Grand River - Cambridge to Paris

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Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Admin
Trip Date : 
Route Author: 
Unknown
Additional Route Information
Distance: 
20 km
Duration: 
1 days
Loop Trip: 
No
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
0
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
0 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Novice
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Portaging: 
Not applicable
Remoteness: 
Novice
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Put in on the east side of the river on hwy 24 at the GTO Gas Bar just south of Cambridge. Parking is available in rail trail parking lot.
Go south (left) on the river.
1st bridge is at Shepps Subdivision
2nd bridge is at Glen Morris your 1/2 way point
Take out is under the CNR railway bridge on the east (left) side of the river in Paris.

Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Notes were taken during the low water paddling seasons of 1998 and 1999.

Between Cambridge and Glen Morris it is a fairly flat paddle with a few riffles. Use your own judgment on islands as the worst case is shallow water.

Two kilometers upriver of Glen Morris, you will encounter a rock ledge across the river. You may want to walk your canoe through here. In higher water this area has some great standing waves.

At the Glen Morris bridge stay right of the islands under the bridge. Once past here stay left of the islands all the way to Paris.

At Spottiswood Bluffs you will encounter the fastest water of the trip. This is a big bend in the river with a good drop in elevation. Stay 10 ft.-12 ft. off the right bank and follow the river. You should have no problem. Usually there are some nice standing waves at the bottom of this drop.

15 minutes below the bluffs is another island. Go left around it and you will see more fast water. Stay approximately 10 ft.off the left bank of the river and you should be able to see the channel through here. Stay away from the right side of the river here in low water.

After you have past the old bridge abutments, there is another big s bend. Try to stay mid stream here as the rock, a few feet from the left bank, eats more canoes than any other rock on the river.

As you approach Paris, by the golf course on the right bank, it is very shallow with no channel. Once through this shallow area the river deepens from the ponding effect of the dam. The take out is under the train bridge on the left side of the river. Do not paddle past the bridge, as the dam is just downriver.

The Cambridge - Paris rail trail runs along the east bank of the river.

Frequently seen wildlife includes deer, raccoons, fox, beaver, muskrat and mink. Common birds are Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Osprey and Turkey Vultures.

Brian Gill

Other
Special Comments: 

A fun filled day paddle with a variety of water scenarios. You are also paddling a Canadian Heritage River lined with Carolinian Forests.

Comments

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

we did Paris to Brantford
at the peak water level from what hurricane Isabelle had dumped last Sept. and stayed at the Brant Conservation area that night. Good trip, tame water..........

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

Be careful about using "Grand Experiences" outfitter service. On Oct.31/2004 their shuttle was a no-show and we were stranded at the end of our canoe trip.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

Just a follow up to the comment on the "Grand Experiences" outfitter in Paris. We used their shuttle service this weekend (May 23/2005) and we thought they were excellent. I would have no trouble recommending them.

Post date: Tue, 02/03/2009 - 20:04

Comments: 

Watch for the rock with water bubbling up out of it near the east side of the river. It's a natural fountain. The only place I've ever seen such a thing.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

1 good I bad; 50% chance of getting picked up is not excellent!

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

Did the trip May 18,06. Lots of water and very cold. River about 2 feet above normal. Lots of fun but saw a lot of canoes that had over turned. PS Please watch the damn in Paris they removed a body from there 2 days ago. They didn't see the sign.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Comments: 

A group of us paddled this route the last weekend of May/06- Excellent route, very fun swifts, particularly the sets below Glen Morris.
FYI our experience using "Grand Experiences" turned out to be a very "Interesting Experience" starting first with them trying to overcharge us for the kayak shuttle by $5.00 each - it was caught and fixed. However, We found them to be extremely disorganized, there was no clear direction on where to load our owned boats, or were to meet the shuttle to go to cambridge until we asked several times, then the shuttle was supposed to leave at 11:30am- 45 minutes later they actually showed up, then when we got to the site they didn't have the boats sprayskirts etc that we rented on the trailer,. So yet another 30 minute wait at cambridge to get rental boats. All they said was a meek sorry and that we had to make sure the rental boats were back by 6pm when they closed- What the fruitbat? they have made us over 2 hours late to start this paddle and have the nerve to tell us to be on time? I don't think client service is a a priority for them. One of the renters is planning to talk to them to see if we can get any resolution for their tardiness and boat mix up's. I will post if they do fix it. If not, then this is something that future customers might want to be aware of.
Happy paddling!!

Name: - Email
Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00

Email: 
Comments: 

The rivers great!! But "Grand Experiences" dropped our canoe off the shuttle,ouch,............ yep but got a free shuttle later the year. Great service, I would go back.

