragging rights worth exploring. The clarity of the water invites you to swim and there are cascading springs to drink. It is hard to believe this is southern Ontario.

With the restored waters, have come rainbow & brown trout, smallmouth bass, pickerel, pike… over 80 species of fish. And hovering above is the bald eagle, osprey and stalking blue herons. There are no moose… but there are deer, beaver, coyotes, mink, turkeys and otter. The Carolinian forest along this river has more specimens of plants and wildlife then anywhere else in Canada. A “nature smorgasbord” sitting unnoticed right at our very back door.

The area is steeped in history… the Attawandarons… the Hurons… the Ojibwa… and the Iroquois have all passed through these waters. The Europeans almost destroyed the valley with their conquest… but with them came a different history. Paddle through a place of lost hopes and found dreams. There are old gypsum mines… the Grand River Navigation Company… abandoned railway lines… grist mills and dams.

As you paddle the Grand River, towering pines and majestic Carolinian hardwoods rule the shore. Lush groves of willow, cottonwood and sycamores braid the river with islands.

The Grand River drops over a thousand feet between its source and Brantford. It is a flow of swifts and pools… and portages are minimum. The natural flooding levels of the Grand have preserved its pristine conditions. Below Brantford, the last 70 miles of the river becomes a wandering Mississippi with a 50 ft. elevation drop. The Grand is like two rivers in one… quick on the top, slow on the bottom

What is also unique about Grand River canoeing is that you don’t need the 40 kg food pack… you can replenish food & water at villages along the way. There are some campsites… but in other places you spend a “print-less” night along the shores.

An excellent “day paddle” is the run from Glen Morris to the Brant Park Conservation Area… with one portage and a 6 hour paddle. If you bring your canoe or kayak… the “Grand River Rafting Company” does shuttle services upstream. Grand River Rafting also specializes in guided canoe trips where you learn about the plants, native history and wildlife of the valley. So whether you choose a guided Grand River canoe trip or self-guided… this is the perfect river for the beginner or the experienced.

For those that would like to canoe but prefer a softer approach… the Grand River offers hotels and B&BS along the way. In fact the River Ridge Bed & Breakfast in Paris, Ontario has a package where you can paddle the Grand… pull your canoe up and walk to the B&B for the night… and then paddle on down the next day.

If you’re interested in experiencing the Grand River Valley… this is your invitation to attend.