Paddle & Pedi pampers paddlers after a leisurely explore of the beautifully-restored Campbell River estuary. Photos courtesy Island Joy Ride

Paddle & Pedi pampers paddlers after a leisurely explore of the beautifully-restored Campbell River estuary. Photos courtesy Island Joy Ride

A river-inspired Campbellton connection

The Campbell River estuary has an amazing story of transformation from a damaged ecosystem that had little value for fish and wildlife to one that is natural and very beautiful.

It’s hard to believe that if you were to go there 25 years ago you would’ve seen three sawmills – with log booms all over the surface of the water and big machines driving in and out of the water sorting the logs. The area was largely sterile.

Thanks to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the City of Campbell River, corporate donations, elected officials and hundreds of volunteers, the estuary was restored it to what it is today.

Now you see salmon, seals, beavers, eagles, blue herons, bears, owls – and so much natural vegetation. So many people comment on how clear the water is.

Like the estuary, Campbellton is undergoing a transformation as well.

And because it fronts the river and accesses the restored estuary, Campbellton businesses have taken on the theme of Campbellton River Village which highlights the river and forest trails in their backyard. Their new logo with the bear and the paddleboard draws attention to the fact that there are so many activities, wildlife and adventures to see and explore.

This past sweltering hot weekend, people flocked to the river to swim, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel and tube.

And two Campbellton businesses are helping people experience the estuary’s inspirational story by taking their guests out on the estuary for a paddle and pampering them with a luxurious spa treatment.

Paddle & Pedi is an intimate evening of connection, infused with delicate treasures of the beautiful Campbell River estuary. Two Campbellton businesses, Island Joy Rides and Sass the Spa on 14th, have partnered to bring this carefully crafted evening to girlfriends, sisters, mothers, daughters, co-workers, and/or individuals.

After 15 months of COVID-19, everybody is seeking local experiences that bring people together. This new sense of freedom that comes with fewer restrictions and sunny days has made this experience even more important.

“So many locals have never paddled in the hidden channels of the estuary. Part of me would like to keep them a secret, but the other part wants to share them with people so that they, too, can feel the magic as they paddle through the channels,” says Island Joy Rides owner Laurel Cronk.

Paddle & Pedi is an intimate evening of connection, infused with delicate treasures of the beautiful Campbell River estuary.

The idea started when Cronk took her daughter to Sass the Spa on 14th, formerly Apple Mint Day Spa. They started talking about how pedicures would be so amazing overlooking the estuary.

From there the idea blossomed into including everything they thought women would savour: a leisurely paddle on the secret trails of the estuary, gentle ball rolling and stretching on the grass, bubbly, chocolate, friendship, and connection.

“It’s like an outdoor spa experience enriched with the natural beauty of the river,” Cronk said.