Preparing for your course

What to Bring

What to Expect

Our courses take place at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area. Once you park in the parking lot and come up to the right of the brown concession buildings, you will probably see our blue canoe trailer. This is where you will meet your instructor, either Bob, Bill or Pippa (or a combination of two or three of them) and fellow course participants. The lake will be in front of you, and that is where we will be paddling. We will be close to your car, so at break times you can get anything you need. Washrooms are close by as well.

To start, all you really need to take out on the water with you is a bottle of water, and, if you get hungry often, maybe a snack. Depending on the weather, a hat and sunscreen or rain gear may be useful as well.

Most of our courses begin at 9 am. We will begin with introductions and some information, and get you properly fitted out with a PFD (life jacket) and paddle. You will have ten minutes or so after that to go back to your car for anything else you might need, or the washroom, before we get into the canoes and go out on the water.

We often have a break around 11:15, and a late lunch around 1:00 or so. Lunch is about 45 minutes. We usually eat together at the picnic tables provided near the lake and we often do our theory session then, once people have finished eating and before we go back on the water. Most courses end at 5 pm.

You do not need to wear your swim suit to the course. We will give you ample notice of when we will do the in-water portion of the course, and give you time to change. There are changing facilities in the park. On a hot day we often do the in-water portion at the end of the day to cool off, but sometimes we have to work around the weather.

If you do not have time to make a lunch, there is a concession stand at the park, but the menu is limited and not very healthy. It also may not be open for the early May courses. There is a large grocery story about 5 minutes from the park, as well as some fast food outlets, but you will need to grab something to bring back, so you can take part in the theory session after lunch.

If you have questions about anything, just send Pippa an email, and she will be happy to answer them! Our email address is


Camping at the park: Grand River

There are also hotels, motels, bed & breakfast, and AirBnbs availible in the area.