When wanting to try kayaking in Southern Ontario, the question is where? A kayak trip on the Grand River watershed is a great choice for the beginner. Not only for safety, but for ignorance, scenery and availability.
The Grand is a shallow river with over 200 kilometers to kayak, plus another 200 kilometers of tribories. Because of its length, the river is within one hour of London, Waterloo, Hamilton and Toronto. Its location is ideal for being able to do a day's paddling adventure and still be home at night.
To be able to kayak through a forested wilderness section is an even larger draw. In the year 2000 the Grand River was recognized as the best-managed river in the world. With the conservation management of the watershed, wildlife has returned to the valley. There is an abundance of birds, fish and animals. Back are the bald eagles, osprey and beaver. In the river are schools of small mouth bass and rainbow trout. And what is always the highlight of a kayak trip is seeing some wildlife.
With the cleaning up of the river has come clarity of water. One can kayak and actually see fish, as well as numerous turtles sunning on rocks. But the best experience is being able to "bank" the kayak, getting out to swim. Swimming in a river is something few have done. There are no poisonous snakes … the biggest danger is lost fish hooks … so wearing shoes while swimming is advisable.
Because the Grand is in Southern Ontario, help for the novice kayak is never far away. There are very few sections without access for 911 emergency vehicles. There are bike-hike rail trails bordering one side of the river. There are numerous bridge crosses with roads or inhabited farms just off the river. But all this does not negate the need to always tell others where one is going.
The local Conservation Authority posts an amazing resource of current data about river temperatures, flow rates and any dangerous advisory conditions on the internet. This is a great tool for a novice to determine whether a trip on the river is safe to do. Simply typing in "grand river flow rates" will go to the website page of information.
On the Grand, beginners do not have to own a kayak to try kayaking. There are at least six companies offering rental kayaks. These companies are scattered along the Grand River from Kitchener down to the mouth at Lake Erie. Customer services ranges with price … one gets what one pays for. It is always wise to check customer reviews about the Grand River with "TripAdvisor" or other media services. Checking out a rental company online before making a reservation, reduces surprises.
The Grand River easily sees over 20,000 people a year. It is probably the number # 1 destination to kayak. Yet it still offers an amazing solitude. For the beginner, kayaking this near wilderness is icing on the cake. Knowing help is nearby and that the river is easy to do, gives every beginner that needed confidence and "peace of mind."
So if wanting to try the sport of kayaking … then the Grand River of Southern Ontario is definitely a door to knock on. For further information on Grand River kayak trips visit: http://www.grandriverrafting.ca/grand-river-kayak-trips-sup-toronto .