Archive for June, 2011

Exploits River Appreciation Week: Canada Day to July 7th

Monday, June 20th, 2011

With the recent approval of the Aspen Brook gravel pit it has never been more important to bring more attention to this great river.  We have always insisted that the key to protecting the Exploits River from harmful and needless industrialization is to use it; the more people that experience the beauty, culture and excitement of this historic river the louder the voice will be to preserve the river for recreational use for generations to come.

With this in mind, we are launching the Exploits River Appreciation week which will be the first week of July.  We would like as many people as possible to come on out and experience what the Exploits River has to offer, and will be running a series of promotions to encourage people to do just that!

For those of you who enjoy paddling, here are a few suggestions on how you can do your part to Save the Exploits River, and have the time of your life while you do it:

Paddle the River From Red Indian Lake

The section of the Exploits River from below the dam at Red Indian Lake to Badger is considered one of the best stretches of river for recreational paddling in the world!  This portion of the river is extremely deep, fast and stretches through a wilderness full of large game and absent of human interference.  It is literally a paddler’s dream!  Quite suitable for canoes or kayaks, this trip is ideally taken over two leisurely days with ample opportunities to camp along the way (but can be run in a single day).  There are a few sections, most notably Red Indian Falls, that require an easy portage, and we would be happy to provide you with a map and detailed instructions on what to expect along the way.

Experience our Badger Run route on Canoe or Kayak

For those of you that have been on our exciting Badger Run rafting trip, you should consider trying your hand at white-water canoeing or kayaking, and running it with some friends!  This 15km stretch of untouched wilderness is punctuated by easy to navigate rapids, swifts, and spectacular beauty.  Most of the trip is suitable for all levels of experience, but inexperienced paddlers will want to avoid or portage some of the more intense features.  The Badger Chute should be portaged by all but the most experience paddlers.  Feel free to end your trip at our chalet property, or continue on as far as Rushy Pond. 

Flat-water Paddling – Great Family Adventure!

If you are looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy this incredible river, you should consider taking a canoe or kayak trip from our property at Aspen Brook down to Rushy Pond. This section of the Exploits is perfect for leisurely canoe trips as the river is fairly swift and does most of the work for you! The route will take you down the southern side of the river, far removed from the signs of city life, giving you the feeling of a true wilderness experience.  For an added treat, you should consider camping on one of the many ruggedly beautiful islands you will encounter on route; we can give you a few suggestions and help you plan the perfect family camping trip.  Along the 15km route, there are many great opportunities to bring the canoe to the shore and explore the hidden wonders of this great river.

Another great activity would be to take a hike through one of the many trails in Grand Falls-Windsor along the Exploits River.  Perhaps you could bring a picnic lunch with you, or spend some time cleaning up the litter that has been carelessly left behind.  There are also dozens of excellent geocaching opportunities along the Exploits (see map of caches); most of the caches have been placed in the areas with the best possible view, or areas of historical significance.  If you have never geocached before, it’s essentially a world wide treasure hunt and a GREAT activity for families!  We would be happy to help get you started!

To do our part to get people on the river we are going to offer some new programs, and deeply discount our river trips and watercraft rentals to ensure everyone has the chance to experience the Exploits.  As always, everyone is more than welcome to use our property and river access to begin or end your Exploits River adventure free of charge.  We also offer shuttle service, and can arrange pick-up/drop-offs at any point along the Exploits River at very reasonable fees.

Over the course of the day we will introduce our full program of discounts and special offers designed to get as many people as possible on the Exploits River.  Whether you use our equipment or your own, please try to take some time to really experience this treasure before industry and poor resource planning destroy it forever.  We need you to help us prove that this river is worth saving.  Join us for the Exploits River Appreciation week in whatever way works best for you, and send the government of this province a clear and unmistakable message:

WE WILL FIGHT FOR OUR RIVER!!

See you on the river!

Jason Nault
Office Manager

The Government has made a Decision about the Gravel Pit…

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

In March 2010 we started a very public fight to bring awareness about the industrialization of the Exploits River, and its devastating impact on the tourism industry and on the quality of life for the people of Central Newfoundland.  At the forefront of this fight was an application for a gravel pit submitted by Penney’s Paving Ltd; an application we were vehemently opposed to. 

We launched the website www.SaveTheExploits.ca to help spread awareness on the issue, and to give people the tools they need to fight back.  Through SaveTheExploits.ca, we collected over a thousand signatures on our petition, over 4,000 members on our Facebook Group dedicated to saving the Exploits, and several hundred people used our government contact list to email members of parliament and ask them to take a stand and protect our river.

Thanks to the overwhelming tide of public support to save the river the government was not able to approve the pit to begin operation in the summer of 2010 as Penney’s Paving Ltd had requested.  Instead the approval of the application was delayed over a year, until they finally came to a conclusion.  Although their conclusion neither suits Penney’s Paving Ltd, nor saves the Exploits River from industrial development, it is still a small win as the restrictions it places on the operation still allow for summer enjoyment of the river.

Here is the official release:



Aspen Brook – Exploits River Quarry (Reg. 1477)
Proponent: Penney Paving Ltd.

Released from further environmental assessment subject to the following conditions:

  • • Operation of the quarry is to be limited to areas above the design flood high water mark and a minimum 100 meter undisturbed vegetated buffer between the proposed quarry operations and any watercourses must be maintained;
  • • A minimum 50 meter undisturbed vegetated buffer shall be maintained between the proposed quarry operations and the existing quarry to the east;
  • • A requirement to restrict quarry operating hours to be conducted between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays only and not to operate the quarry between June 15 and September 15.

