Department of Sports Facilities and Campus Recreation

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Canoeing and Kayaking

Outdoor Endeavors' canoeing and kayaing specialists work with the campus community and the public to provide:

  • Rentals.
  • Shuttles.
  • Outfitting.
  • Boating programs and clinics.
  • Customized boating programs.

We are sanctioned by the American Canoe Association to provide nationally recognized paddlesports curriculum and instruction.

We also operate under a special use permit from the National Park Service to provide guided trips in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and on the St. Croix National Scenic River.

Group training

For groups of four or more that want to develop and refine their skills for a paddling trip, we can:

  • Arrange paddling workshops.
  • Lead safety clinics.
  • Teach basic water rescue.

We schedule them by demand from May through September at the Lake George Boathouse or from October through April in the Halenbeck Hall Pool.  Call 320-308-3772 for more information.

Local Canoe Routes

Mississippi River — St. Cloud to Clearwater

  • 12.4 miles
  • 3-5 hours depending on water level
  • This is the most popular local route that starts at the South End of the St. Cloud State University campus and ends in Clearwater just upstream from the Minnesota Highway 24 bridge.
  • The first leg of the trip winds through the 30 Beaver Islands that are much like what Zebulon Pike saw when he traveled through in 1805.
  • The trip is rich with wildlife including bald eagles, beavers, whitetail deer, turkeys and a wide assortment of waterfowl.

Mississippi River — St. Cloud to River Bluffs Regional Park

  • 3.1 miles
  • 1-2 hours depending on water level
  • This is the newest local route that starts at the South End of the St. Cloud State campus and ends in River Bluffs Regional Park just off Roosevelt Road.
  • The route offers the greatest opportunity to explore the Beaver Islands and is a great choice for those with limited time to be on the water.
  • The stretch is a world class smallmouth bass fishery that attracts anglers from across the country.

Sauk River — Cold Spring to Knights of Columbus Park

  • 17.5 miles
  • 5-6 hours depending on water level
  • This local route can has numerous access point for shorter trips. F
  • lowing from Lake Osakis the Sauk river is smaller and meanders as it makes it's way to the Mississippi River confluence.
  • The Sauk River offers outstanding fishing & bird watching with lot's of herons, kingfishers and waterfowl.
  • While some choose to paddle beyond the Knights of Columbus Park, we generally discourage it. The river below this point has steep banks, lots of trees spanning the river and a number of rapids and areas of past construction debris and concrete, including rebar all of which is a hazard to the novice paddler.

Safety

For the safety of our clients and program we have established canoeing and kayaking restrictions that correlate with river levels.

Outdoor Endeavors does not run shuttles or offer rentals when the Mississippi River below the St. Cloud dam is running above 10,000 cubic feet per second or more.

The river moves fast at the put in and inexperienced boaters are at risk of capsize at the start of their trip.

We reserve sole discretion and the right to refuse rental of canoes and kayaks if conditions are deemed unsafe or the renter has insufficient experience for the conditions.

We check current water levels.

Mississippi River — Little Falls to St. Cloud

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

Mississippi River — St. Cloud to Anoka

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

Sauk River — Waite Park/St. Cloud area

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

St. Louis River — Scanlon

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

Snake River — Mora

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

Kettle River — Sandstone

MNDNR Gauge USGS Gauge

Safety Education

Wear It! Life Jackets Matter
VIDEO - Life Jackets Float. Do You?
Your personal floatation device is your first line of defense against drowning. Proper PFD selection and fit is critical. And, a life jacket does you no good if you don't wear it. 

Fitting a Child Life Jacket
VIDEO - Fitting Kids for Life Jackets
Kids need to wear life jackets too! Proper life jacket fit and selection is even more important with children since they vary so much in size. 

Cold Water Survival
Hypothermia
Most of the year, the water in Minnesota is just plain cold. Be prepared for the cold and understand the basic signs and symptoms of hypothermia. Proper preparation is key in preventing hypothermia. 

Whitewater Safety Code
The American Whitewater is a great resource for planning a river trip and considering the risk management involved. While much of it is designed for avid whitewater paddlers, it transfers to recreational boaters equally well.

Clinics and Presentations

SmartStart for Paddlers

  • This American Canoe Association introductory paddling safety course is for canoeists, kayakers, paddleboarders and rafters, and provides the best information available to make paddling experiences safe and enjoyable from the very first time the new paddler goes on the water.
  • Register at 320-308-3772.

