One of the things we really enjoy doing in the summer is taking a canoe trip with the kids. We are in Ohio and the best place for us to go is to head down to the Hocking River. There are a couple canoe liveries down there and they both have great canoe rental prices. Usually when we take the kids, we always took a raft since they were smaller and we could fit all of us in one raft. If my husband and I wanted to take canoes, we would go by ourselves. This time around, we took canoes with the kids instead of a raft so it was the first time they had been in a canoe.
The reason we went with canoes this time is because canoes are so much easier to drive than a raft is on the river. Plus we wanted to give our kids a slightly different experience and also give them a chance to learn how to paddle and drive a canoe. For this trip, we went to Fox’s Hocking Hills Canoe Livery (which happens to be our favorite of the two). Their staff and employees are amazing.
They offer a few different canoe trips. There’s a 5 mile trip and a 7 mile trip. We took the 7 mile trip because we like to spend a lot of time on the water. No matter which trip you take, you can take your time. There are quite a few places where you can stop your canoe and get out to stretch or wade in the water. Their prices are pretty good. Only $52 per canoe (2 people). And you can have a third person as well. So you can have up to a total of 3 people in one canoe. The price for an extra person is $26. If you have a child less than 12 years old, it’s only $7 for that extra person. These prices are for the longer trip. The shorter trips, the prices are lower. They also offer other extras too. You can get a kayak instead of a canoe, they have tent and cabin camping, mini golf and zipline tours which look like a lot of fun. We can see people zipline above us as we are heading down the river.
So after we got there and paid for our trip and picked our paddles and life jackets (they are supplied with the rental), we waited for our shuttle. They shuttle you up the river to their departure point. After you get to the departure point, they have staff there to help you get your canoe in the water. They will actually make it really easy for you and have you get situated in your canoe and push and pull you out into the water. Then you are on your own to paddle your way down river back to the livery. When you get back to the livery, they have staff waiting for you to help pull your canoe up on the bank.
My husband was in one canoe with our boys.
I was in the other with our daughter.
My husband ended up doing most of the work in their canoe. The boys were trying and they were doing a pretty good job paddling for being their first time but they ended up tiring out. A couple times they got turned around too. My daughter – I think she tried to kill us or something. There was one time we were heading right for one side of the bank where there was rock and a big tree. I’m telling her to paddle on the right side but kept paddling on the left. Yeah, we ended up running right into the tree. Pretty hard too. But about an hour into it, she ended up figuring it out for the most part.
The river overall isn’t too deep. There are a couple deeper areas but for the most part it isn’t deep at all. There are some parts that are waist deep and only a couple parts that might be deeper than that. Most of the way its about waist deep for our 7 year old. There are quite a few really shallow areas that are knee deep and sometimes we even have to stop and drag the canoe a few feet. That doesn’t happen very often though and it depends on how much rainfall the area has had.
A lot of the river contains a current so most of the time you can just coast along and just straighten the canoe out when you need to. There are also a few parts where the river is slow (mainly toward the end, the last half mile or so) and those are the deeper parts.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of places to stop and get out. The kids like to look for cool river rocks or shells and play in the water for a bit. You can even bring a cooler if you want to bring a picnic with you and stop your canoe and picnic on one of the river sand bars. It’s really pretty canoeing down the river too. There are lot of areas that isn’t shaded but there are also lots of areas that are. There are areas where the trees are so full they hang over the river above you. It’s beautiful. And of course lots of fun!
We are definitely planning at least one more trip before summer is over. Hopefully we will get a campsite for a weekend. If you are in Ohio and in the area and looking for a place to take a canoe trip, this is the place!
Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored post.