Our best summer adventure with the kids was definitely the day we spent with Grand River Rafting Company, floating along the Grand River. Kids of all ages – and adults of all ages – will love it. Here’s why.
More Adventures We Recommend
online booking for grand river rafting
Book your trip online, it is easy to do. I also loved that they have various cancellation policies due to weather, etc. so you can rest a little easier. You get a full refund if you cancel 48 hours before is reassuring. Booking a time slot allowed us to see how many other people had already booked during the time we were hoping to go.
Turns out they can host about 1000 visitors a day on the river! Crazy, because the Grand River is so wide and long that we rarely saw other groups.
Is It Safe For Kids To Raft The Grand River?
We had a group of eight: three adults and five children. We decided to go on a float down the Grand River. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d never done anything like this, nor had my kids, but I was the most novice of the crew. Let’s just say I rocked it. And I felt like a real rafter by the end of our float.
The kids in my group ranged in age from 10 to 15 years old. A friend of mine who also rafted this same route had their 8-year-old in his own raft and he was just fine.
Getting Ready For Our River Rafting Adventure
We chose to do the Paris to Brant 13 km tour through Grand River Rafting Company. You park at Brant Conservation Area and check in with the rafting company there. This is where you park, and it’s also your final stop on the river tour. After we were told some safety tips and other instructions, we boarded a school bus to drive us to the top of the 13 km trail in Paris.
Once we got to the launch point in Paris, we got our turbo tube paddles and picked up our inflatable rafts down at the water. This is also the place where you would ask for a tether. Use the tether to tie yourself to your friends so you always stay together, or use it to tie your kid’s rafts to yours so they don’t float away. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a tether, I highly suggest getting one just in case.
Grand River Rafting Was Our Best Adventure on Water Thus Far!
Once I flopped ever-so-gracefully into my Turbo Tube, we were on our way! We set sail at about 12:30 p.m. and the Grand River is absolutely gorgeous at midday! The sun twinkles off the water and the views are spectacular. We departed with a group of 20 people on a bus. The Grand River is very wide, so we didn’t encounter anyone else unless we decided to.
We had kids with us aged 10 to 14. My 10-year-old was the youngest and the best at paddling. The good thing is because of the slow current, you don’t actually have to paddle until the last 1 km. You could gather your friends or family and coast through the riverway for hours without having to paddle a single stroke.
The Guide told us to look for the natural springs with fresh, drinkable water. The springs were small, but we found them. You need to pull your boat over to the shore and have an empty water bottle ready for filling. What a wonderful way to be connected to mother nature.
There is also a picnic stop at about 11km in. There were tables, trash cans and a port-a-potty. We stopped at the shore to eat some snacks. You could also tether yourselves together and snack right on the water.
Already Booking Our Next Visit
We had an amazing river rafting adventure with my kids. We would like to go on another one before school starts again. Grand River Rafting Company offers an amazing experience for only $39.99 plus HST. You can spend over 5 hours with friends in beautiful nature. Have fun and make memories with Grand River Rafting Company.
Rafting Tips from a non-expert
- Sunscreen. There is absolutely zero shade on the river and the sun reflecting off the water will get ya!
- Prepare to get soaked. You’re sitting in water the whole time, but it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds.
- Bring or wear water shoes in case you need to get out and rescue your kids when they get stuck in shallow areas. Crocs, old runners, and water shoes all work.
- Food/water in waterproof containers/baggies. Our kids loved sharing snacks back and forth.
- Zipper bag for your cell phone and car keys, because they definitely will get very wet.
- Full change of clothes for afterwards so you’re comfortable driving home.
- Tether your kids, or at minimum take the tether rope when offered. We were out for 5 hours, so kids can get tired and we all know what a tired kid is like.
- We let our 5 kids float ahead but within sight, and we moms just floated and caught up on everything that had been happening. Kids loved the independence and they can’t really go anywhere. Plus, the water is only a couple of feet deep, so we felt safe. As always, you do you, and what makes you feel comfortable.
- We used Grand River Rafting to book our excursion. They’ve been around since 2006 and handled the entire experience so professionally. The equipment, lifejackets, and tour guides were amazing. No affiliation, just my recommendation.
More Ideas For Family Fun
We’ve been to so many cool places, and we’ve made it our mission to share all the fabulous locations we find with you. Whether you’re planning a day trip or looking for the best playgrounds, we’ve got your back. We are all about discovering the most amazing indoor play areas, farms and animal experiences, and a whole bunch of other visit-worthy local attractions. Check out our latest blog posts below to make sure you have an absolutely epic weekend!