Over two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and with businesses slowly opening up in Ontario, one thing that remains unknown is if and when we’ll be able to travel outside of Canada. However, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy some vacation time with family enjoying the natural beauty of Northern Ontario while also supporting local businesses in our province.
An adventure close to home
Horizons Adventures located just outside Sudbury offers sea kayak trips and excursions in Ontario, ideal for anyone who wants to get out of the city and out on the water to enjoy the spectacular beauty that Northern Ontario has to offer.
Like many other businesses, Horizons Adventures is currently just starting to open again but owner and chief guide, Rick Wise, says their busiest months are July and August, and booking an excursion with them now means that you and your family have something to look forward to once pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
Currently, they’re offering bookings on all their sea kayak day trips and excursions without any deposit necessary. Wise said even if you are still concerned about social distancing, they are offering excursions for your immediate family or small groups of up to six people.
“It’s much safer in the outdoors for preventing the spread of the virus, then being indoors in the city,” Wise said.
Since the best time to take a sea kayak excursion is in July and August, Wise is optimistic that the tours will be running as scheduled. He calls it an “isolation vacation” and It’s also a great way to have a family adventure together, especially if your air travel plans have been cancelled this summer and you have been cooped up at home for the past few months.
Getting out on the water with a variety of sea kayak excursion options this summer
People can participate in either a day excursion or a multi-day sea kayak excursions that range from three days and two nights to six days and five nights. Wise said trips are offered for beginners and those of all experience levels, and equipment and food are provided. Two experienced and qualified guides accompany each trip that includes destinations on the Northern Channel, Lake Superior or Georgian Bay. Horizons Adventures also offers certification courses from Paddle Canada at all levels for those who want to develop skills and technical expertise.
Exploring the Byng Inlet in Georgian Bay is their most popular trip. This trip lets people explore the stunning scenery of the islands around this area of Georgian Bay with all its back bays and hideaways.
Their single-day or multi-day trip to the North Channel is also one of their popular trips. Kayakers will enjoy a day out on the Channel along with a gourmet shore lunch, swimming and stunning scenery.
They also offer an annual multi-day painting trip with celebrated local artist Marlies Schoenefeld, whose work can be seen throughout the Sudbury area. Along with her husband, Dieter, a naturalist, and two guides, guests will be paddling out to various locations to paint the breathtaking scenery. Wise said that while there is paddling every day, it’s a relaxing trip suitable for everyone. Usually open to anyone, this trip is by invitation only this year due to COVID-19.
“It’s not necessarily for experienced painters, it’s for anyone who wants to have fun and learn a little bit about painting,” Wise said. “Generally we have people who are regular artists and people who are just learning.”
Excursions suitable for everyone, safety is the priority
Sea kayak excursions are ideal for anyone, couples, families and friends, and children are welcome as they have tandem kayaks for them to ride with their parents if they’re under 12. After enjoyment, Wise said safety has always been their top priority, and emphasize skill development before anyone hits the water.
“We don’t put people without experience, just sit them in a boat and push them out and let them go,” he said. “There is always an instructional component to it and for our day trips, I prefer they have a full day lesson before they go out on the trip.”
Wise said their trips are ideal for those with a love of the outdoors, a sense of adventure and anyone wants to rediscover themselves in nature. Whether you love hiking, camping or kayaking, or are just curious to try any of these things, their trips offer something for everyone.