Moonlight/Sunset Paddles

Unique Experiences on the Grand River

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“Though the sun had been lost long before, the water was illuminated still by the silver light of an enormous moon. The only sound came from our paddles as they pulled at the still water. The islands around us, eerie in the vague outlines of their silhouettes, seemed to float on the black water. Their tree-lined hills, stunning in the daylight, were majestic in the moonglow. Across the lake we could make out the warm glow of a distant fire.”
~ Distant Fires, by Scott Anderson ~

Paddling in ‘da moonlight….. If you like paddling on the Grand River during the daytime, you are almost certain to find that paddling at dusk and in the moonlight is a unique and truly peaceful experience. It’s an urban 3-mile reach from Riverside Park to Canal Park just north of Grand Rapids. Check it out. All trips launch by sunset (so that you can gradually adjust to the darkness) and are fully guided. You can also launch earlier if you’d like more of a sunset/twilight paddle. It’s entirely up to you. While we can’t predict what the cloud cover will be on a particular evening, there are several, May through October, evenings when the moon should be in various levels of illumination (depending on cloud cover). Six of these are full-moon nights. Consider a moonlight paddle for an experience that you will not soon forget. Or, on evenings where the moon isn’t visible, you can enjoy a Sunset Paddle if you’d like. Click here: Moonlight/Sunset Paddling to see what it’s like to paddle after the sun sets.

For Moonlight/Sunset Paddle Experiences – Please take note of the following:

  • Minimum 24-hour advance booking is required.
  • There is a maximum of no more than six paddlers per trip.
  • Plan to meet at and get picked up from Canal Park approximately 1/2 hour before sunset.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  • Moonlight/Sunset paddle experiences are not available on Saturday evenings.

Urban Moonlight/Sunset Paddle ~ Riverside Park North to Canal Park

This experience entails a southward trip down the Grand River into the north side of Grand Rapids. Ambient city lighting and traffic noises are to be expected on this urban trip, however the opportunity to enjoy the absolutely awesome skyline views of downtown Grand Rapids should more than make up for these minor distractions. If the water level allows, a quick side trip into the Riverside Park lagoon will add to this experience. Please note that getting out of your kayak or canoe at Canal Park can be a bit of a challenge at times (again depending on the water level of the river) but be assured that we will assist you as much as possible. At 3 miles, expect this paddling excursion to last approximately 1½ hours (depending on your float vs paddle times).

Click here to take a short video tour of this experience: Urban Moonlight/Sunset Trip

Urban Moonlight/Sunset Paddle Rate: $120 for 1 to 3 paddlers (not per person unless there is only one paddler) ~ Additional paddlers are $25 each ~ 6 paddlers maximum

Moonlight 2 Urban

 Moonlight/Sunset Paddle Information:

~ Flower Moon – May 1 through May 11

Monday, May 1, Sunset @ 8:44pm, 37% Illumination
Tuesday, May 2, Sunset @ 8:45pm, 49% Illumination
Wednesday, May 3, Sunset @ 8:46pm, 60% Illumination
Thursday, May 4, Sunset @ 8:47pm, 70% Illumination
Friday, May 5, Sunset @ 8:48pm, 79% Illumination
Saturday, May 6, Not available
Sunday, May 7, Sunset @ 8:51pm, 93% Illumination
Monday, May 8, Sunset @ 8:52pm, 97% Illumination
Tuesday, May 9, Sunset @ 8:53pm, 99% Illumination
Wednesday, May 10, Sunset @ 8:54pm, 100% Illumination
Thursday, May 11, Sunset @ 8:55pm, 98% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:39pm)

~ Sunset Paddles – May 12 through May 29 (Approximate Sunset @ 9:05pm)

~ Strawberry Moon – May 30 through June 10

Tuesday, May 30, Sunset @ 9:14pm, 14% Illumination
Wednesday, May 31, Sunset @ 9:14pm, 23% Illumination
Thursday, June 1, Sunset @ 9:15pm, 33% Illumination
Friday, June 2, Sunset @ 9:16pm, 44% Illumination
Saturday, June 3, Not available
Sunday, June 4, Sunset @ 9:17pm, 66% Illumination
Monday, June 5, Sunset @ 9:18pm, 75% Illumination
Tuesday, June 6, Sunset @ 9:19pm, 83% Illumination
Wednesday, June 7, Sunset @ 9:19pm, 95% Illumination
Thursday, June 8, Sunset @ 9:20pm, 99% Illumination
Friday, June 9, Sunset @ 9:21pm, 100% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:22pm)
Saturday, June 10, Not available

~ Sunset Paddles – June 11 through June 26 (Approximate Sunset @ 9:25pm)

