Grand River Rafting Gives Guided Canoe and Kayak Day Trips a Much Needed Facelift.

September 29, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Demand for guided wilderness canoe and kayak trips on the Grand River in Paris has become a tourism opportunity in Southern Ontario. Canoe guide services have often been weak. To add depth a new approach has been offered; floating classrooms with minimum paddling and maximum learning adventures.

Presently most guided canoe and kayak trips on the Grand River serve the purpose of getting customers safely down the river from start to finish. This is excellent for the beginner focused on navigating the river. But the guided day trips are weak in the hands-on interpretive wilderness experience.

Grand River Rafting has recognized a need to change the guiding services for the returning visitor. Returning customers often express a desire for a bigger wilderness learning experience; the guided “a” to “b” day trip lacks content depth. Unfortunately daytrip guides have specified traveling time frames, and the distance required restricts the time for content and teaching.

Grand River Rafting has chosen to shorten their canoe and kayak guided trips, the paddling time hour glass has been cut in half. The guided paddling day trips travel 8 kilometers or less in three to four hours. In replacement of the distance, the customer receives an enriched wilderness interpretative experience… a true learning adventure. These learning adventures not offer a river trip, but include a well rounded understanding of the Grand River Valley section they are paddling.

Hiring and recruiting of guiding staff is critical. Summer students are often limited in knowledge, there is not enough time to train and going beyond company recited scripts can be uncomfortable for students. Grand River Rafting has chosen to hire and work with knowledgeable local historian/interpretative staff with good communication skills as guides. They have created a true floating classroom with a solid teachers; one in which customers can return numerous times to paddle different section with different lessons.

The learning adventures offered cover native and settlement history in the Grand River Valley. Talks are given on birds, fish and wildlife, as well as visiting points of natural interest. There is the opportunity to learn tree identification as well as experience edible and medicinal plants. The trip is blended with history, science and geography as well as life stories and life values.

This new approach of using floating classrooms in lieu of the usual guided “a” to “b” day trips has branded Grand River Rafting as one of the best learning adventures presently offered in the Grand River Valley.