White water adventures ontario

5 epic white water rafting adventures near Toronto

White water rafting can be the ultimate adventure escape from Toronto. Close to the city, the best time to hit the rapids is when the snow melts in early spring, but if you're willing to drive a few hours, there are some wild rides out there waiting to be mastered. Most rivers that boast navigable rapids are services by tour companies that offer instruction and equipment rentals to making planning easier.

Here's a round-up of 5 white water rafting adventures near Toronto.

Nith River
The best spot for white water rafting within a short distance of Toronto is the Nith River, a tributary of the Grand. It's about an hour or so away near Kitchner and has some excellent rapids to traverse, but the catch is that it's only raft-able during the annual snow melt in spring (i.e March-April) and after heavy rainfalls in the summer.

Grand River
If the idea of gently floating along is as appealing as bouncing over rapids, a trip down the Grand River is worth a try. While there aren't many difficult sections, you will get to encounter some white water to keep the blood flowing, and tours can take up to five hours, which is epic in its own right.

Gull River
Home to the Minden Wild Water Preserve, one of the venues for the 2015 Pan Am Games, the Gull River offers some excellent rapids for experienced kayakers. You can't, however, just go and plop down in the water if you're a beginner. The course is too challenging for that. Take classes at the nearby Boatwerks, which teaches white water classes on the Gull River.

Madawaska Kanu Centre
If you want to immerse yourself in the world of white water - be it in a kayak, canoe or raft - this lodge and instruction centre on the Madawaka River is one of the best places to do it. There's a huge number of options suited for beginners to enthusiasts looking to hone their skills. Plus the resort itself makes for a rustic but well equipped vacation.

River Run Rafting and Wilderness Resort
Located on the Ottawa River, River Run Rafting offers a white water experience that's probably similar to what you've seen on television shows, with quick rapids and a raft full of people looking like they're having the time of their lives as they careen down a river. With 12 people to a boat, the experience is actually well suited to beginners even as trip down the river is thrilling and wet.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions in the comments.

Photo via River Run Rafting.


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