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How does it work?

We have regularly scheduled routes available 7 days per week, 4x per day, on the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. We also provide boats, equipment, and boat shuttling on other routes along Alum Creek, Big Walnut and other waterways in Central Ohio. Just contact us.

What do you provide?

We have scheduled trips as many times per week, weather and staff permitting on the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers.

- 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.
- PFD (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.

How much does it cost?

Unguided 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?

Click here to sign up.

Oh wait, I should first ask how to get back to my car.

You will return to the same location you start at for the Downtown Columbus route. The downtown waterway has very little current when we run it so the paddling experience is like being on a lake or reservoir (flat water).

Can I rent a boat if I've never kayaked/canoed before?

Absolutely! The rivers we run are typically slow moving so that even a newbie can navigate them. When you pick up your boat, the attendant will give a brief 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.

Do you offer guided tours?

We will be offering special guided tours throughout the season. Check our special events calendar for details.

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.

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.

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). We also offer Old Town Canoes.

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.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

Just email us at to let us know. All cancellations incur a $5 fee and for cancellations within less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled trip must be rescheduled (no refunds are given).

Downtown Columbus