The paddle share system is closed for the season. Thank you for a great first year. We're looking forward to making next year even better!

photo of two 8-kayak Paddle Share stations

Please review the following before your trip:

Paddling safety tips and sizing a life jacket (Minnesota DNR)

Paddling Safety Video (Professional Paddlesports Association and the American Canoe Association)

Metro Area Rivers Guide (Minnesota DNR) contains detailed maps of information about boating facilities, safety, and hazards

Mississippi River Companion (NPS) provides maps and information about biking and walking trails, mass transit, boat landings, recreational opportunities, and destinations along one of the world’s great rivers

www.rivertripplanner.org helps visitors plan a car-free visit anywhere in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Closure Information

The following parameters will be assessed daily to confirm compliance and, if necessary, shut down the system:

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90-Degree Rule

The combined temperature of water and air shall be greater than 90-degrees Fahrenheit.

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Wind Speed

Consistent wind speed shall not exceed 20 mph (17 knots).

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River Flow/CFS

The Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) river flow at Anoka (RM 861.4) and St. Paul (RM 837.1) shall be between 2,500 and 25,000 CFS.

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Lightning

Stations will be closed if there is a 90% or greater chance of thunderstorms/lighting in the daily forecast or if lightning strikes within 5 miles of the Lowry Bridge (RM 587). If paddlers hear thunder or see lightning while on the water, they should go to shore and wait 30 minutes after the last thunder heard before getting back on the water.

If necessary, due to adverse conditions, please call 844-694-6489 (toll-free) to report your location or problems with equipment.

The system will be shut down no later than one hour before any given rental period. All reservation fees for affected rental periods will be refunded.

Check weather.gov for current area weather conditions.

Call 844-694-6489 (toll-free) to confirm stations are closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the system work?

Please read the 5-step process on the Home page.

Will the system be shut down due to bad weather or other adverse conditions?

Yes. Please read the criteria for closure in the Closure Information section. Your credit card will not be charged if the system is closed due to bad weather.

Who owns and operates the system?

The NPS funded the purchase of the stations and equipment. MPC owns them. REI provided a grant for operations and maintenance of the system and repositioning of the boats.

Why can’t beginners or people under 18 use the system?

Paddling the river requires special skills to navigate rocks, trees, the current, and other hazards. If you have paddled before and are comfortable with these conditions, you are welcome to use the paddle share system. To learn how to kayak, please see the list of outfitters and guides on the Home page. Liability insurance requires you be an adult to rent a kayak.

Will canoes or double-kayaks one day be provided?

We will consider this possibility in the future if demand exists.

Where and when will the system be expanded to next?

We are looking at opportunities north and south of the current system. All expansion is dependent on securing adequate funding.

Why can I not reserve a kayak at other days and times?

This first year, we have limited funds for staffing, operations, and maintenance. We are only able to cover the system during the times/days outlined on this website. All rental funds and future grants will help expand hours of operation and maintain the system.

How far in advance can I reserve a kayak?

You can reserve a boat 21 days in advance for the 2016 operating season. Your rental is non-refundable, you will be charged even if you do not show up or have to cancel, unless the system is shut down due to unfavorable conditions.

Where should I get off the river?

Because of the presence of the falls downriver, users of the North Mississippi Regional Park and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization stations must get off the river at Boom Island.

Users of the Bohemian Flats station must return to Bohemian Flats. There is no return station in the gorge. The recommended turnaround point is either the railroad bridge (5 miles) or the sandy beach below the Lake Street Bridge (7 miles). Please allow extra time to paddle back upstream to Bohemian Flats. You must return to your station on time to avoid a late fee and being locked out. Allow 3 hours (one rental period) for the 5 mile route and 5 hours (two rental periods) for the 7 mile route. This allows ample time to stop along the way and on your return to Bohemian Flats. The return stretch will take longer due to paddling upstream against the current.

What is the length of a rental period?

Rental periods vary depending on station location. See rental periods listed under “Ready to rent a kayak?

What type of boat is provided?

Current Design Solara 120

What are the rental periods/fees?

North Mississippi Regional Park

  • 8 A.M. to Noon $30
  • 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. $30
  • 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. $60
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

  • 8 A.M. to Noon $20
  • 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. $20
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

Bohemian Flats (Roundtrip only)

  • 8 A.M. to 11 A.M. $25
  • 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. $25
  • 2 P.M. to 5 P.M. $25
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

*You may rent one or more rental periods.

Is there a late fee?

Yes. You will be locked out of your station and charged $100 per hour if you do not return on time. To unlock the station and return equipment, you will need to call 1-844-694-6489 (toll free).

What do I do in the event of an emergency?

  • Call 911
  • Get off the water if thunder or lightning; call 911 if you need help or have an emergency.

What do I do if I have problems with my equipment?

Call 844-694-6489 (Toll Free)

Where did the funding come from?

$175,000 from the NPS, $40,000 from REI

Who owns stations/carries liability?

Mississippi Park Connection

Has this been done elsewhere?

It’s the first of its kind in a national park. A separate system, which was the inspiration for the project, exists on Sunfish Lake in Ramsey and an iPaddlePort station exists in Albert Lea.

Where are the stations located (and how many boats are available at each location)?

  • North Mississippi River Regional Park (2 rental stations with a total of 16 boats)
  • Boom Island (2 return stations with space for up to 32 boats and all equipment)
  • Bohemian Flats (No return station, round trip only. 2 rental stations with a total of 16 boats)
  • Coming soon: Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (1 rental station with a total of 8 boats)

Can I take boats elsewhere?

It is cheaper and easier to go with an outfitter than have to worry about getting our equipment back in time.

2016 Operating Season
(Weather Dependent)

North Mississippi Regional Park/
MWMO Stations

September: Friday-Sunday
October: Friday-Sunday

Bohemian Flats Station
Open 7 days/week

Emergency: 911
Questions or equipment problems?
844-694-6489 (toll-free)

For more information
or to book a special event,
call 651-293-8436.

Go to the nearest take-out or Paddle Share station to get off the river in the event of bad weather

Thank You Paddle Share Partners!

Plans are to expand the Paddle Share system over the next few years throughout the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

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