KITCHENER -- Boaters were in for a special treat Saturday at a handful of Grand River Conservation Authority sites.

Boat launches were originally scheduled to open next weekend, but got pushed up seven days due to the nice stretch of warm weather.

Public safety requirements have also been put in early at some locations to give boaters a chance to hit the water a little bit earlier.

Belwood Lake, Conestogo Lake, Guelph Lake, Laurel Creek, and Shade’s Mills have all been opened for limited recreational activities.

Ryan Juvatopolos, 8, is one of many who has been waiting to get out on the water and test his skills in his brand new kayak.

"I thought we should get out there first thing in the morning before it gets super busy," said Alecia Juvatopolos, Ryan’s Mom. "He’s really missing his friends and stuff like that so this just gives something else we can do."

She adds that they are able to have fun in the sun all while following the rules.

"I think it’s very safe," said Alecia. "Social distancing is really easy in a kayak because you’re in by yourself."

The GRCA and health officials are still reminding the public to practice physical distancing.

"You can enjoy the nice weather while maintaining two metres between yourself and others," said Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health for the Region of Waterloo. "Consider being active during less busy times of the day and leave if an area becomes crowded.

"If we don’t stay the course we will see cases rise again in Waterloo Region."

Planning short visits to sites is encouraged so many people can enjoy the space throughout the day.

Conservation areas will be open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The GRCA says public parking is limited and that if capacity is reached, access will be restricted.