14 Spots to Canoe and Kayak Within Driving Distance of Cincinnati
The Queen City boasts many canoeing and kayaking spots, plus some road trip-worthy locations within a few hour's drive. All are perfect for floating a weekend away while perched in a canoe or kayak.
Check with each business about reservations, specific rental fees and what you can and can’t bring with you. (We’re looking at you, ca-brewers). Hours and availability are always subject to change based on river conditions, and most rental companies will require you to reserve space online in advance.
Scroll down to view images
Photo: Savana Willhoite
174 Karl Brown Way, Loveland
Loveland Canoe offers a 2- to 4-hour paddling party down the Little Miami River and past Historic Loveland Castle. Trips are kid-friendly (for those 5 and older), but not dog-friendly. Single and tandem kayaks are available. Pricing starts at $35 per person, and Loveland Canoe also offers season passes and five-pack passes.
5701 OH-350, Oregonia; 7040 Whitewater River Lane, Brookville
The third-generation, family-run Morgan's has spots in Ft. Ancient on the Little Miami River, in Brookville on the Whitewater River and even in Costa Rica. Local trips run between 3 and 7 miles long. Reservations are $25-$65; single kayaks are $25. You can also rent rafts for the Whitewater River for 4-10 people or single-person tubes for a 5-mile float.
10465 Suspension Bridge Road, Harrison
Green Acres in Harrison is located on the Whitewater River and offers 3-, 5- or 8-mile trips. This rental company stopped taking reservations in advance and only offers in-person rental, but assures they have thousands of kayaks available. Kids 12 and older are allowed to kayak; dogs are not. Rental fees are $29.95 per person and $36.95 on weekends and holidays.
3234 Washington Mill Road, Bellbrook
Bellbrook Canoe Rental offers a 5.2-mile-long trip that even beginners can enjoy. They've got canoe, kayak, tandem kayak and tube rentals available for the trip that takes about 3 hours. There are also shuttle options for those with their own canoes and kayaks. Prices range from $20-$40.
Blue Bell Beach, 7958 Harrison Ave., Cleves
This 5-mile canoe and kayak trip takes paddlers down the Great Miami. Dogs are allowed and Tippecanoe offers rentable floating coolers. Children older than 7 can partake in the fun. Rentals are $30 per person.
4575 Mt. Carmel Road, Milford
Select from either a 6-mile or 8.5-mile float down the Little Miami River. Children must be at least 5 years old to participate. Dogs are not allowed. Single-person kayaks, tandem kayaks and canoes are available for rent (depending on your route). Rates run $35-$40, plus tax.
12789 State Route 664 S, Logan
Hocking Hills Canoe Livery has been around since 1996, and while it may be a bit of a drive from the city, it's well worth it. Hocking Hills has some of the most beautiful scenery in Ohio and you can admire said scenery on trips down the Hocking River. They offer 5 and 7-mile trips; the 5-mile is more relaxed and better for beginners and the 7-mile trip has more obstacles and rapids. Prices range from $45-$90 depending on the length of your trip.
10245 Winton Road, Winton Woods
Winton Woods lake has tons of options for enjoying the water on a hot day. The 175-acre lake offers rowboat, pedal boat, motorboat and pontoon boat, canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals. The boathouse also has fishing gear and snacks. If you have your own, you can launch kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards as long as they are permitted.
400 Front Street, New Richmond
Explore the Ohio River in a few different ways with Schack's Yaks. They've got a "Bring the Yak Back" experience for $41.95 for a 24-hour period where you will get a kayak, paddles and life jacket, and all you have to do is bring it back. They also have a 7-mile shuttled trip that takes you past the home of UIysses S. Grant. There are also two shuttle options for those that have a kayak of their own.
11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville
Sharon Woods is a popular Cincinnati park full of hiking trails, picnic areas and a 35-acre lake. The park offers rentals for rowboats, motorboats, mini-pontoons, kayaks, canoes and more. For those who have their own licensed canoes and kayaks, there is a launch ramp available. Fishing is also permitted with the proper license.