When I was younger, my favourite ride at the water park was the lazy river – No thrills, just some good relaxation. Side note: did anyone else try to swim against the current? When I heard about the river tubing at Gaspereau River (an hour outside of Halifax), I knew that I had to make a trip out there before the Summer ended.
Since the start and end points of the river tubing are a few kilometres apart, we took two cars so we wouldn’t have to walk for a half an hour to get back to the car. We parked one car at the finish point and all hopped in the car to drive back to the starting point. There are a few entrepreneurial families that have taken advantage of having the river in their backyard and have started renting out inner tubes for $5. I’d recommend these tubes over the typical plastic floaties because they are a lot more durable. There are lots of rocks and branches , and it would be a shame to pierce your floatie and have to swim the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we still had to figure out what to do with our car keys. My friends hid their car key in the bushes nearby. As a native Torontonian, I didn’t understand these small town ways and was not going to leave my keys out for thieves to steal the car. I brought a little waterproof wristlet to keep my key while I was tubing.
Getting into the water was a little bit tricky, especially because we were barefoot and the entry point was extremely rocky (definitely bring water shoes if you have them!). Once we got into the tube, it was much slower than I expected. About 10 minutes later, it started to pick up as we entered some rapids. My friend brought her phone in a waterproof case to get some good photos. As soon as she passed the camera to me, the rapids separated us and I was left going down the river with no available hands – a very bad mistake. You need your hands to maneuver around the rocks and branches and make sure you don’t get stuck anywhere. I ended up bonking my head on a fallen tree. There were also some unexpected (tiny) waterfalls I ended up going down, which was a tad frightening.
Needless to say, I was a little bit relieved when we came to the ending point. Being a constant worrier, I was nervous that I wouldn’t know when to get out and wind up getting sucked into the power plant (is that even how it works?). The ending point is right under a bridge with doting parents patiently waiting to get the perfect photo of their children. The current is quite strong near the finish point, and I ended up getting dragged under the water as I tried to get out of the tube.
While it was definitely an exhilarating adventure, I’m not sure I would jump at the opportunity to do it again. The river is used by Nova Scotia Power, and may have to be drained on occasion. Check out this Facebook Group that posts updates & instructions for getting there. Definitely check it out before you plan your trip.
Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about my favourite activities to do in Nova Scotia!