A Grand River moonlight paddle offers the opportunity to experience a river at night. There is something mystical about drifting through the mist of silence on a moon lit highway of water. People are amazed at how well they can see. And their sense of sound increases acutely. There is something different about peering out and experiencing darkness.
With night on a river comes an amazing world of activity. There are fish splashing as they feed in the darkness. There are the ripple lines of swimming beaver and the explosion of their tails… the snort of alarmed deer… the dinosaur gawking of the Great Blue Herons hunting the shores. Then there is the endless chorus of crickets, frogs and toads creating a symphony into the night. But the highlight is the howl of coyotes or hooting owls echoing down the corridors of the valley.
This is a world of silhouettes where a river paddled during the day becomes a totally different place at night… where daytime silence is replaced by sound. The paddling experience is soothing but eerie… and it does something to the soul.
The best way for the novice paddler to experience a moonlight paddle is in the safety of a raft. These guided rafts are stable and dry… allowing anyone of any size, age or agility to safely participate. For those experienced in a canoe or kayak… a guided moonlight paddle with local guides is an exhilarating experience in a wilderness of beauty.
These trips are offered in Paris Ontario about one hour west of Toronto just off the 403 highway. The moonlight paddles often start around 8-8:30 pm and move into the night. The trips are 2-3 hours long and cover a distance of about 10 kilometers. Rafting costs are $40 per person and include guide, all rafting equipment and shuttle ride. For those wishing to do a moonlight guided kayak or canoe paddle… prices vary from $30/person with ones own equipment to $70/person for those requiring equipment.
For those wishing overnight accommodations on the Grand River there is the beautifully restored Arlington Hotel in Paris. For those wishing a country side experience there is the River Ridge Bed & Breakfast with an excellent gourmet breakfast and outdoor hot tub overlooking the valley. To camp nearby there are private secluded campsites available right on the river or there is the Pinehurst Grand River Conservation Campsites as well as the Brant Park Campsites. For more information or reservations on moonlight paddles, accommodations or restaurants contact the Grand River Rafting Company near Paris, Ontario.