Paddle & Art

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For groups of 9 to 16 paddlers, a Paddle & Art experience is the perfect solution. GR Paddling is partnering with Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to provide a complete daylong outing combining the adventure of a kayak and/or canoe trip on the scenic Grand River with the pleasure of enjoying the sculptures, horticulture, art collections, and exhibits of Grand Rapids’ own world renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. While half of your large group enjoys paddling, the other half enjoys the Gardens. Then the two smaller groups switch between paddling and art. Get it? Paddle & Art. The Taste of the Gardens Café is available right in the Gardens to provide a wonderful setting for your entire group to enjoy lunch between your Paddling & Art experiences if desired.

Paddle & Art trips include:

  • amenities – beverages (hot in cooler weather) and snacks, bug spray, sun screen, etc.
  • emailed photo package (if desired)
  • paddling instruction (if desired)
  • all necessary quality equipment
  • personal/professional treatment

Comfortable transportation between the Gardens and the Grand River is provided and two paddling options are available:

G4. Ada to the Knapp Street Bridge ~ Distance: 5.7 miles 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Dam Portages: None
  • Opt-outs: None
  • Travel Distance from Grand Rapids: 13 miles
  • Facilities: At both the launch (outhouse) and the destination (outhouse)
  • Approximate Paddling Duration: 2 to 2-1/2 hours

Here, the river widens a bit and has a few more bends and turns as it leaves its path along M-21 and veers north to follow Pettis Avenue on the right. Near the beginning of this segment along the back edge of Amway World Headquarters “miracle mile”, the river divides around an island, creating a bit of a strong current that is unusual for the Grand River. The river is starting to widen here with an average width of around 120 yards. Approaching the Knapp Street Bridge and destination, several houses begin to populate the shores of the river.

G5. Knapp Street Bridge to the Northland Drive Bridge ~ Distance: 5.3 miles 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Dam Portages: None
  • Opt-outs: None
  • Travel Distance from Grand Rapids: 12 miles
  • Facilities: At the launch (outhouse) and at the destination (porta-jon)
  • Approximate Paddling Duration: 2 to 2-1/2 hours

This is a great segment option for a quick and enjoyable paddle for both kayaks and canoes. Relatively unpopulated with few turns, the river is fairly wide, averaging a width of about 150 yards or so. Both the launch and destination locations offer very good put-in/take-out conditions. A southeast-east wind makes this segment even that much more relaxing.

Paddle & Art Rate: $35 per person (total for paddling and admission to the Gardens)

Please call (616) 558-2609 to arrange for your group’s Paddle & Art experience or click on the link below and fill out the trip booking form. Someone will be in touch with you by email or phone.

Click here to book a Paddle & Art trip