Grand River Tours

Hike/Bike/Canoe Grand River Trails

The following are recommended day trips.  These can be done as round trips, or park a second vehicle at the turn-around point.  Various companies provide guided kayak and canoe trips on the Grand River.

3 Breweries, a Market and the Grand River (25 or 39 km round trip)

Google Map and Instructions for 30 Km Round Trip excluding Grand River side trip

Google Map and Instructions for 39 km Round Trip including Grand River side trip

Park your car in the picturesque village of St. Jacobs behind Block 3 Brewing.  Go for a walk in the village and visit some of the unique shops and museums, especially the Mennonite Story and Maple Syrup Museum.  After 11 am, enjoy beer tasting at the brewery, before setting out on your ride.

Ride along the banks of the Conestogo River to the St. Jacobs Market.  On Thursdays and Saturdays enjoy visiting the market and buy lunch from one of many vendors.

From the Market, ride to Innocente Brewing Company for some more craft beer tasting.

For a shorter trip, then follow the 30 km round trip instructions to the WaterLoop Trail and Waterloo Towne Square.   Otherwise continue along Labrador Drive to the Walter Bean Trail.  This multi-use trail follows the Grand River behind Grey Silo Golf Course.  Look out for herons, osprey (and even sometimes bald eagles) and turtles.  Continue to Lexington Road and then join the WaterLoop Trail to Abe Erb.

Finish at Abe Erb for dinner, washed down with local craft beer.

The tour can finish here if you have left a second vehicle at Waterloo Towne Square.  Otherwise follow the TransCanada Trail back to St. Jacobs.

Alternatively, now the LRT is running, you can take your bicycle on the LRT to Northfield Station and ride back to St. Jacobs via the market.


St Jacobs Farmers Market

Grand Valley Trail and Elora Cataract Trailway via Forks of the Credit Provincial Park (32 km round trip)

Google map and instructions

Park near Main St and Nicholas St in Alton, Caledon.

Before starting this cycling trip, take a short, steep hike from Nicholas St to the top of the Pinnacle, the end point of the Grand Valley Trail for views of the surrounding countryside.

Then ride along Main St following signs for the Grand Valley Trail.  This hiking trail follows the roads to 8th line, at which point the trail disappears along an unopened rail allowance.  For this tour, turn left along 8th line and ride to the Elora Cataract Trailway, a multi-use trail between Elora and Forks of the Credit Provincial Park.

Pack a picnic lunch and spend time enjoying the park.  Make sure to view the falls!  Here the Grand River Trails system meets the Bruce Trail.

To return, follow the map and ride along Main St back to Alton.  Finish the day with dinner at The Millcroft Inn and Spa, Rays 3rd Generation Bistro and Bakery, or another local restaurant.

Elora Cataract Trailway

Canoeing the Grand:  Cambridge to Glen Morris to Paris

Google Map and Instructions Cambridge to Glen Morris  Approximately 2-2.5 hrs canoeing, 9 km return on Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail

Google Map and Instructions: Glen Morris to Paris Approximately 2-2.5 hrs canoeing, 11 km return on Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail

This trip can be done as one long day, especially if water flows are high, or 2 short days.  For a different view of the river, if you park bicycles at the end point, you can ride to your starting point along a multi-use trail that follows the river.  Consult the Grand River Conservation Authority for river flows and important safety information.

In Cambridge,  park at the head of the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail on Water St S.  There is an access point for canoes and kayaks.

Watch out for wildlife and an old stone mill on the L bank of the river.

There is another access point in the tiny village of Glen Morris at Forbes St,  if you wish to shorten your trip.

In Paris, pull out at the landing dock on the left bank just above Penman’s Dam.

Stop in the beautiful little town of Paris (Ontario, not the other one!) for lunch or dinner, before riding your bike back to your starting point.