Department of Sports Facilities and Campus Recreation

kayaking at St. Cloud State University

Canoeing and Kayaking

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

  • Rentals
  • 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.


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.


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
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.

Rental Rates


  • 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.

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.