Individuals and families can get a taste of kayaking and canoeing 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.
- Special thank you to Whitewater Warehouse and Twin Creek Canoe and Kayak 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, SUP boards and more. Visit the exhibitor village to see what is available.
- Thanks to Adventures on the Great Miami, canoes are available for test paddles at OutdoorX. Canoeing is a relaxing sport for the whole family.
Try Whitewater, in inflatable kayaks
- Thanks to Whitewater Warehouse for offering this exciting opportunity to try paddling the whitewater feature in an inflatable kayak with pro paddler, Bernie Farley as your instructor! Inflatable kayaks are a great way to navigate the rapids of the Mad River!
Kayak the Mad River
12:00pm and 3:00pm
12:00pm and 2:00pm
- Paddle the Mad River for FREE! Thanks to the Twin Creek Canoe and Kayak for providing kayaks, paddles and PFDs. Sign up to take a quick, one mile, group float with safety boaters. Spaces are limited. Registration and check-in will be at the main event information booth. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to departure time, or your spot may be given away to someone present. Must be 14 years of age or older.
Open Boat-Paddle with the Pros
- Have your own kayak or SUP equipment and want to learn tips and tricks from the experts? During open boat times on the Mad River Run, you can get in the water and learn from the experts.
- Watch top-notch freestyle whitewater and SUP boaters in the Pro Surf Shows as they do bow stalls, rolls, flips and more in the Mad River Run whitewater feature. See show times here.
- Buckeye Kayak Fishing
- Enter this tournament and show off your talent for getting the biggest catch from a paddlecraft!
- SUP Cross Race, presented by surfdayton.com and Whitewater Warehouse.
- Balance your way through this head to head race navigating gates, buoys, and the whitewater feature.
- SUP Surf Comp, presented by surfdayton.com and Whitewater Warehouse.
- Bring your best trick style and cool wave entries.
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. No alcohol consumption prior to activity.
Essential eligibility criteria for Try Paddlesports and Try Whitewater activities
To participate in these activities on the lagoon and the Mad River, 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.
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!