With fine weather in full swing, it’s time to benefit from some of the best activities summer has to offer. On a sunny, hot day, nothing is better than being by, or on, the water. Luckily, this season you can enjoy a relaxing float on a kayak along the Chateauguay River.
A Valley favourite for years has been Kayak Safari in Huntingdon. Due to COVID, over the past years it has had to operate a bit differently from usual; however, this year it is back with regular services. Currently, there are three different kayaking experiences offered by Kayak Safari: theAthlestan Route, the Dewittville Route, and Kayaking in the Park. Adam Beare, one of the owners, explains that they have reintroduced their busing services for these routes. Rates vary at Kayak Safari, depending on the service chosen and age of kayaker. It is open daily at 9 a.m.
The Athlestan Route is the shorter of the two. It starts with a shuttle bus ride from Huntingdon to the launch point at Athelstan, and then consists of a 7-kilometre kayak ride downriver back to Huntingdon. This route is the most popular amongst kayakers. The Dewittville Route starts in Huntingdon; an 8.4 km kayak trip, also downriver, brings you to Dewittville, and there is a shuttle bus back to base. Kayaking in the Park lets people explore roundtrips on the water over routes that are 2 or 7 km long. Reservations can be made through the website: kayaksafari.ca.
Both locals and tourists are excited for the return of Kayak Safari’s full services. “The response when we tell people that it’s back to normal is very positive and people are looking forward to it,” explains Beare. He adds that even as of late May, he “starting to get bookings for late July or early August.” For him, it’s exciting to be a part of local tourism. “People have booked their vacation in the province of Quebec, and they’re looking to get activities booked up every day. We’re part of that itinerary that they’re building for themselves.” On top of that, various groups from around the Valley have booked outings here this summer. Reservations are filling quickly.
The Société de conservation et d’aménagement de la rivière Châteauguay is also organizing kayak rentals for this summer season. The boats are available from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Parc Paul-Léveillé, located at 58 rue Saint-Joseph in Sainte-Martine. In a press release by the Société de conservation et d’aménagement des bassins versants de La Zone Châteauguay, organizers say, “This service allows the population to appreciate the nature and landscapes along the Chateauguay River.” Single kayaks can be rented for an hour, an hour and a half, a half-day, or a full day, for $15 to $50 depending on the timeframe. Double kayaks and paddle boats can be rented for the same chunks of time for between $22 and $60. Appointments can be made by calling 450-427-2068.
Wherever you’re paddling this summer, kayaking is a great way to explore the region and take in the surrounding views. Beare makes a special point to mention that Kayak Safari has quite a few new faces on the team this year. He says, “We have five new teammates this summer, so I know they’re looking forward to getting a taste of what it is we do and greeting all these clients.” He is excited for everyone to meet them.