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)

Holistic Paddling Safety Video (Professional Paddlesports Association and the American Canoe Association) and four shorter episodes (Canoe and Kayak Magazine):

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 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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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) or within 5 miles of the 35E Bridge (RM 843.1). 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 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 7-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 and the City of St. Paul owns them. REI and other sources provided grants to assist with the operations and maintenance of the system and repositioning of the boats.

Can people under 18 use the system?

Yes but paddling the river requires special skills to navigate rocks, trees, the current, and other hazards. If you are 18 or older, have paddled before, and are comfortable with these conditions, you are welcome to use the single person kayaks. To learn how to kayak, please see the list of outfitters and guides on the Home page. A child or beginner can use a two-person kayak if he or she paddles with an experienced adult, who is responsible for all members of their party under 18. Liability insurance requires you be 18 or older to rent a kayak. A waiver must be signed by the adult responsible for minors.

How many two-person kayaks are provided?

There are 6 single-person kayaks and 2 two-person kayaks available in each 8-kayak station except at MWMO, which contains 8 single-person kayaks.

Where and when will the system be expanded to next?

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

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

We have limited funds for staffing, operations, and maintenance so 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. To inquire about a special event for ten or more people on days we are not open to the general public, please call 651-893-8439.

How far in advance can I reserve a kayak?

You can reserve a kayak 21 days in advance for the 2017 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 Park.

Users of the Hidden Falls Regional Park stations must get off at Kelley’s Landing at Harriet Island Regional Park.

What is the length of a rental period?

Rental periods are three hours each.

What type of boat is provided?

Current Design Solara 120 (solo/single) or the Current Design Solara 145T (tandem/double)

What are the rental periods/fees?

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park

  • 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

River Park

  • 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

North Mississippi Regional Park

  • 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

  • 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. $20 solo kayak
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

Hidden Falls Regional Park

  • 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • 12 P.M. to 3 P.M. $25 solo kayak, $40 tandem kayak
  • Weather dependent (refund if stations are shut down)

*You may rent one or more rental periods.

Can I reserve kayaks any other times?

We cannot provide kayaks in-between the established rental periods. We need that time to return the boats for the next session. If you have other times you prefer to paddle, we recommend contacting an outfitter.

Is there a late fee?

Yes. You will be locked out of your station and charged $100 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?

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?

A combination of NPS, REI, and other funding sources

Who carries liability for the stations?

Mississippi Park Connection
Saint Paul Parks & Recreation

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 kayaks are available at each location)?

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
    2 rental stations with a total of 16 kayaks (12 solo and 4 tandem)
  • River Park in Brooklyn Park
    1 rental station with a total of 8 kayaks (6 solo and 2 tandem)
  • North Mississippi River Regional Park
    3 return stations with space for 24 kayaks (18 solo and 6 tandem) and all equipment
    2 rental stations with a total of 16 kayaks (12 solo and 4 tandem)
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
    1 rental station with a total of 8 kayaks (8 solo)
  • Boom Island Park
    2 return stations with space for up to 32 kayaks and all equipment
  • Hidden Falls Regional Park (North Entrance)
    2 rental stations with a total of 16 kayaks (12 solo and 4 tandem)
  • Harriet Island Regional Park
    2 return stations with space for 16 kayaks (12 solo and 4 tandem) and all equipment

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.

How should I best avoid large vessels and tow boats on St. Paul’s commercial stretch of river?

It is extremely hard for large vessels and tow boats to see small boats such as kayaks and difficult for them to move in a minute’s notice. To ensure your safety, please stay as close to the bank when passing a large boat that is moving. When rowing past a boat that is docked, stay at least 50 to 100 feet away. When the river is high, currents near a boat can pull small boats under.

Why do rowers face backwards?

Sitting backwards is a very efficient position and allows rowers to use their legs, core muscles, shoulders, and arms efficiently and powerfully. The design allows for speed. Rowers will close distance with kayakers and canoeists quickly. Because rowers face backwards, they may not be able to see you. If you are in their path, try to yield the right of way. If you cannot safely yield to the rowers, make some noise to get their attention.

Where will the rowers be?

The Minnesota Boat Club rows up-river beginning at the Wabasha Street Bridge and may row as far upstream as the 35E bridge, and sometimes farther, before turning back downstream. The MBC has an established traffic pattern which follows the bank closest to their boats’ starboard (right) side—just like cars drive on the right!

What should I do if I encounter a fallen tree (strainer)?

2017 Operating Season
(Weather Dependent)

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park/
River Park Stations

September-October: Friday-Sunday

North Mississippi Regional Park/
MWMO Stations

September-October: Friday-Sunday

Hidden Falls Regional Park
September-October: Friday-Sunday

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

For closure notifications due to weather or events, check:
or call 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.

Call 911 in the event of an emergency.

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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