A Heritage Adventure is Waiting for You

The Grand River is Southern Ontario’s largest river, but is somehow overlooked by adventurers and paddlers alike. The Grand is easily accessible for canoeing and kayaking, flowing 300 km from its source in Caledon Hills to its mouth at Port Maitland on Lake Erie.

The Grand has been designated a Heritage River, flowing through the history of many of Southern Ontario’s cities and towns including Elora, Kitchener, Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, the Six Nations Native Reserve, Caledonia and Dunnville. With rare Carolinian forests on the banks of the river, the Grand has had a strong early effect on Canada’s cultural mosaic. Native settlements have been scattered alongside the Grand River for thousands of years, with Germans, Mennonites, Irish, and Scot settlers joining them in the Grand River Valley in the 1700’s.

Paddling down the Grand, it’s impossible to miss the impact this river has had on building up the communities in Southern Ontario, but the wilderness isn’t far off at all. We’ve spotted great blue herons, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. With 80% of Canada’s endangered or at-risk species living in the ecosystem, the slow and relaxing currents of the Grand will give you lots of opportunity to see what you can spot whether it’s in the water or up in the trees.

Although the Grand River can be seen in the background of cityscapes, it can also be found deep in heart of Ontario’s wilderness as well, with some places of the river moving through more than 20km of unbroken forest. While most of the river is a calm and relaxing paddle, there are swifts that keep the interest of even advanced paddlers.

The boats used for our expeditions down the Grand are specially equipped to handle the river, with both our Spirit Kayak and Grand Prospector Canoe being used most often.

Much like the rest of our fleet, the Spirit Kayak and the Grand Prospector are made for Canadians by Canadians. Our manufacturer may not focus on his branding, but his knowledge of Canadian waterways is second to known. As an expert paddler himself he understands the importance of quality material, so the boats are also manufactured with materials made in Paris, a community that sits on the Grand.

The Grand Prospector especially is one of the most popular styles of canoe and has great ease of use in both the calm and fast waters of the Grand. The boat has sharp entry lines for speed and ends that flare out for added stability. It is one of the best all-around canoes for our expeditions.

Much like the Prospector, the Spirit Kayak is very easy to handle in all types of water and with its flat-bottom and rounded hull geometry. This makes it great for the changing waters of the Grand River. While it is relatively light, it is also the toughest boat on the market and if you have done a Grand River trip with us before, it is likely that you were in this kayak.

While the Grand may be overlooked by paddlers across the province, Grand Experiences has more than 20 years of experience going down the river and that is shown in our immense knowledge of not only the history of this river, but also the equipment that we use. 

Take a trip with us today and try out one of these two boats. You’ll see what we mean about immense history and interesting wildlife when we’re paddling down the Grand.

As well, Grand Experiences is celebrating 20 years in business and to thank our customers we are offering a 20% discount when you book one of our trips early. Book your trip online today.