Looking for a fun getaway with the gang? Why not learn something new while you’re at it. Local outfitters offer a range of unique experiences on the Grand River including stand-up paddle board lessons and paddling excursions combined with photography workshops, yoga classes, edible plant hikes and more.

Read all about Diana’s rafting trip and edible plant hike along the Grand River from her blog Toronto Teacher Mom below.


GRAND RIVER RAFTING, HAMILTON HALTON BRANT

DIANA – After a lovely lunch at The Bell Homestead Cafe in Brantford, my friend and I headed over to the next location on our itinerary – Paris, Ontario for a complimentary guided tour of the Grand River with the Grand River Rafting Company. Initially, we had been looking forward to a canoe trip but when we arrived, we noticed they had brought rafts instead. I was a little disappointed at first but ten minutes into the tour with our amazing guide, I realized how much more fun it was to share a raft with my friend and learn so much about the area from Garth Pottruff, the owner of Grand River Rafting Co. and the recently acquired Heritage River Canoe and Kayak Co.

Wearing my Paris cap (from my honeymoon in France) and a life jacket supplied by Grand River Rafting Co., we loaded up our paddles, cooler and personal belongings onto a hefty and virtually unflippable (is that even word?) raft. Initially, I wanted to bring the kids with me but wasn’t sure how safe it would be seeing as none of us are very strong swimmers. Being in the raft it became clear that this was the perfect trip for families with kids both young and old. Garth told us that he’s even taken children as young as two on rafting trips. Given that the water throughout most of this trip is quite shallow with a few gentle rapids, I felt more assured that I could bring my kids on a future trip and not have to worry so much about their safety.

I have to say that, from a teacher’s standpoint, this guided tour along the Grand River is so worth it simply for its educational value alone. Garth, who happens to be an arborist and an outdoor education teacher for First Nations, is a wealth of information and taught us about the local wildlife and aboriginal history. It had rained most of the day and my friend and I worried that it would rain during our trip, too, but after speaking to Garth, he reassured us that it would be the perfect afternoon for a rafting trip. And he was right! Of course, his weather predictions have only be incorrect twice in the past several years so clearly the man knows what he’s talking about.

Along our trip, we came across turtles, blue herons and other beautiful wildlife that offered up some great photo opps.

At one point, we stopped off at a natural spring, emptied our water bottles and filled them up with refreshing water straight from Mother Nature’s tap.

We also stopped off at a gypsum mine that had opened in the 1830’s and later closed in 1910. It was really dark and damp but nonetheless pretty cool to see up close.

Shortly afterwards, we took another break from rafting and pulled up along the riverbank to head out on a hike in the woods. We learned about the stinging nettle and how it has been used for joint ailments and as an astringent. We also learned about burdock and its antihistamine-like effects. And we got to smell skunk cabbage. (I’ll let that one speak for itself.)

Throughout our hike, we learned about the different trees and about First Nations as well. We ended up at a beautiful lookout point before heading back to our raft.

As we were nearing the end of our rafting trip, Garth called up one of the other guides to meet us at their private camp grounds, which are available for corporate picnics or family camping trips. They loaded up the rafting gear on the trailer and we hopped into the truck to make our way back to Bean Park. Our trusty Infiniti was there waiting for us to continue on our VIP Guest Drive and make our way over to the Old School Restaurant for dinner. We certainly had worked up an appetite after our 3.5 hour trip along the Grand River!

I would like to personally thank Garth Pottruff of Grand River Rafting Company for providing us with an enlightening, humourous and truly enjoyable experience along the Grand River. This was my first rafting experience and undoubtedly not the last. I look forward to bringing my family back soon!

 

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Experiences & Tours View All >>

Now thru November 28

Grand River Valley Hiking

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

This trip is offered on: Everyday, Saturdays by request Between: May 1, 2022 and Nov...

Now thru October 26

Youth Arts Collective: Art-Making

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

November 12 - December 17

Art of Bonsai

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West, Burlington, ON, L7T 4H4

Every week on Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm from November 12, 2022 until...

Now thru December 22

Nith River Forest Hiking Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

This trip is offered daily.

Now thru October 1, 2022

A Day by The Grand – Paddle, Taste & Tour

Tasty Road Trips Food Tours

Paris, Ontario

Visit our website to check availability.

Now thru October 30

Harvest Weekends at Springridge Farms

Springridge Farm

7256 Bell School Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Now thru November 21

Grand Voyageur

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

This trip is offered on: Daily, Between: Jan 20, 2022 and Nov 21, 2022

Now thru November 27

Cambridge to Paris Grand River Day Trip – Self-Guided

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

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

This trip is offered on: Sat Sun Between: Oct 30, 2021 and Nov 27, 2022

Now thru June 1

FREE Downtown Hamilton Walking Tour

Tour Guys

36 Hunter St. E., Hamilton, ON L8N 3W8

Now thru October 2

Paddle the Beast!

Grand River Rafting Company

119 Jennings Rd, Brantford (Brant Conservation Area)

Now thru November 30

Camping at Valens Lake

Valens Lake Conservation Area

1691 Regional Road 97, Flamborough, ON, N1R 5S7

Now thru October 31

Apple Picking At Chudleigh’s Farm 2022

Chudleigh’s Entertainment Farm

9528 HWY 25, Halton Hills, ON, L9T 2X7

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