One Day Paddling Trips

PPA Lifestyle - Old Town Kayaks Image-175x182River trips allow you to discover waters, scenery, critters in the water and along the banks that you simply cannot experience from the banks.

Such experience does not require days of travel to get to the river, nor the commitment to multiple days on the water. We are all busy, and often find it tough to plan a river trip that requires a day of travel to the river and back home.

Most of us are fortunate to be able to find awesome scenery, fresh air  and as much  splashing and exercise as we choose.  if you are within an hour of a boatable, accessible river, lake or coast, you are within two hours of a put-in time and assurance you can be home for the evening news.   If you live in a city, chances are there are multiple options for getting on the water with an outfitter or on your own.

New York?  The East, Delaware, Mongaup, and Hudson Rivers offer easy day trips.

Detroit?   Join thousand of your neighbors who enjoy the nearby Huron River each year.

Oklahoma City? The Oklahoma River is now home to USA Canoe and Kayak and has become a hub for those new to paddling as well as training and competition.

Reno? The reinvention of the city in the early 2000s was catalyzed by re-engineering the Truckee River, now host to tubes, kayaks, and inflatables all summer long.

Mobile? It’s famous bay has been home to boats, paddling and fishing from john boats, and stand up fishing boats for decades.  Kayak fishing and Stand Up Paddling are as alive and well in this area as anywhere in the U.S.

Rafting near end of 2 miles of high quality whitewater in Columbus, Georgia
Rafting near end of 2 miles of high quality whitewater in Columbus, Georgia

Now, before your expectations climb out of reach, you may not find a broad variety of options close by, but there are probably more than you’d think.  In addition, the trend of finding recreational water near densely populated areas may be bringing new options to you soon.  Recent river restoration in Columbus, Georgia(a) is revitalizing its downtown.  The removal of dams on the Elwha(b) and Sandy(c) Rivers in Oregon that no longer served their original purpose has restored habitat for critters and  created recreation opportunities for residents.  Dam removal plans will restore rapids to a city whose name deserves them: Grand Rapids, Michigan(d).

Try our outfitter search service to find one of our members who is just waiting to introduce you a  day trip that may well create memories of a lifetime.

This article links to the following sources:
(a)Uptown Columbus –
(b)National Park Service –
(c)National Geographic –
(d)Michigan Public Radio –


Reliable River Releases Make Trip Planning Easier

Photo courtesy of  Man of Rubber. Valley Kayak Paddles, MTI life vests, RiverGear Helmets.
Photo courtesy of Man of Rubber. Valley Kayak Paddles, MTI life vests, RiverGear Helmets.

Decades ago, finding a river on which you could be pretty certain of an exciting experience used to be dependent on recent rain or the melting of the previous winter’s snow.   The ‘season’ for reliable bouncy and fun river recreation was during the late winter, spring and early summer months.

That’s still the case today on many rivers: you can enjoy whitewater in the spring and return to the same river for a lazy summer float during the summer when flows are lower and slower.  You may not know exactly how much water will be in the river on a given day, but you’ll have a good idea based on the season and recent weather.

Many rivers now flow with uncanny consistency and at the same level of flow, whether you paddle in early May or late July.   They may ‘run’ on certain days of the week, and sometimes provide a slightly higher level, predictably on Saturdays vs. Sundays: it’s sort of weird when you think about it!

Well, this predictability is great for rafters, canoers and kayakers who have jobs during weekdays. Being able to head to a river for a rafting trip at say, 10 a.m. on a specific Saturday knowing the water will be at predictable level is pretty darn great.  This predictability can be a result of an agreement with the owner of a dam that collect water for either flood control or the production of hydropower.  In Colorado, several towns have secured a Recreational Instream Channel Diversion or RICD, which is a type of water right that guarantees flow on specific days, as long as there is sufficient supply available upstream of the town.


