From Georgian Bay to our flowing rivers and inland lakes, getting out on the water is a big part of life in Grey County. As you plan your family vacation, make this the summer you get your children out paddling our endless sparkling waters. Whether you want to try stand-up paddling, canoe down the Beaver River, spend the afternoon fishing at Lake Eugenia or follow up a round of mini-golf with a paddleboat ride up the Sydenham, there’s a family-friendly paddling option for you.
Canoe the Beaver River
(Multiple access points)
If the idea of taking your family canoeing is daunting, the Beaver River is a great place to start. This gentle, flowing river is paddled in sections from Kimberley to Epping (about 2 to 3 hours), from Epping to Heathcote (about 2 hours) or from Heathcote to Slabtown (about 1 hour). If you are new to paddling, need a rental or a shuttle or would like to take a guided trip, your best bet is to work with the folks from Free Spirit Tours (519-599-2268) in Heathcote or Eagle Adventures (705-888-2551). These guides are on the river frequently and have up to date information about water levels and conditions. One family friendly way to paddle the Beaver is to park at Heathcote, have Free Spirit shuttle you to Epping and paddle back to your car. Be sure to visit the Blackbird Pie Company first and pack your boat with butter tarts for the trip downstream. Be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen and bug repellent too.
Paddle at Harrison Park
137 2nd Ave East, Owen Sound
A great visit to Owen Sound should include a stop at one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces—Harrison Park. This recreational gem has playgrounds, hiking trails, camping and mini-golf. Families often visit to feed the birds and grab a double scoop from the Harrison Park Inn. While you’re here, take advantage of the onsite canoe and paddleboat rentals. Situated right on the Sydenham River, you can rent a canoe or paddleboat by the hour and explore this family-friendly river with ease. This park and paddle approach is a great way to get your family out on the water this summer. For more information, call Owen Sound Tourism at 1-888-675-5555 to plan your paddle.
SUP at Northwinds Beach
209605 Highway 26, The Blue Mountains
Stand-up paddleboarding has taken the paddling world by storm the last few years. This unique sport lets you experience a bit of surf culture while exploring lakes and rivers or the waters of Georgian Bay. If you’re looking to try the sport for the first time, head to Northwinds Beach in Craigleith and stop by Blue Surf (705-293-9322) on Highway 26. The folks at Blue Surf offer stand-up paddleboard rentals, as well as lessons and group tours. Kayak rentals are also available. Be sure to check weather conditions in advance. It’s best to wait for a calm day to explore Georgian Bay.
Go Fishing at Lake Eugenia
251 Canrobert Street, Eugenia
This large man-made lake is located just outside the village of Eugenia in the Beaver Valley. A popular lake for cottagers, this is a great destination for canoeing, kayaking or fishing the waters in a motorized watercraft. There is a public boat launch located on the South Side of the lake with a small beach area for swimming.
Need to rent a boat or prefer to take a guided tour? Call the Cedars of Lake Eugenia Cottage Resort (1-800-747-7014) to inquire about daily and hourly rentals of canoe and paddleboats. Small fishing boats are also available by the day. Why not extend your Lake Eugenia experience with an overnight stay? The Cedars of Lake Eugenia Family Getaway Package includes a 2-night stay, 2 breakfasts and dinner. The best part? Canoes and paddleboats rentals are free for resort guests.
While you’re in town, visit the Eugenia Emporium for great take out and local snacks or dine-in at the renowned Flying Chestnut Kitchen. Add a hike to your adventure with a visit to the 30-metre high Eugenia Falls.