While the Grand River attracts paddlers and anglers from across the globe, if you think fishing or floating are the only ways to enjoy this Canadian Heritage River, you’re missing out on a whole heap of fun. Whatever way you prefer to enjoy your leisure time, this storied river offers the perfect backdrop for your next adventure. It’s also closer than you think. While most rustic riverside destinations require a long drive fighting cottage country traffic the whole way, two of the Grand River’s key access points, Brantford and Paris, are located just about an hour west of Toronto. Browse our menu of options below and build an escape filled with all the activities you love.


Find a New Way to Float Your Boat

The Grand River’s gentle currents and shallow depths make it a great destination for new paddlers to perfect their strokes and seasoned paddlers to try something new. Area outfitters offer all the gear you need, mapped routes and the option of expert guides for a wide range of canoe, kayak, rafting and stand-up paddle boarding experiences.


Give Fly a Try

The Grand River is a must-try destination for fly fishers and the good news is there’s no reason to feel intimidated by this more technical take on sinking a line. Outfitters like Grand River Rafting offer guided shore wading, spincast and driftboat trips on the Grand River.


Discover a More Relaxing Side of Retail in Canada’s Prettiest Town

The heritage buildings, cobblestone streets and unique boutiques make shopping in downtown Paris an experience that is miles apart from an afternoon at the mall. Be sure to plan a stop at The Paris Wincey Mills Co., a historic building that has been beautifully restored and is home to a wide range of vendors. Crafters will definitely want to set aside some time to browse the 10,000 square feet of knitting, quilting, sewing and crafting supplies at Mary Maxim’s retail outlet on Scott Avenue.


Celebrate the Grand River’s Cultural Connections

The Six Nations of the Grand River, which is Canada’s largest First Nations reserve, plays an incredibly important role in ensuring the history of this storied river that winds through their home lands lives on. The canoe has been a key mode of transportation over the years for the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora Nations that call the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory home. Area outfitters work closely with Six Nations partners to offer a wide range of paddling experiences that educate visitors to the area about First Nations history while they enjoy a day out on the water. Visit Chiefswood Mansion National Historic Sitethe childhood home of Mohawk Poetess, E. Pauline Johnson, that sits on the shores of the Grand River. While you’re there be sure to tour Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks. Built in 1785, this beautifully preserved National Historic Site is the oldest surviving church in Ontario and the last remaining building of the original Mohawk Village. The Woodland Cultural Centre’s Museum and Gallery are both also excellent options for learning more about the Grand River’s rich First Nations history. For the ultimate Six Nations experience on the banks of the Grand, time your visit to coincide with July’s Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow when over 400 dancers from across North America compete in colourful Pow Wow dancing and singing contests.


Wheel or Walk Your Way Along the Grand

Paddling isn’t the only way to explore the Grand River. Cycling or hiking the 14-kilometre SC Johnson Trail, which runs between Paris and Brantford, it another excellent way to take in some truly scenic Grand River vistas. This brochure will help you plan your route.


Enjoy a Meal with a Truly Grand View

Whether you’re looking for an après-paddle pint, a family-friendly feast or a romantic dinner for two, there are several options that serve up delicious food with a healthy side of Grand River scenery. 2 Rivers and Stillwaters! Plate & Pour are both great options. For the ultimate on-the-water dining experience, book a Grand River Dinner Cruise.

Stillwaters Plate and Pour


Sleep Under the Stars

Spend the night sleeping in a tent within a stone’s throw of the Grand River. Brant Park is nestled in a bend of the Grand River just a few minutes outside of Brantford. Rental canoes are available and for swimmers who prefer a pool, the park is home to a 1.25-acre pool with a splash pad area and large deck for lounging.


Step Back in Time

History lovers and antique hunters will have no trouble finding ways to spend a few days exploring the communities located along the Grand River. From having afternoon tea in the childhood home of Alexander Graham Bell, to exploring the Myrtleville House Museum to shopping for vintage finds at Maus Park Antiques in Paris, there are endless ways to fuel your love for days gone by.


Golf on the Grand

If you’d like to experience Grand River views with a golf club in your hand instead of a paddle or a fishing rod, Brantford Golf and Country Club is the course to add to your list. PGA veteran, David Hearn, who still plays the course quite regularly, has called the course a great test that “uses your whole bag.” Golf course critic, Marc Saltzman, has called the course spectacular and ranked it within the province’s top 20. Ian Andrew, a member of the American Society of Golf Architects, offered high praise for the course when he said it had the best set of par threes in Ontario.


Enjoy More Grand River Adventures for Less

It’s never been easier to get the inside scoop on great deals for attractions, activities and dining for your next Grand River escape. Don’t forget to tag your Grand River social media shares with #PaddleTheGrand, #NatureUnexpected and #HamiltonHaltonBrant so we can see all the fun you find!

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

May 4 - October 20

Tandem Kayak Trips on the Grand River

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

May 18 - September 22

The Family Super Board Trip

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

Now thru May 17

Upper Nith River Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Now thru November 24

The Grand Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

June 14 - September 13

Sunset Social Paddles

Burlington Beach Rentals

1084 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, L7S1A2

2019 Dates; Friday, June 14th; Friday, July 19; Friday; August 16; Saturday, September 14. 2-...

May 26 - September 7

Mindful Paddle & Floating Meditation

Burlington Beach Rentals

1084 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, L7S1A2

Variety of Dates available between our Burlington beach & Binbrook Conservation location. 60 min's -...

Now thru December 29

A Winter’s Night in Paris Culinary Experience

Arlington Hotel

106 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M5

Based on standard rooms only. Rooms are subject to availability. Reservations required to the Arlington...

Now thru December 15

Ridge Road Wine Tour

Wine Tours Toronto

550 Eglinton Ave. W. Toronto, ON Canada

Saturday tours with 3 pick up locations. 9:30 am from Toronto, 10 am from Oakville,...

Now thru November 19

Weekend in Paris Adventure

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

April 27 - November 16

A Day of Play

Six Nations Tourism

2498 Chiefswood Road, Ohsweken, ON, N0A 1M0

Similar Stories View All >>

Indoor Activities in Hamilton

Hamilton is perfect for an outing with friends, a weekend getaway or some family fun!

Read More

The Best of Spring: Six Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors

The definitive spring guide to fresh air forays.

Read More

Discover Even More Cool Claims to Fame

The list of our region’s claims to fame keeps growing.

Read More

Hamilton is Having a Moment

Top travel writers hit the Hamilton scene.

Read More

Let Fly in Hamilton Halton Brant

Why birdwatchers flock to these six hotspots.

Read More

A Montrealer’s Guide to a City of Culture

A travel writer explores the culinary, heritage and cultural scene in Hamilton.

Read More

The Winter Guide to Outside

Chilly thrills for the whole family!

Read More

5 Taste and Tour Ideas for Exploring Hamilton’s Craft Breweries

Sample the brewer’s craft at the source, with welcoming taprooms, retail outlets and tour-friendly facilities.

Read More

10 Reasons to Explore the Craft Breweries of Brant County

Ten reasons to “hop(s)” to it in Brant.

Read More

3 ways to sample local brews in Halton

Head to Burlington, Oakville and Milton for your ‘beer-cation.’

Read More

10 Tips For An Amazing Day At African Lion Safari

Waterfall Trip Ancient Gorge

Travel east to explore the Bruce Trail, Niagara Escarpment landscapes, the Waterfront Trail and Lake Ontario lookouts on this two-day trek.

Read More

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.