When the day end with hugs, handshakes and happy smiles on everyone’s face, you know it was a great day out on the water! For the first time in a LOOOONG time, my husband and I spent an afternoon canoeing in Hastings County with Cruising Canoes. In short, it was AMAZING!
When I was a kid, I spent pretty much every summer at canoe camp. I fell in love with canoeing at a young age and have never lost my love for it, I’ve just never had the chance to get out and enjoy it. I mean, without a canoe and a vehicle to haul it, it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. Enter: Cruising Canoes.
If you aren’t familiar, Cruising Canoes was started a few years back by Andrew Twigg – just a regular guy who loves outdoor adventure! Living and growing up in an area surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers and the Bay of Quinte, Andrew thought guided paddling adventures with all the equipment and transportation included was just what this area needed. And you know what? He was so right!
Whether it’s a nice, relaxed paddle you’re after, or a paddling and camping weekend adventure with the whole family; Cruising Canoes delivers. The hubby and I signed up for the Lazy River Run on the Clare River in Tweed, Ontario, which is a great trip to start with if you’re a beginner or just hoping for quiet afternoon on the water.
We all met in Belleville before hopping in the Cruising Canoes van to head north towards Tweed. I was pleased to see of the 20 or so paddlers participating, we had people of ALL ages and skill levels in our group. There were experienced paddlers, a couple who have never paddled before, and people like myself who have experience, but it’s been awhile. My hubby proved that fact by tipping our canoe before we even left the shore. Luckily, the water was pretty warm and it cooled us off quite nicely – and Andrew too! He thought he might have to save us a couple more times but, spoiler alert, we didn’t tip again! (Thankfully!)
Our group was mostly made up of kayaks with a couple of canoes. When you book, you can choose a canoe or kayak – whatever you’re more comfortable with. Since I had canoe experience, we went with a canoe, but the hubby wants to give the kayaks a try next trip. (Maybe he wants to tip one of those, too?!)
We launched from Stoco Lake Lodge and headed along the shoreline to the Clare River. If you’ve never paddled the Clare River – or even heard of it – it’s a calm little river tucked away just off Stoco Lake and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s quiet, surrounded by trees and little cottages, and definitely the perfect spot for a lazy river run. We laughed, took pictures, enjoyed the view, waved to cottagers and simply had fun! It was a very laid-back atmosphere with great people who are there for the same reasons we were – to enjoy some time out on the water and cool down with a cold drink and socializing afterwards.
The beauty of Cruising Canoes is this: you just show up. That’s it! Andrew takes care of all the planning, the transportation, the equipment…everything! So, if you’re like me and want to do a handful of canoe outings each summer, you don’t have to invest in your own canoe or kayak, lifejackets, paddles and possibly a vehicle to haul it all. Simply book a few outings with Andrew and you’re golden!
Be warned though: it’s addicting! I’m already planning our next trip. Right now, we can’t decide between another lazy river run, a pint n’ paddle, or a paddling trip with the kids. Or hey; maybe all of the above! Summer’s just getting started, right?
Cruising Canoes has plenty of great events lined up for fun date nights, family adventures, fun outings with friends, and even summer day camps for the kids. Check out Cruising Canoes’ website or Facebook page to learn more. You never know, we might meet up on the water this summer!