About five years ago, Mark Johnston and Bec Kearns decided to turn their love of adventure and river paddling into a business. They had fallen in love with paddling on the Ausable River in Grand Bend, and opened an eco-friendly, solo sport that thrived through the COVID physical distancing phase. Even during the pandemic, groups of paddling enthusiasts could easily keep the two-meter recommended distance, and enjoy the sport safely.
Eventually, the Grand Bend location that they rented was sold and the new owners had other plans for the riverfront property, allowing Johnston and Kearns to discover the Bayfield River. The Harbour Lights Marina has welcomed them into the new home base, and the business is now located near the bridge.
They offer kayaks (single and tandem) and canoes, as well as the ever-popular stand-up paddleboard, but the coolest adventure is their unique glow-in-the-dark kayak experience. The kayaks feature a proprietary LED lighting system that they have developed that lights the water from beneath a clear vessel. While all excursions have an instructor and support vessel, some paddling experience is recommended for the night time kayaking.
Summer glow excursions are running Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30 to 10:30 pm.
Daytime group excursions are available for two hour time slots for parties of 10 to 40 people. All the equipment is supplied, including the instructor and support vessel. The experience includes more training and is ideal for new or experienced paddlers. (Pre-booking required, but available seven days a week.)
Participants are always impressed with how peaceful and tranquil the river paddling is and the groups may even venture out into Lake Huron, depending on weather conditions. River Adventures will be running excursions on the Bayfield River right through to mid-October (weather permitting).
River Adventures is still hunting for an additional location so that they can resume the popular kids’ camps and offer accessible paddling. Watch their website and social media channels for information. www.riveradventuresgrandbend.ca Harbour Lights Marina, Bayfield