Beat the heat and make a splash with our canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards! Metroparks offers relaxing river tours, intensive skills-based courses, and everything in between.
Learn the basics at a try-it paddling program, explore scenic paddling locations with a naturalist on a Metroparks Paddling Experience, or hone your skills at a Paddle Sports Class. See the Outdoor Skills calendar for the lineup of upcoming programs designed to get you on the water.
If you are interested in putting your skills to the test, sign up for one of our Overnight Experiences.
Explore the scenic ponds and marshes of your Metroparks. You can launch hand-powered paddle craft (such as a canoe or kayak) at several locations. These water bodies have no current and are great for beginner paddlers. Kayaking on our lakes/ponds you can be 8 and up with an adult.
The Maumee River can be accessed through several launch points. See the Maumee River Watertrail Brochure for information on amenities available.
Paddle craft can be launched from Otsego Rd.
The Nona France Area of Blue Creek offers paddling access to a clear quarry pond. Access to the water is a beach launch (there is no dock). Park address is 7035 Providence Street, Whitehouse, OH 43571. Blue Creek Kayak Rentals. Kayak rentals open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Paddle craft can be launched into the pond. An accessible dock with rollers provides easy access to the water.
Water-based recreation has been a focus of Farnsworth Metropark since its conception. A boat launch has a ramp for small boats and personal watercraft allowing you access to the Maumee River directly from the park. The park overlooks Missionary Island, a popular destination for paddlers to explore. You can rent kayaks Friday through Sunday, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day at the Farnsworth Kayak Concession operated by Metroparks. Please note no coolers or backpacks will be permitted. For information please call (419) 340-0823 or (419) 340-1842. Brought to you in a fitness partnership with MercyHealth!
Paddlecraft can be launched from the Corey Street Boat Launch, near Fort Miamis. This launch gives access to the Maumee River near the Audubon Islands State Nature Preserve, a popular paddling destination with great opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Paddle craft can be launched from the boat launce w/ ramp.
Accessible only by water. Two primitive campsites and a rustic cabin available for reservations.
Howard Marsh, on State Route 2 at Howard Road, showcases six miles of water trail for canoeing and kayaking. Enjoy this unique experience of paddling through the marsh, and the convenience of not having to haul your own boat to the park, Howard Marsh Kayak Rentals. Kayak rentals are available Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Kayak Share is currently closed.
Paddle craft can be launched from the Kayak Cove, which provides access to the Maumee River in downtown Toledo directly from the park.
Paddle craft can be launched from Kuhlman Landing.
An accessible dock with rollers provides easy access to Silver Lake. Paddlers may also launch from a set of stone steps that access the water. Cartop boats can be launched under the I-475 bridge at Side Cut.
With access to a boat launch, Wiregrass Lake becomes a hub for paddling sports and fishing alike. This launch has rollers which makes it easier for paddlers to enter or return from the water.
Paddling programs are held rain or shine, so dress for the weather. Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and dirty.
Avoid cotton clothing, as cotton soaks up water like a sponge and will be heavy and uncomfortable when paddling. Cotton also stops insulating you from the cold when it’s wet, so you can become chilled very easily in wet cotton clothing, even on a warm day. Synthetic or wicking fabrics are recommended such as nylon, polyester, fleece, or wool. Raingear is recommended if the weather calls for it.
Old tennis shoes or sandals that attach to the foot are recommended. Do not wear flip-flops.
Bug spray and sunscreen are highly recommended.
Bring a filled water bottle, bug spray, sun protection (hat, sunglasses with strap, sunscreen) and snacks (optional). A towel and a change of clothes to leave in the car are recommended. You may get wet on any paddle. All other equipment and gear will be provided for you.
What to bring: participant packing list.
Paddling programs are rain or shine programs, so a little bit of rain won’t scare us off. Paddles will only be cancelled for severe weather such as thunderstorms or high winds that can make an outing unsafe. The staff carefully monitors the weather before any paddling program. If the decision is made to cancel a paddle due to severe weather you will receive a phone call. Otherwise toss a raincoat in the car and come enjoy your paddle!
No, all paddling equipment is provided.
We have a mixture of kayak types including sea kayaks, sit-on top kayaks and recreational kayaks. The majority of our kayaks seat one person. Different kayaks are more comfortable for different people; your paddle leader will help you choose the kayak that is best for you.
A limited number of tandem kayaks are available for participants with disabilities that would benefit from them. All paddling and other outdoor skills programs are ADA accessible. Please call 419-265-2920 to discuss accessibility arrangements.
Children must be 8 or older to paddle a kayak, SUP or canoe for a pond paddle, and 12 or older to paddle on rivers/creeks. Children 4 or older can ride as a third passenger in a canoe (pond paddles only), but must be accompanied by two paddlers ages 8 or older, at least one of which must be an adult guardian.
Yes, register all program participants (including children) for every paddle.
You can. Metroparks has strict safety criteria for all gear used during programs. If your gear does not meet our safety standards you will not be allowed to paddle with it during our program. Any participant bringing their own boat/paddleboard must be able to transport, load and unload their watercraft and gear without staff assistance. Call your program leader several days before the paddle to be sure your watercraft meets our safety standards before attempting to bring it to a program.
Dogs are not permitted unless the program description specifically says it is a dog-friendly paddle.