Paddling

Have you caught the paddling bug yet? With our miles of rivers and creeks as well as nearby lakes, the Dayton region is becoming a paddling hotspot. If you are new to the sport, the absolute best way to get a feel for a kayak, canoe or paddleboard is to paddle one on the water. At OutdoorX, try paddling a kayak, canoe, stand up paddleboard (SUP) or other paddlecraft — all great ways to explore nature and enjoy Eastwood MetroPark’s calming lagoon.

Saturday 11 AM – 7 PM and Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM

Kayak, Canoe, SUP and more!

Individuals and families can get a taste of kayaking, canoeing and standup paddleboarding (SUP) at the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. Located near the heart of the festival, the Eastwood MetroPark Lagoon is a great place for paddlers to explore.

Try Kayaking

  • Special thank you to Whitewater Warehouse for providing kayaks for the public to try at OutdoorX. Boats are available for all sizes and abilities.
  • Other paddling-related exhibitors will have fishing kayaks, whitewater boats and more. Visit the exhibitor village to see what is available.

Try Canoeing

Try SUP

  • Standup paddleboarding is a sport that grew out of surfing in Hawaii and has become increasingly popular as a recreational and as a whitewater sport across the country. Get a taste of SUP at OutdoorX, thanks to Whitewater Warehouse, which is providing boards.

Try Rafting

  • Rafting is perfect for the group that wants to try paddling together. A limited number of rafts will be available thanks to Adventures on the Great Miami.

Kayak the Mad River

  • NEW THIS YEAR: A select number of our guests will have the opportunity to kayak paddle the Mad River. Float times are 11 AM and 3 PM Saturday and Sunday. Meet at the Twin Creek canoe and Kayak Livery booth next to the Mad River Run. Spaces are limited. Preregistration is strongly encouraged.

Paddle with the Pros

  • Have your own kayak or SUP equipment and want to learn tips and tricks from the experts? During select times on the Mad River Run, you can get in the water and learn from the experts. We will even have a special Women’s Whitewater Clinic taught by pro-boater Erica Mitchel.

Watch It

  • Watch top-notch freestyle whitewater and SUP boaters do bow stalls, rolls, flips and more in the Mad River Run whitewater feature. See show times here.

Compete It

  • Enter the Buckeye Kayak Fishing tournament and show off your talent for getting the biggest catch by paddlecraft! Or check out the Bust Your Balloon paddling relay or the Pumpkin and Skulls Hunt on the Mad River.

General rules and eligibility criteria for all paddling

There is always a chance that you could turn your boat over and become completely submerged in the water. Please plan ahead by: 1) checking the weather forecast 2) dressing for the weather 3) bringing a change of clothes and a towel.

All paddlers MUST wear a properly fitted lifejacket, zipped and clipped, while on the docks or in a boat.

Essential eligibility criteria
To participate in this activity all participants must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position
  • Be able to independently hold their head and neck upright, without restraints, while paddling in order to maintain proper body positioning, avoid capsizing, and freely exit capsized watercraft
  • Be able to wear and maintain wearing a properly fitted lifejacket throughout the program
  • In the event of a capsize be able to independently hold their breath while underwater
  • In the event of a capsize be able to independently get out from under the watercraft, and with the aid of a properly fitted lifejacket independently turn from a face down position to a face up position and keep their face above water
  • Be able to independently, or with the assistance of a companion, manage all mobility

 

Have your own boat?

You can plan a trip any time during the weekend. The river is always open (unless there is severe flooding, which is not likely in October). There are 62 miles of canoe- and kayak-friendly water from Bellefontaine to Eastwood MetroPark. Anglers will be excited to know brown trout are available from Bellefontaine to Springfield. Below the city of Springfield downstream to Downtown Dayton, smallmouth bass become more prevalent. The Mad River is a swift moving spring-fed stream that offers great water for beginners as well as a couple of rapid sections that will interest the advanced boater.

View Mad River Map
Download Mad River Map (PDF)

After OutdoorX

Of the 265 miles of water trail our region offers, Five Rivers MetroParks manages nearly 39 miles. The 185-acre Eastwood Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds in the Miami Valley are home to many great paddling opportunities. Paddling a kayak, canoe, standup paddleboard (SUP) or other paddlecraft is a great way to explore nature and enjoy the region’s various water features.

Explore these MetroParks paddling facilities to paddle on your own!

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