The proponent is also required to complete a Development Plan as well as a Rehabilitation/Closure Plan to the satisfaction of the Department of Natural Resources.

The Rehabilitation/Closure Plan must provide details on the progressive rehabilitation of the site, which will be completed annually to limit the area of disturbance, and also on potential visual impacts and how this will be addressed through the life of the quarry.


Based on these operating restrictions, the impact of the pit’s operations on Riverfront Chalets & Rafting Newfoundland will not be catastrophic. We will no longer be able to offer weekday rafting trips in May & October, but overall the impact will be minimal. With the pit dormant through the summer, the proposed 100m buffer will likely preserve the feeling of untouched wilderness as we float down the Exploits River.

That said, this fight was never really about our business, it was, and remains, about protecting the Exploits River. We want the government to establish a sustainable use plan that will protect the river from all future harmful use applications like this gravel pit. We want there to be binding legislation to ensure the river will be able to be enjoyed by generations of Newfoundlanders and tourists to our beautiful region. We will not stop fighting until these objectives are met, and we would appreciate all the support you can muster to help make this a reality. Remember, THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR IN THIS PROVINCE!

Without the support we received from all of you, without the 4,000+ members of our Facebook Group, without the several hundred emails and letters you all sent to the government, without the support from the Ministry of Tourism, Adventure Central DMO, and many, many others, these concessions would not have been possible. We owe you all an incredible debt, and are forever grateful, but we beg you all to not give up the fight.

The single best way to build up support to protect the river is to USE the river! The entire Exploits River, starting at the Red Indian Lake dam, is a paddler’s dream! Whether you prefer canoes, kayaks, or rafts, you will have the time of your life! Once you have experienced it, you will want to fight all the harder! As a business, we’re going to come up with a way to get as many people as possible on the river the first week of July; expect an announcement in the days to come.

If you have your own watercraft, please feel free to use our river access right here on the chalet property at NO CHARGE. We can provide you with any safety gear you might be missing, with a detailed river map, and we can even arrange shuttle service for after your trip. Just call us any time and we’d be more than happy to help you plan your own day on the river.

Once again, thank you all for your continued support.

All the best,

Jason Nault
Office Manager
Riverfront Chalets

Chalets Held for Adventure Packages

Friday, June 10th, 2011

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There is absolutely nothing better than sliding into our salt water hot tub after a great day on the river!  In order to help ensure our rafting customers have first selection of the chalets throughout the summer we have introduced a “protection system” for our adventure customers.

Effectively immediately, throughout the summer a certain number of chalets will be held aside for our rafting or adventure customers.  It’s just our way of saying “thanks” to those customers who have helped us make Riverfront Chalets what it is today.

Our “Adventure Package” chalets will be made available to anyone booking at least a two person Badger Run rafting trip, or anyone who purchases a $250 Adventure Gift Card.  This new gift card can be used towards any adventure activity we offer, year round! We rent canoes and kayaks through the summer, snowmobiles and snowshoes through the winter, and also offer guided snowmobile tours! Your gift card will never expire, is fully transferable (so it would also make a great gift), and can be used a little at a time or all at once.

In the event that our rafting and adventure customers don’t book the”protected” chalets, we will release them about a week in advance to give everyone else an opportunity to book.

Drop us a quick email if you have any questions: info@riverfrontchalets.ca

See you on the river!!

Amazing Father’s Day Offer! Dad’s Raft for half-price!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Treat your dad to a Father’s Day he will never forget here at Riverfront Chalets & Rafting Newfoundland!

For Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, you can take your dad rafting with you on our Badger Run rafting adventure for HALF-PRICE ($55)!

If you really want to give your dad the ultimate Father’s Day experience, throw in a stay at one of our luxurious Riverfront Chalets! There is nothing like slipping into our outdoor saltwater hot tub after spending an incredible day rafting on the Exploits River!

Spaces will likely sell out quick, especially if you’re hoping for a chalet, so make sure you reserve soon! Call us at 709-486-0892 to take advantage of our Father’s Day rafting special!

Meet Our 2011 Raft Guides – Part 3: Gyula

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The third guide in our series is Gyula. Although this will be Gyula’s first season on the Exploits River, Gyula has been running his own whitewater rafting company in Slovenia for over ten years! Gyula is also one of the few active certified instructors for the International Rafting Federation, and will hopefully be running Atlantic Canada’s first ever I.R.F. certified "Raft Guide School" here at Rafting Newfoundland this July! Gyula is currently in India teaching raft guiding skills, and will be running a course in Slovenia before he makes his way to join us in Canada. After the season with Rafting Newfoundland, Gyula is off to teach rafting in Iran!

Here’s what Gyula had to say:

"My name is Gyula Takács (36), I grew up in a canoe on the Danube River. In the same year I started to study mechanical engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics my friend invited me to be a guide in his company.

From that first moment I spent all my weekends and holidays on white water and not much later it become my life.

Since 1996 I have been rafting worldwide (Ecuador, Europa, Marocco, India, China, South Korea). I was two times member and captain of the Hungarian Rafting Team in the world championships. I founded a travel agency in Hungary and a rafting company in Slovenia more than 10 years ago. Since I have obtained my instructor certification at the International Rafting Federation, my new hobby is to teach potential guides for rafting."