~ Buck Moon – June 27 through July 10

Tuesday, June 27, Sunset @ 9:26pm, 11% Illumination
Wednesday, June 28, Sunset @ 9:26pm, 19% Illumination
Thursday, June 29, Sunset @ 9:26pm, 29% Illumination
Friday, June 30, Sunset @ 9:26pm, 39% Illumination
Saturday, July 1, Not available
Sunday, July 2, Sunset @ 9:25pm, 60% Illumination
Monday, July 3, Sunset @ 9:25pm, 70% Illumination
Tuesday, July 4, Sunset @ 9:25pm, 78% Illumination
Wednesday, July 5, Sunset @ 9:24pm, 86% Illumination
Thursday, July 6, Sunset @ 9:24pm, 92% Illumination
Friday, July 7, Sunset @ 9:24pm, 96% Illumination
Saturday, July 8, Not available
Sunday, July 9, Sunset @ 9:23pm, 100% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:41pm)
Monday, July 10, Sunset @ 9:22pm, 99% Illumination (Moonrise @ 10:21pm)

~ Sunset Paddles – July 11 through July 26 (Approximate Sunset @ 9:15pm)

~ Sturgeon Moon – July 27 though August 9

Thursday, July 27, Sunset @ 9:09pm, 15% Illumination
Friday, July 28, Sunset @ 9:08pm, 24% Illumination
Saturday, July 29, Not available
Sunday, July 30, Sunset @ 9:06pm, 44% Illumination
Monday, July 31, Sunset @ 9:05pm, 54% Illumination
Tuesday, August 1, Sunset @ 9:03pm, 63% Illumination
Wednesday, August 2, Sunset @ 9:02pm, 72% Illumination
Thursday, August 3, Sunset @ 9:0pm, 81% Illumination
Friday, August 4, Sunset @ 9:00pm, 88% Illumination
Saturday, August 5, Not available
Sunday, August 6, Sunset @ 8:5pm, 98% Illumination
Monday, August 7, Sunset @ 8:56pm, 100% Illumination (Moonrise @ 8:58pm)
Tuesday, August 8, Sunset @ 8:54pm, 99% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:33pm)
Wednesday, August 9, Sunset @ 8:53pm, 98% Illumination (Moonrise @ 10:05pm)

~ Sunset Paddles – August 10 through August 24 (Approximate Sunset @ 8:40pm)

~ Harvest Moon – August 25 through September 8

Friday, August 25, Sunset @ 8:29pm, 11% Illumination
Saturday, August 26, Not available
Sunday, August 27, Sunset @ 8:25pm, 27% Illumination
Monday, August 28, Sunset @ 8:24pm, 37% Illumination
Tuesday, August 29, Sunset @ 8:22pm, 47% Illumination
Wednesday, August 30, Sunset @ 8:20pm, 56% Illumination
Thursday, August 31, Sunset @ 8:19pm, 66% Illumination
Friday, September 1, Sunset @ 8:17pm, 75% Illumination
Saturday, September 2, Not available
Sunday, September 3, Sunset @ 8:13pm, 90% Illumination
Monday, September 4, Sunset @ 8:12pm, 95% Illumination
Tuesday, September 5, Sunset @ 8:10pm, 99% Illumination (Moonrise @ 8:05pm)
Wednesday, September 6, Sunset @ 8:08pm, 100% Illumination (Moonrise @ 8:37pm)
Thursday, September 7, Sunset @ 8:06pm, 99% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:09pm)
Friday, September 8, Sunset @ 8:05pm, 95% Illumination (Moonrise @ 9:40pm)

~ Sunset Paddles – September 9 through September 22 (Approximate Sunset @ 7:50pm)

~ Hunter’s Moon – September 23 through October 7

Saturday, September 23, Not available
Sunday, September 24, Sunset @ 7:36pm, 14% Illumination
Monday, September 25, Sunset @ 7:34pm, 21% Illumination
Tuesday, September 26, Sunset @ 7:32pm, 30% Illumination
Wednesday, September 27, Sunset @ 7:31pm, 39% Illumination
Thursday, September 28, Sunset @ 7:29pm, 49% Illumination
Friday, September 29, Sunset @ 7:27pm, 59% Illumination
Saturday, September 30, Not available
Sunday, October 1, Sunset @ 7:23pm, 77% Illumination
Monday, October 2, Sunset @ 7:22pm, 85% Illumination
Tuesday, October 3, Sunset @ 7:20pm, 92% Illumination
Wednesday, October 4, Sunset @ 7:18pm, 97% Illumination (Moonrise @ 7:07pm)
Thursday, October 5, Sunset @ 7:16pm, 100% Illumination (Moonrise @ 7:39pm)
Friday, October 6, Sunset @ 7:15pm, 97% Illumination (Moonrise @ 8:12pm)
Saturday, October 7, Not available

~ Sunset Paddles – October 8 through October 21 (Approximate Sunset @ 7:00pm)

~ Beaver Moon – October 22 through October 31

Sunday, October 22, Sunset @ 6:49pm, 9% Illumination
Monday, October 23, Sunset @ 6:47pm, 15% Illumination
Tuesday, October 24, Sunset @ 6:46pm, 23% Illumination
Wednesday, October 25, Sunset @ 6:44pm, 32% Illumination
Thursday, October 26, Sunset @ 6:43pm, 41% Illumination
Friday, October 27, Sunset @ 6:41pm, 51% Illumination
Saturday, October 28, Not available
Sunday, October 29, Sunset @ 6:38pm, 71% Illumination
Monday, October 30, Sunset @ 6:37pm, 80% Illumination
Tuesday, October 31, Sunset @ 6:36pm, 88% Illumination