Paddle & Picnic

Panera LogoHere are three more paddling options that combine the best of two worlds, paddling and food ~ A Paddle (on either the Grand or Thornapple Rivers) & a Picnic where you and your group can rest and re-nourish with your choice of Panera Bread® box lunches before continuing your trip down the river! These trips each combine two reaches for a full-day paddling & picnicking experience and the rates for these excursions include the price of your picnic lunches. There are no extra charges. Please feel free to call: (616) 558-2609 for more information.

A 24-hour minimum notice is required for these trips.

Of course, like all of our trips, Paddle & Picnic Trips include (in addition to your picnic lunch):

  • round trip comfortable transportation from your Grand Rapids area location (ie: your home or hotel)
  • 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

There are three Paddle & Picnic experiences to choose from:

1. Grand River ~ Knapp Street Bridge to Riverside Park

You and your group will launch into the Grand River at Knapp Street and paddle 5.3 miles to Northland Drive (Reach G5). This is where your group will take out at the boat launch and where your Panera Bread® picnic box lunch selections will be waiting for you. Then after everyone has rested, you can continue your paddle 6.3 miles down the Grand River to the Riverside Park north boat launch or, if preferred, you can paddle an additional 1.7 miles downriver to the Riverside Park south boat launch (Reach G6).

Reach G5. Pre-Picnic Paddle ~ Knapp Street to Northland Drive ~ 5.3 miles

Reach G6. Post-Picnic Paddle ~ Northland Drive to Riverside Park ~ 6.3 or 8 miles

2. Thornapple River ~ 68th Street to the Grand River (Ada)

You and your group will launch into the Thornapple River at 68th Street and paddle 6 miles to the Cascade Dam and Cascade’s Tassel Park (Reach T4). This is where your group will take out before the Cascade Dam at the park and where your Panera Bread® picnic box lunch selections will be waiting for you. Then (after everyone has rested), you can continue your paddle down the Thornapple to either the Ada dam (3.7 miles) or, if preferred, you can paddle an additional 1.1 miles downriver on to the Ada public access boat launch right after where the Thornapple empties into the Grand River (Reach T5).

Reach T4. Pre-Picnic Paddle ~ 68th Street to the Cascade Dam ~ 6 miles

Reach T5. Post-Picnic Paddle ~ Cascade Dam to the Grand River (Ada) ~ 3.7 or 4.8 miles

3. Thornapple & Grand Rivers ~ Cascade Dam to the Knapp Street Bridge

Can’t decide between the Grand River or the Thornapple River Paddle & Picnic experiences? Then this option is for you. This trip starts on the Thornapple River at Cascade’s Tassel Park (Reach T5) just below the Cascade Dam and ends on the Grand River at the Knapp Street bridge. Your group will stop for a picnic lunch at the Ada Park adjacent to the covered bridge where your Panera Bread® picnic box lunch selections will be waiting for you. Then (after everyone has rested), you can continue your paddle down the Thornapple to the Grand River (1.1 miles) or, if preferred, you can paddle an additional 5.7 miles down the Grand River to the Knapp Street bridge (Reach G4).

Reach T5. Pre-Picnic Paddle ~ Cascade Dam to Ada Park ~ 3.7 miles

Reach G4. Post-Picnic Paddle ~ Ada Park to the Knapp Street Bridge ~ 1.1 or 6.8 miles


Check out your Panera Bread® Box Lunch choices here: Panera