Person paddling on the Muskingum River

5 Ohio Paddling Adventures

Want to float away this summer? These scenic excursions are a good place to start.

Scioto River, Columbus: Merge your love of the outdoors with views of the Columbus skyline with this kayaking trip through the heart of downtown on the Scioto River. Olentangy Paddle meets you at the launch site with your boat, with trips beginning at various spots along the river. (Both guided and self-guided tours are available.) Outings last about two hours including instruction, and reservations must be made in advance on the company’s website.

Ohio River and Muskingum River, Marietta: As a city built at the intersection of two rivers, the historic town of Marietta delivers when it comes to kayaking adventures. Marietta Adventure Co. can help get you on the water and offers choices of self-guided or assisted outings. Options include the larger Ohio and Muskingum rivers or the smaller Duck Creek and Middle Island Creek. Trips can last from a brisk 3 miles to a 15-mile trek for those who want to spend more time on the water.

Mohican River, Loudonville: Located just down the road from the entrance to Mohican State Park, Mohican Adventures has been a summertime family favorite since 1961. Travelers can stay on-site by renting a cabin, pitching a tent or driving in with their RV and enjoy a range of activities, including paddling excursions on the Mohican River. Options include a popular 7-mile trip that lasts about two hours as well as a 15-mile excursion that can last up to five hours.

Hocking River, Logan: Once you’re done checking out the waterfalls, caves and trails, see the Hocking Hills from a different perspective by booking a canoeing or kayaking trip with Hocking Hills Canoe Livery. Head out on the Hocking River for a 5-mile journey that lasts around 90 minutes or book a trip during special events such as the periodic Moonlight Tours, where paddlers set out at sunset and use the light of the moon to guide them to a bonfire.

Lake Erie, Ashtabula and Conneaut: Harbor Yak is all about getting you out on Lake Erie, be it on a paddleboard, hydrobike, kayaks or canoes. These three-hour experiences happen within the relatively calm confines of Ashtabula Harbor and Conneaut Harbor, located in the far northeast corner of our state. Enjoy sights of lighthouses, wildlife and the shoreline. There is also a 90-minute guided Sunset Tour offered every Saturday at both locations that leads paddlers to a picturesque spot along the breakwall.

Day Trips | The Birder | Fly Fishing in Columbus | 5 Ohio Inland Lakes You’ll Love | The Hiker | Paddling on the Little Miami River | The Forager