Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Harpeth River General Information
*Q. What is the most important thing to know?
A. It is extremely important to know exactly where your trip will end (the "take out" point).
Q. What Class is the Harpeth River?
A. The river is normally a Class I, suitable for beginners and children. About 20% of the time the Harpeth is a Class II, suitable for the experienced canoeist only. No beginners or children under 12 years old are allowed on the river during this Class II period. Please call us the day of your trip to check the water level.
Q. Do you provide shuttle service if I have my own canoe or kayak?
A. Yes, for a small fee we can shuttle you and your craft.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
A. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Check, Traveler's Check, and Cash. Book online now and reserve.
Q. How old do you have to be to rent a canoe or kayak?
A. You must be 18 years old to rent a canoe or kayak. You also must have an 18 year old with you on the river.
Q. What is the best canoeing river in Middle Tennessee?
A. The Harpeth River, of course.
Q. What is the best kayaking river in Middle Tennessee?
A. The Harpeth River, of course. Book online now and reserve.
Q. How is the river level measured?
A. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) has a gauge on our property. There are markings on the gauge that indicate the level of the river. It is like a yard stick. The river is electronically measured and the depth is recorded on the USGS website. Check the river level with the USGS.
Q. How can I see the river level?
A. Follow the link and scroll down.
Q. What is the best water level for canoeing and kayaking?
A. Everyone has a different favorite water level. We stop renting at 5ft because it is deemed dangerous by the state. You also do not want it too low or you will be bottoming out all the time. The more experienced the canoer, the easier it is to canoe or kayak in any level of water. Also keep in mind that the less weight you have, the higher you will float. When you call to reserve inquire about the water level.
Q. What does "Experienced Only" mean?
A. A paddler who is *experienced* is defined as a paddler at least 13 years of age who can control a boat in moving water. We will notify any reservations in advance of these conditions.
Canoes and Kayaks
Q. How many people are allowed in a canoe?
A. Normally, two adults and two children or three adults (550 lbs. maximum weight per canoe). Allow for the extra weight of your gear. Excess weight will cause you to drag bottom.
Q. How many seats are in a canoe?
A. Canoes have two seats built into the boat. A third seat is created in the middle using seat cushions. This allows for the center of gravity to remain low with less chance of overturning.
Q. How many people are allowed in a kayak?
A. Our kayaks are all singles. You must be 13 to operate a kayak.
Q. What type of kayaks do you have?
A. We rent Jackson kayaks both sit in and sit on. Most of them are sit on top kayaks.
Q. Can I reserve the type of kayak I want to rent.
A. Unfortunately, no. Kayak choice is on a first come first served basis.
Q. If I choose the 2 hour trip, am I limited to two hours?
A. No, you are not. Take your time. Swim. Play. Relax. The trip lengths are to help you determine how long you want to be on the river and how many miles you would like to paddle. As long as you are back by 6:00pm, we won't worry.
Q. Do we have a guide?
A. No, guides are not needed. The river does not fork, and take out points are marked by a non-movable object, such as a bridge, which is visible even on a foggy morning.
Q. What should we bring?
A. Any non-hazardous items, but remember anything you bring may get wet or lost. We strongly recommend drinking water. Be sure to wear shoes (old sneakers are best) as the river bottom is rocky and you will not want to walk barefoot in the water. Also, bring some sunscreen or sun block because the sun reflects off the water and a hat may not be enough. Book online now and reserve.
Q. Do I need reservations?
A. Yes. Reservations allow us to prepare for your arrival. Proper scheduling ensures you will not arrive at the same time as a large group and have a long wait. Our goal is to provide the most pleasurable experience for you and your friends/family. We are able to accommodate last minutes reservations if necessary. Go ahead and book online now to reserve.
Q. What does my reservation guarantee?
A. Your reservation guarantees you will have the boats you reserve. It does not guarantee your exact time, because we may have to adjust for other groups that may show up late or early. Book online now to reserve.
Q. How old must you be to go canoeing?
A. There are no age limits, however your child must be able to walk. If your child is not at least 30 lbs. you must bring your own life jacket (Personal Floatation Device). Please consider the depth of the river. You and all children should be able to touch bottom.
Q. Do you charge extra for children, pets, etc?
A. No (with paying adult). All prices are per canoe or kayak. Your dog or cat can join the fun. Your dog will love it, your cat however may not.
Q. Do you have life jackets for children?
A. Yes, we have jackets for children weighing over 30 lbs. All children age 12 and under must wear a life jacket. You must bring your own life jacket for children under 30 lbs.
Q. Do you allow pets?
A. Yes, however we ask that you be mindful of guests that do not care for pets. Your dog must be on a leash at all times. We ask that you leave all places like you found them, so pick up any feces. Also, your animal may behave differently on the river, so be mindful of animals and things that may cause your dog to run.
Q. Are pets allowed in the vans?
A. Dogs are allowed in the vans. We ask that you ride with your dog in the front seat if possible to minimize contact with other guests. You may also be asked to wait for a ride that is more suitable for your dog. Book online now to reserve.
Q. Do you have life jackets for pets?
A. No. For the most part dogs can swim and the life jacket is a hinderance.