Post date: Sun, 10/18/2009 - 00:41

Comments: 

This is a great river to paddle no matter who you are. I have paddled from Elora down to Brantford and have enjoyed every section. If you are not happy with Grand Experiences than try some of the other outfitter just like me. The 2 I use depending on what I want to do are "the heritage river canoe and kayak company" (www.heritage river.com)and "grand river rafting company" (www.grandriverrafting.ca)I chose these ones as they are both establishe reliable companies that are close to where I live. They are not the only 2 options though. In Elora there are some outfitter that do trips in the gorge itself as well as the GRCA rents out tubes and provides a shuttle service (great for the family). Further down in Kitchener you have canoeing the grand (www.canoeingthegrand.com) lunaticadventures (www.lunaticadventures.com) treks in the wild (www.treksinthewild.com) blue heron rafting (www.blueheronrafting.com) grand river kayak (www.grandriverkayak.com)

if you have any questions feel free to drop me an e-mail

Post date: Thu, 08/06/2009 - 00:10

Comments: 

Try Lunatic Adventures..small outfitting company out of St. George and a dynamite staff!!!!!! Can't say enough about them!

Post date: Fri, 07/17/2009 - 00:11

Comments: 

If you're not happy with "Grand Experiences", try Heritage River Canoe and Kayak Company based out of Brantford. They will NOT keep you waiting.

Post date: Tue, 07/21/2009 - 12:54

Comments: 

Have kayaked along the Grand quite a few times and have used Grand Experiences just because it has been convenient to do so and I was not aware of Heritage. I will never use Grand Experiences again. Numerous complaints:
Always late with the shuttle pickup
Boats are in terrible condition. We actually got a kayak without a seat and were told we didn't really need one. Pathetic! Were dropped off and they had not boght enough kayaks for everyone on the shuttles, so our group ended up waiting for at least an hour for more kayaks to be dropped off. When we voiced our opinion, it fell on deaf ears. they really don't give a %&^@

Post date: Thu, 12/06/2007 - 17:13

Comments: 

Regarding Grand experiences. I've tried this route 3 times with them. I will not use them again. First time we rented and paid for a packed lunch. Pick up was 45 mintues and they had no lunch for us. Second time I had paid extra for a sea kayak, they had only brought rec kayaks. It was hard to get the refund of the extra I had paid. 3rd time the pick up arrive an hour late and didn't have enough seats. I found out later that a family of 4 booked that morning and they got our seats even I had booked 3 weeks prior.

I know, why did I try 3 times? I have no kayak and no way to transport one so I was kind of stuck. Aside from "Grand Experiences" this is a nice run, not too hard and plenty of spots to stop for lunch (the one you bring yourself).

Post date: Mon, 04/12/2010 - 12:36

Comments: 

I canoed down the Grand River (from Glen Morris to Brantford) for the first time last spring. We did an over night camping trip that was organized by TREKS IN THE WILD. They provided all the equipment, food and tents. Andy had great expertise about all things outdoors and Val made some wonderful wholesome food!
You should check them out at www.treksinthewild.com

Post date: Tue, 05/04/2010 - 01:03

Comments: 

We paddled from Cambridge to Paris on April 29th with Grand Experiences. The water level was low, but the river was easy to follow. We had 6 strong paddlers and completed the 20 km section in 2.5 hours of paddling (plus an extended lunch stop because we were making very fast time). We were the only boats on the river and the weather conditions were perfect. We found Grand Experiences great to deal with (note we paddled on a week day - I imagine it is much busier on the weekend when I understand up to 100 boats can go out from Grand Experiences).

Post date: Tue, 06/01/2010 - 10:09

Comments: 

Used Heritage for like my 7th time but did Glen Morris to Brant Park. They were busy the day we went but they didn't miss a step our ride was there early we were a little late leaving the launch area but told us not to worry about time they would accomodate us. They told us lots of tips about the river gave us water maps and phone numbers, and were there waiting for us in Brant Park even though we were 45 minutes late getting back in. Great company to choose really respectful of there clients. The river was great Glen Morris to Paris was the faster section a few nice dips but a few really low spots too. The water was higher on the Paris to Brant Park side but also slower moving really had to paddle to get back. All in all another great day on the river.

Post date: Mon, 07/19/2010 - 13:38

Comments: 

When the river is high this is a great trip. Lots of waves, lots of fun. On Canada day did Cambrdige to the Brantford Casinno is three hours.

Post date: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 22:59

Comments: 

Went on my own on 10-10-2010 with my own kayak from the launch at the Cambridge-to-Paris rail trail by the Petro-Can on Hwy. 24. It was a beautiful day and because the Conestogo Dam had been opened the water was fast flowing past Glen Morris especially with some good rapids by the Spottiswood Bluffs and throughout. It took me about 2hrs15min. This is a great stretch of the river and I saw a few osprey and some foxes.

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