Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?

A canoe is a boat that sits up higher in the water with bench seats and a one sided paddle while a kayak is a lower sitting boat in the water where you have a double sided paddle. The kayak is lighter and cuts the water better allowing you to go faster.

What is the difference between our Old Towne Canoes and Mad River Canoes?

The Old Towne canoes have a wide flat bottom and are very stable. The Mad River canoes have a rounded bottom, like that of a kayak, which makes them much less stable. Old Towne canoes hold up to two adults and two children, with the adults sitting in seats at the front and back, and the children sitting on pads in the bottom of the boat with crossbars as backrests. Mad River canoes hold up to two adults and one child, with the adults sitting in seats at the front and back, and the child sitting in a raised third seat in the middle.

What is the age limit for the equipment?

Children must be at least 5 years old for tubes, canoes, kayaks, and rafts. For Stand Up Paddle Boards, the child must be at least 9 years old.

Are the boats stable? will the boat flip?

The boats are stable, but there is still a chance of a canoe or kayak flipping, especially if you try to stand up in them. In general, rafts and canoes are more stable than kayaks.

What are the hours at Azalea Park?

We operate at Azalea Park seven days a week from 10:00am until 6:00pm during the peak season (June & July).  During peak season, all boats must be off of the water by 7:00pm and the last hourly rental is at 6:00 pm. During the off season (March, April, May, August, September, October), all boats must be off the water by 6:00pm and the last hourly rental is at 5:00pm.

Can we bring our own equipment?

Yes. All of the parks we operate from are public access, so you are welcome to bring your own equipment to any of our locations if you are not renting from us.

Can we rent life jackets and paddles?

Yes. Life jackets are $5 to rent with a $10 deposit and paddles are $5 to rent with a $40 deposit. The deposit is refunded to you when you return the equipment.

Can you shuttle my boat?

Yes. We offer personal equipment shuttling for hard-sided canoes and kayaks. We do not shuttle any personal inflatables such as tubes or any other inflatable boats.

Do I need to make a reservation?

We strongly recommend making a reservation ahead of time, especially if you want to come on a weekend, as reservations are the only way we can guarantee the equipment will be available. Reservations are required if you want to do the Garrard’s Landing trip. We do not take any same-day reservations.

Can I just walk up?

Yes. If you do not have a reservation, you can still walk up any day of the week during peak season (June, July, August) at Azalea Park for tube, canoe, kayak, raft rentals or Stand Up Paddle Boards. We also accept walk ups for tube rentals at Don White Park, but bear in mind that we can only guarantee availability if you make a reservation. 

Where do I go?

For hourly rentals and trips to Don White, Island Ford, and Garrard’s Landing come straight to Azalea Park. For Tubes only (during June, July, August), you can go straight to Don White Park if you either have a reservation for a Don White trip or want to walk up for tube rentals.

Where is the take out?

For Garrard’s Landing, Island Ford, and Don White trips the take out is Azalea Park.

Can I shuttle myself?

You can, but if you leave your keys in the car there will be a $20 shuttle fee to take you back to the start location, as long as there is an available shuttle driver when you return, or we can provide you the number of a local taxi. If you shuttle yourself you should also expect to wait an additional 25-30 minutes for us to deliver your equipment to the start point.

What can I bring on the river?

You are allowed to bring anything but glass containers or Styrofoam coolers.

Do you provide life jackets?

Yes. We provide life jackets with all of our rentals and fit them on you before you go out on the water.

How long do the trips take?
Trip Distance Trip Time by Equipment Type
Canoe/Kayak Raft Tube
Don White to Azalea Park 1.5 miles 1 – 2 hrs. 1 – 2 hrs. 2 – 4 hrs.
Island Ford to Azalea Park 3 miles 2 – 3 hrs. 3 – 4 hrs. N/A
Garrard’s Landing to Azalea Park 9 miles 5-7 hrs. N/A N/A

*** N/A under an equipment type’s trip time means that type of equipment can’t be used for that trip. ***