Quickstart Your Kayak

  • A 3-hour introduction to paddling a kayak that you must take before attending open kayak sessions.
  • Students learn basic information on dressing to paddle safely, potential hazards and simple rescues.
  • A minimal paddle skill set is presented and practiced, allowing students to safely and comfortably maneuver on still water.
  • Equipment is provided.
  • $25 per person
  • 6 maximum, 4 minimum participants
  • 12 and older
  • 6-8 p.m., dates TBA
  • Halenbeck Hall Pool

Kayak Rolling Clinic

  • Take your kayaking to the next level with our rolling clinics. Emphasis is on a gentle progression from getting used to being under water to proper technique, form and self rescue.
  • This course complements the Quickstart or Intro to Kayaking programs.
  • Space is limited to 6 participants.
  • Equipment is provided.
  • $25 per person
  • 6 maximum, 3 minimum participants
  • 12 and older
  • Time, dates TBA
  • Halenbeck Hall Pool

Open Kayak Sessions

  • If you want to keep your kayaking skills sharp, join us for open kayaking. Student instructors will help with skill development and rolling practice.
  • Bring your boat or use ours.
  • Quickstart course is a prerequisite.
  • $10 per person (includes use of equipment)
  • 12 and older
  • Times, dates TBA
  • Halenbeck Hall Pool

Kayak Rescue Skills

  • Learn essential kayak rescue skills in a controlled environment.
  • Emphasis will be on aided and self-rescue techniques, proper use of safety equipment and group management on larger bodies of water.
  • Equipment provided.
  • Course is required for anyone who wants to rent sea kayaks from Outdoor Endeavors.
  • $35 per person
  • 6 maximum, 4 minimum participants
  • 16 and older
  • Time, dates and location, by arrangement

Custom Clinics and Special Groups

  • Outdoor Endeavors will develop an instructional boating program for your group or if our regularly scheduled times won't fit your schedule.
  • Any private reservation or group needs a minimum of four participants.
  • It may require additional facility fees.
  • Contact Ivan Bartha, 320-308-6691.

Center for Paddle Sports Instruction, Education and Safety

Outdoor Endeavors is proud to be apart of the Paddle America Club through the American Canoe Association (ACA), the driving force behind paddle sports instruction, education and safety.

Instructional canoe and kayaking courses are taught by students and staff who have achieved instructor status through training provided by the ACA.

  • Participants will need to come prepared with swimsuits, towels, snacks and water.
  • Participants will be required to complete necessary paperwork either before the course or at the instructional location, before the course starts.
  • Nose plugs, ear plugs and goggles are recommended for all rolling or rescue clinics.
  • All paddle sports programs require participant registration at Outdoor Endeavors or at the Lake George Boathouse.
  • 320-308-3772 or 320-333-3745.

Rental/Shuttle Rates

Policies

  • No glass bottles or alcohol are allowed on any shuttle.
  • It is highly recommended that each person boating wear the USCG life jacket provided by Outdoor Endeavors.
  • The renter is required to sign a release and is ultimately responsible for the actions of those they paddle with.
  • Outdoor Endeavors reserves the right to refuse service to those that a perceived to be unfit to engage in canoeing or kayaking activities.
  • There are no refunds for shuttles canceled due to violations of this policy.
  • Outdoor Endeavors operates under the best practices established by the paddlesports industry and boating laws established by the State of Minnesota and expects its patrons to do the same.

Canoes and kayaks

  • $25 per day; $50 per weekend; $120 plus $75 damage deposit per boat for a week.
  • We offer a wide variety of durable canoes and kayaks suitable for local waterways.
  • Rentals include paddles, life jackets and rooftop kit.
  • It is the responsibility of the renter to return the equipment without damage.
  • Cost of damage will be assessed based on cost of repair or replacement.

2 Kevlar/Fiberglas Touring Canoes

  • For lake use only.
  • Suitable for trips to the BWCA.
  • $50 per weekend; $120 plus $75 damage deposit per boat.
  • These are generally reserved well in advance. Call early to see if they are available for your trip.

Shuttle Service

  • St. Cloud State University to Clearwwater: $40 plus $75 damage deposit per boat
  • St. Cloud State University to River Bluffs Park: $30 plus $75 damage deposit per boat.
  • 3-boat minimum per shuttle.
  • Available by appointment.
  • Reservations are required to arrange transportation and staff.
  • There are a wide variety of routes available with float times from 1 hour to multiple days.
  • The price is the base price for our local shuttle service; rates will vary beyond local routes.

Trailer Rentals

  • We have a number of canoe and kayak trailers available for rent to transport boats.
  • Cost is $35 per day when reserved in advance.
  • The rental of the trailers does not include the cost of canoes or kayaks.
  • All trailers have a standard 2-inch ball hitch and flat wiring harness.