What is "Soft Adventure" Tourism, and Why Is It The Fastest Growing Type of Travel?

Soft Adventure is the term used to describe the type of adventure tourism that requires little or no experience and is low risk (as opposed to hard adventure tourism which requires greater levels of skill and incorporates more of significant risk).
Think of this way - snorkeling would be considered a "soft adventure", easily accessible and safe for almost everyone, whereas scuba diving would be considered a "hard adventure", requiring more skill and exposing the participant to higher level of risk. Although similar in nature, these two activities appeal to different audiences.

Soft Adventure is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry and with good reason! These activities are easily approachable for everyone - beginners, families, children, or seniors. 
A recent study showed that of the 98 million people who take adventure vacation trips, 67 million (or two thirds) take soft adventure trips exclusively. Are you one of those 67 million people? If not, what's holding you back?
Often times these adventures, or excursions, add value to vacations or day trips. Sometimes, the soft adventure is the whole point of the trip! These are the memories you will cherish.

Here at Grand River Kayak, we offer a variety of soft adventure activities.

You can try your hand at kayaking on the Lower Grand River. Regardless of what sort of 
stereotypical idea you might have about what "kayaking" is, this is not whitewater kayaking over rapids and waterfalls, and it isn't kilometers of paddling over open water. 
This is family-friendly, beginner-friendly kayak tours, lessons, and rentals that ANYONE can handle.
Our kayaks are stable, comfortable, and easy to use. We have single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and even kid-sized kayaks just for the little ones!
Looking for something just a little bit different? Try a relaxing day on the water fishing from your kayak? We have several angler models designed specifically for the fisherman (or fisherwoman) to make the experience unforgettable.

SUP (Stand Up Paddling)
Have you heard of SUP? Unless you live under a rock, it's pretty much impossible to have missed out on the fastest growing trend in paddlesports today! Lots of people are intimidated by the idea of standing up on a "tippy" board and trying to paddle it around....Images of pro SUP surfers in big waves, or running moving rivers have left people with the impression that this is an "exteme sport". But, it doesn't have to be!
The truth is, stand up paddling is VERY approachable, even for the beginner. We use stable boards, and the Lower Grand River is a calm, easy environment to learn to SUP. Yes, you might fall in the water a couple of times when you're first learning, but that's just part of the FUN!
That makes SUP the fastest growing soft adventure activity, and soft adventure is the fastest growing trend in tourism travel - a double whammy!
Get out this summer and give it a try. You won't regret it!

Everything we've already said above about kayaking and stand up paddling applies to canoeing. Family-friendly and approachable, your paddling experience can be as active, or as relaxing, as you choose to make it.
Modern canoes come is as many shapes and sizes as kayaks.
Our canoes are beginner and family friendly.
The paddling routes on the Lower Grand River start right at our doorstep, and the current flow is so slow that it's just as easy to paddle upriver as down. Most customers paddle downriver into the Lower Grand River Marshes and simple paddle back to Grand River Kayak. No need to portage, no need to arrange shuttles, no need to transport your canoe to a put-in. Simply park here, paddle here, and let us look after the details.
It's never been easier to take yourself, your partner, your children, or your pets paddling!

The town of Dunnville and the surrounding area are particularly well-suited to cycling. The terrain is mostly flat, the country-side is primarily farm land, and the roads tend to be fairly quiet. The town itself is small, and you can bike from one end of town to the other in a matter of minutes.
Much like the watersports mentioned above, there will always be a more intense level of cycling - the die-hard road cyclist who bikes 100km at a time, or off-road "extreme" mountain biking.
But again, our focus is on a more relaxing experience, that almost anyone can participate in.
At Grand River Kayak, we rent single speed (or "fixed gear"), vintage-style "Cruiser" bicycles that are built for comfort and ease of use.
The routes we recommend are easy, not so physically demanding, and shorter in length.
Rent a couple of bicycles and take a picnic lunch out to Port Maitland....

In addition to the "primary" soft adventure activities listed above, there are LOTS of secondary activities for the soft adventurer to participate in while they are paddling and/or biking in our area. Fishing, Bird (and wildlife watching), photography, star gazing, sightseeing, geocaching, and low impact exercising are just some of the ways to enhance your time on the water, or on the road.

We look forward to helping you become, or continue to be, one of those 67 million people who take part in a soft adventure this year!

Click HERE for list of recommended Soft Adventures at Grand River Kayak


Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan


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