Published on August 4th, 2017 | by Miriam Porter
Summer Tubing in Ontario.
Nature provides a natural and thrilling version of the popular resort style lazy river. River tubing locations can be found throughout Ontario so you can chill out and float to your hearts content. While some rivers with faster waters are more about the rapids than lazy waves, they all have comfy donuts to relax in (or tightly hang onto) while soaking up the rays of summer.
Grand River – Paris.
Pack your favourite swimsuit and drive over to the County of Brant where the historic streets of Paris welcome visitors to this pretty little Ontario town. The Grand River Rafting Company is open seven days a week from mid-May to October, and reservations are required. Designed for kids age three and up (and perfect for cautious adults), the turbo tubes resemble a mini-kayak with an inflated cushioned seat making them durable for the flowing river. The tubing trips take place along the Oneida Run, or their new Mohawk Run that is open on summer weekends. Staff meets you at the finish point where you have parked your car and they supply paddles, life jackets and a dry bag; then they shuttle you upstream to the starting point and you can float along at your leisure along the Grand River without a care in the world.
Vermillion River – Chelmsford, Ontario.
It makes sense that the ultimate chilling experience takes place at Chillin N’ Tubing. This family friendly location provides you will hours of floating time as you leisurely drift along the Vermillion River. It’s less than three feet deep in most places and has a slow moving current, so you can stand up if necessary. Bring your own life vest – especially for kids – as they are not provided. They are open seven days a week during the summer months and only accept cash, so arrive prepared. The Vermillion River is great for swimming and there are opportunities along the route to pull over on a beach and enjoy a picnic and spend the day getting back to nature.
Ottawa River – Foresters Falls, Ontario.
River Run Rafting on the Ottawa River is a great way to celebrate Canada’s year-long birthday. Float along the two kilometre river route from the bottom of the Colesium Rapids down towards the River Run Resort. Appropriate for kids aged five and up and all adults young at heart, you can choose between a full day or half-day adventure and they open daily at 10:30 a.m. The majestic Ottawa River is a natural boundary to the city and flows across the northern edge of town. The summer months are the perfect time to explore our capital and surrounding region.
Saugeen River – Hanover, Ontario.
Saugeen Springs RV Park has two exciting tubing runs to choose from. The shorter run is about 45 minutes long and located just outside the campground at Red Iron Bridge and you can float from that location right into the campground. The longer run that is about two hours of river time requires a driver to park your car at the Concrete Bridge and then tubers can walk back to the campground towards the swimming hole where this run begins. The winding river will lead you back to your parked car. They recommend bringing your own life jacket (or rent one there) and tight fitting water shoes. There is the option to stay overnight in the campground or arrange a day pass, either way you will be in for quite the watery adventure.
Elora Gorge – Elora, Ontario.
If a lazy river does not excite you, consider tubing along the Elora Gorge in the rougher area of Grand River with the Grand River Conservation Authority. Thrill seekers with older kids will love the exhilaration of flowing rapids, white water, and views of towering cliffs. As this is a much rougher experience, there are several safety guidelines that must be followed. First off, all kids must be at least 48 inches tall and be accompanied by an adult. Every rider must wear secure footwear, life jacket, helmet, and must be able to swim, as there are no lifeguards on duty. There are also no exit points along the route, which of course means no turning back halfway. Once you start tubing be prepared to finish the two kilometre tubing run that takes place in a natural river with possible extreme conditions. This part of the river is fast flowing and turbulent and participants can be ejected from their tube. If this does not make you shudder in fear, Elora Gorge Park is waiting for you to tackle the rapids and cross it off your bucket list. Tubing operates when the river and weather conditions allow from late June to around Labour Day.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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