How does it work?
We post our schedule about a week out, once we are fairly confident in the weather forecast and river levels. Our route follows the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus and is typically available Wednesdays - Sundays. You'll paddle through the "nature in the city" section of the Scioto Audubon MetroPark, around the Whittier peninsula, and into the downtown cityscape with beautiful views and ample opportunities for photos! The trip lasts about 2.5 hours. The first half hour includes a 20 minute basic paddling lesson, and launching. You are on the water for about two hours.
What do you provide?
Kayaks: Our single person kayaks comfortably hold up to 250 lbs, and we have a few that can handle more. Just send us an email to info@olentangypaddle if your weight is over 250 so we can be sure to have the right kayak for you.
PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices): We have several different sizes of comfortable life jackets to choose from. Please note that we require all participants wear life jackets at all times.
Paddles: we offer different sizes of Harmony and Carlisle brand paddles.
Safety and instruction: Each trip includes a 20 minute lesson based on ACA (American Canoe Association) Quickstart course where we go over basic paddling strokes and techniques. A guide is on the water at all times. You are not required to stay with the guide, just within their eyesight.
How much does it cost?
Guided tours cost 40 + tax for adults and $20 + tax for kids 8-14. Note that we don't recommend children under 12 on the downtown Columbus route unless you are prepared to tow them because two hours of paddling is often too much for children under 12. We can hook your boat to theirs so you can do this. We only have single kayaks, no tandems. We require all kids under 16 have an adult accompany them.
Sounds great. How do I sign up?
Can I join a trip outing if I've never kayaked/canoed before?
Absolutely! The rivers we run are typically slow moving so that even a newbie can navigate them. Our guides are there to make you feel comfortable on the water and will give a demonstration of basic strokes.
What if it rains on the day of my scheduled trip?
If the weather forecast is unfavorable for boating on the river, Olentangy Paddle has the right to cancel all river runs. We’ll try our best to give you 24 hours notice via the email address you specified on your registration and we will refund your full amount. You’ll need to come back to this site to reschedule.
Can you accommodate large groups (15+)?
We can accommodate larger groups if given a few days notice. Click here to contact us.
What happens if I need to cancel my trip?
You must cancel your trip 48 hours prior to the date/time it is scheduled for. If you cancel within a 48-hour window, you can reschedule at any time, dependent on availability. There is a $5 fee for all cancellations.
What should I expect?
Prepare to get wet! Kayaking and canoeing are a participatory sport and chances are you will get wet as you get in and out of the boat. Prepare to see the city and nature in the city as you've never seen before. Many birds and turtles are in the Scioto Audubon MetroPark area. Expect to take photos if you bring your phone as there are many opportunities to capture iconic skyline images of downtown Columbus.
What should I wear?
Flip-flop shoes are NOT recommended. Strap-on sandals will provide you the comfort and safety you need to enter and exit your boat. Dress appropriately for the weather, wearing layers if you expect it to be chilly.
What should I bring?
- Insect Repellent
- Dress in layers, especially if you are scheduled for an evening run
- Small coolers
- Binoculars and/or Cell Phones at your own risk
What type of boats are available?
We offer Dagger Zydeco kayaks (9.5 feet and 11 feet).
Can my child be in the boat with me?
Most children ages 7 and up can navigate the smaller kayaks with minimal instruction, or if you prefer, chose a canoe rental so your child can be in the same boat with you.