Exciting Autumn River Trips

Ocoee River, Tennessee, USA. Photo courtesy of Man of Rubber
Lower Gauley River

Autumn is an excellent time to take to the water.  While early months are times when melted snow and spring rains make for exciting whitewater fun, autumn brings the drawdown of major reservoirs to create space for the next winter’s snow. One of the most picturesque and exciting examples of this ‘drawdown’ release arrangement is the Gauley River in central West Virginia.  The Gauley runs often throughout the year, but you can pretty much bet on finding rootin’ tootin’ whitewater fun there from early September to the middle of October. Beginning the Friday after Labor Day, the Army Corps of Engineers administer controlled releases specifically for river recreation below its Summersville, West Virginia dam on six successive weekends through the middle of October.  These releases bring paddlers travel from all over the United States due to the high quality and reliability of the whitewater.

The Gauley includes two commonly run sections: the Class IV-V Upper Gauley and Class III-IV Lower Gauley.  Day trips can be run on the Upper or Lower or in combination with the in-between Class III-IV Middle Gauley section.  Some outfitters offer overnight trips that span all three sections, just over twenty-six (26) miles in all.

Rafting the Gauley River is a definite ‘must do’ weekend trip to this part of the country from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New York DC, Philadelphia in the Midwest and Northeast, Charlotte,  Raleigh, Atlanta, Charlotte and Chattanooga. The Gauley and its neighbor New and Bluestone Rivers are protected from further development by being part of a National Service Recreation Area. They offer spectacular beauty and excitement amidst their majestic gorges, and are even prettier as the leave turn.

October, 2014 Paddling Events

October 1
Stand Up for Safe Families Paddle Parade
Texas Rowing Center, Austin, Texas
The 4th Annual Stand Up For Safe Families event is an awareness event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Show up at the Texas Rowing Center on the North side of Lady Bird Lake at 5:30p and we will provide you with a free kayak, canoe or standup board rental. Don’t forget to wear purple for awareness!

October 3-5
The Gales Storm Gathering
Munising, Michigan
An intermediate to advanced Great Lakes Sea Kayaking event

October 4
The Louisville 50
Westport to West Point, Kentucky
The Louisville 50 is adventure race/float  on the first Saturday of October, every year. You can paddle, row or sail the entire 50 miles or any segment – from checkpoint to checkpoint. All paddlers are encouraged to participate. 

Flow the St. Joe
Spencerville to Leo-Cedarville, Indiana
This is a recreational paddle and self-guided tour of the St. Joseph River from Spencerville to Leo-Cedarville. Begin your 4 to 5 hour trip by checking in between 10:30 and 11:30. Transportation, box lunch, water and educational materials are included in the registration fee of $15 per adult or two adults for $25.

October 4 – 5
Gerry Lopez Rainbow Sandals’ Battle of the Paddle
Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, California
After six epic years, ‘BOP’ moves to a new venue a few miles up the coast, Salt Creek Beach. The weekend will include all the BOP favorites, from a huge expo with demos, to entertainment and multiple races, including an elite race, recreational race, kids race, team relays, and a distance race that takes competitors to Laguna Beach and back.

Nooksa River Slalom
Glacier, Washington
The League of Northwest Whitewater Racers is an all-volunteer group of paddlers in the Pacific Northwest. Under the auspices of the American Canoe Association, US Canoe&Kayak, and the Washington Kayak Club, the League organizes wildwater races and races and training clinics in whitewater slalom. 

October 5
River Rocks Canoe & Kayak Races
Chattanooga, Tennessee
A 3 and 6-mile race up and back. There are no obstructions in the river. There will be a festival and other events afterwards.

October 10 – 12
SUWS Finals
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
The Standup World Series wraps up on Oahu’s North Shore at Turtle Bay Resort after a year-long journey with seven stops through five countries. The competitors will race sprint and distance courses with the world champion determined by points from the events earlier in the year.

