As we row full speed ahead into summer, your kids might already be tired of the local pool or splash pad. Perhaps you’re looking for another sort of water-centered adventure to mix things up a bit. Canoeing/kayaking is a fun, family friendly activity that’s sure to be a hit — and lucky for us, Southwest Ohio is surrounded by several canoe-worthy bodies of water! We did our research to find the most family friendly spots for a relaxing afternoon on the water.
Check out these 10 local places to rent canoes or kayaks around Southwest Ohio!
235 East Tipp Pike West Milton, OH
Enjoy some relaxing water fun with the Scenic Stillwater Canoe Trip. This 4/5 mile trip typical takes 1.5 to 2 hr but you can take as long as you wish up until 6pm no matter what time you start. Cost is $40 for a double in a canoe, but kids under 12 can ride in the middle free of charge!
3234 Washington Mill Rd, Bellbrook, OH
Offering canoes, kayaks and tubes, Bellbrook Canoe emphases that no experience is necessary for any of their trips. The 5.2 mile round trip on the Little Miami River usually takes around 3 hours, but you can take your time and stay out as late as 7 pm.
Green Acres Kayak
10465 Suspension Bridge Rd, Cincinnati, OH
Currently only providing single-person kayaks, Green Acres Kayak offers three different trip options – 3, 5 or 8 miles! Kids must be at least 12 years old and over 75 pounds.
Little Miami Canoe Rental
Two locations: Morrow, OH; Oregonia, OH
The Little Miami River is a favorite among canoeing/kayak enthusiasts — but there are loads of options for first-timers, too. The 2-mile trip offered at Little Miami Canoe Rental is perfect for kids, clocking in between 45 minutes- 1-1/2 hours of light paddeling. (Unlike many places that charge an hourly fee, Little Miami charges a flat rate — so feel free to take as long as you need!)
Loveland Canoe and Kayak
174 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, Ohio 45140
Loveland Canoe prides itself on being kid friendly, and features lots of fun trips for families. Kids over 5 and 40 pounds are welcome. We suggest the Castle Adventure, a 5-mile ride that floats past the Historic Loveland Castle!
Related Article: Best Beaches Near Southwest Ohio
Miami Whitewater Forest Harbor
9001 Mt. Hope Road, Crosby Township, OH 45030
This Great Park is a perfect place for west-side families to canoe. At just 85 acres, Miami Whitewater’s harbor is an accessible and kid-friendly place for families “test the waters.”
Brookville, IN and Ft. Ancient, OH
Morgan’s charges per canoe or kayak — rates are based on the length of trip. Each canoe will accommodate up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. Single or double kayaks are available. Fill out a waiver before you go, and please note that kids must be over 4 years of age to ride.
Rivers Edge Canoe & Kayak Outfitters
3928 US 42, Waynesville, OH, 45068
This is a great option for Northern Cincy residents, conveniently located between Mason/West Chester and Dayton. As its name suggests, “Blue Jacket’s Best” is your best bet for younger kids: this 3.5 mile trip clocks in between 1.5-3 hours to complete.
Scenic River Canoe Excursions
4595 Round Bottom Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio
Scenic River is all about preserving and respecting Ohio’s beautiful rivers, and boasts that they’re “the southeastern most canoe and kayak livery on the Little Miami […] it’s the prettiest part of Ohio’s most beautiful river.” Families should try Fletcher’s Mid Trip, a 6 mile ride (2-3 hours) that is $30/person. Kids must be at least 5 years old and over 50 pounds.
Winton Woods Harbor
10245 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231
The 156-acre Winton Lake is a great place to take canoeing newbies, with gentle waters and a very family friendly size. Canoe and kayak rentals start at just $13.95/hour.
So grab your sunscreen, water shoes and life jackets — and hit the water for a little adventure!
Please note: while there’s no standard consensus on age requirements for water rowing, it’s highly recommended that kids are able to swim. If you’re unsure of your child’s swim skills, we recommend enrolling in swim lessons first — and sticking to creek stomping in the meantime!