US SUP Tour Stop #3
Hermosa Beach/Redondo Beach, California
The final of three stops, the US SUP Tour’s Hermosa/Redondo Beach event will feature Elite (5- to 6-km course) and Open racing (4- to 5-km course) and an SUP surfing competition.

October 11
Island to Island Waterman Relay
Santa Barbara Island, California
A 28-mile relay for paddleboard, outrigger canoe and SUP (14′ only) teams. The course takes you from Santa Barbara Island to The Isthmus on Catalina Island. Race with some of the best!

Suwannee River Race Challenge & Marathon
White Springs, Florida
There are two races, a 26-mile and a 52-mile race. The 26-mile race starts at highway 6 and ends in White Springs, FL. The 52-mile race starts in Fargo, GA and ends in White Springs, FL. It is on moving water that has no obstacles. A shuttle service is provided.

Sarasota SUP Race Series’ Race 3 
Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, Florida
The final race of the Sarasota SUP Race Series includes a 7-mile elite race, 3-mile recreational race, and a grom race. Experience the bay, mangroves and canals of Lido and Bird Keys in this challenging and picturesque race. This Series Finale determines the winners for each division, as well as the Series Paddle title and bragging rights for the next year.

Golden Nugget SUP Race
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
The Golden Nugget Race will be split into a Short Course 5k and a Long Course 10k. The 5k will allow 12′ and under, 12’6 and 14ft, while the 10k allows 12’6″, 14′, over 14′ boards and traditional/prone. Both 5k and 10k will have a division for paddlers 50 + with board length- Open. This year, the event will offer a youth race immediately following the adult races. Age categories are 10 and under and 11-15, both co-ed. There is no restriction on board length in either category. This is a WPA sanctioned event, with proceeds benefitting One-Eighty Place (formerly Crisis Ministries). 

October 12
Phatwater Challenge
Natchez, Mississippi
42.5 mile canoe and kayak race on the Mississippi River held on the second Saturday of October.

Cranberry Bog Paddlefest
Buckeye Lake, Ohio
Paddle Fest participants will navigate from the North Bank Boat Dock to Cranberry Bog.

October 17-18
The 100 Mile Paddle
Los Angeles to San Diego, California
This is the ultimate multi-day charity adventure paddle race in California, taking place from LA to San Diego. This event is open to standup paddlers, prone paddlers, surf skis, marathon canoes, OC-1, OC-2 and 6-man outrigger teams. You can participate as a solo paddler or as a two-, three- or four-person relay team. This is a self-supported race, which means you and your team are responsible for your support boats/vehicles.

October 17-19
Moose Fest
Moose River, Old Forge, NY
New York’s Premiere Whitewater event! Each October whitewater enthusiasts gather in Old Forge to paddle the Moose. Mountainman hosts and organizes clinics and outings all weekend long. We bring in whitewater and industry professionals to teach and lead trips.

October 18
Paddle Bayou
La Batre, Alabama
Paddlers will have an up-close and personal experience of being on a true working bayou, lined with shipyards, shrimpboats, oyster skiffs, and scenic natural vistas. Experience and learn about the bayou’s history as you traverse the waters. Paddle under the vertical lift bridge, one of Bayou La Batre’s landmarks. Enjoy Bayou cuisine afterwards. The trip is approximately 6 miles with an option to take out at 2.5 miles.

October 25
150th Anniversary of Cushing’s Escape Paddle
Plymouth, North Carolina
Join the Washington County Historical Society and the Roanoke River Waterways Commission for a special paddling event on October 25th! In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the sinking of CSS Albemarle, paddle your way down Conaby Creek – the escape route of the Albemarle’s young daredevil destructor, Commander William B. Cushing.

3rd Annual Chattajack 31 Race
Chattanooga, Tennessee
The South’s 31-mile race downriver is back for its third year. Paddlers will race from Coolidge Park to Hales Bar Marina on Nickajack Lake before taking in all the fun at the River Rocks Festival. Most paddlecrafts welcome.