Kayaks and canoes are among the most fun ways to get out on the water with your dog. Whether you’re exercising, fishing or enjoying a leisurely adventure, these easy-to-use watercraft comfortably accommodate furry first mates. Bring Fido with you on these 10 pet-friendly, paddle-powered excursions around the country.
Posted by Lauren Barker
1. Lazy Dog Kayak
Lazy Dog Kayak welcomes dogs and their humans to explore the backcountry on a two-hour tour through mangrove trees. You'll be provided with a map of exciting places to explore within paddling distance, and you might even run into their furry mascots, Jax and Leia. Before you head out on your adventure, purchase some of Jax’s all-natural, grain-free dog treats in the Lazy Dog Paddle Shack. Your pup will thank you! Once on the water, Fido can get close to marine life like jellyfish, sponges, sea stars and crabs.
2. Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too
Paddle through the Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area with Fido and Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too. Dogs are welcome to float with you in a redwood outrigger, kayak or canoe. The Canine Cruiser series of outriggers was designed with pets in mind, and features a raised padded floor so your pup can relax comfortably while you paddle. You can also book one of their Big River guided tours, where you’ll likely spot wildlife like river otters, blue heron and harbor seals.
3. Charles River Canoe and Kayak
Charles River Canoe and Kayak has seven locations throughout Boston and the surrounding area where you and Fido can rent a canoe or kayak. Start at Kendall Square in Cambridge and paddle through the heart of Beantown, or cruise from Allston/Brighton past M.I.T. and Harvard while admiring views of the city skyline. There is no current in the 9-mile stretch between the two locations, so it’s easy to make the roundtrip excursion. If you’d prefer a shorter outing, choose the one-way trip. Guided tours of the river and Boston Harbor are also available.
4. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Choose from one of three spots to start your dog-friendly paddle with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe. The Bend and Sunriver locations each offer canoe and kayak rentals, while the Riverbend outpost offers kayaks only. Bring Fido along as you navigate the Deschutes River, take a self-guided tour of the Old Mill District or the Cascade Lakes, or try a guided tour through Deschutes National Forest.
5. Born to Be Wild Adventures
Born to Be Wild Adventures provides kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals to Watson, Willow or Goldwater Lakes. What sets Prescott’s aquatic adventures apart from elsewhere in the country are the amazing rock formations that rise out of the water. Shaped and smoothed by weathering over time, they’ll make you and your pooch feel like you’ve kayaked through space to a Mars-like planet. Rentals are dropped off to you wherever you like in the area.
6. French Broad Outfitters
If you’re visiting Asheville, Biltmore Estate is a must-visit for canine travelers. Located just outside the city, you’ll find over 250 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens to explore together. French Broad Outfitters offers visitors an alternative view of the late 19th-century estate on a kayak trip through the lush grounds. Paddle with your pooch past the Biltmore house, stables, grounds, inn, Antler Hill Village and winery. Alternatively, embark on an urban float through the River Arts District, home to over 150 artists’ studios along the French Broad River. If you're feeling lazy, the company also offers pet-friendly tubing trips along this winding waterway.
7. Tybee Island Jet Ski & Watersports
The ocean is a daunting prospect for first-time floaters, but the dog-lovers at Tybee Island Jet Ski & Watersports are happy to help Fido find his paws on the water. Kayak through the creeks and rivers around the island or head to Cockspur Lighthouse. On the way, Fido can make friends with indigenous wildlife in the water and birds in the sky that call Dolphin Bay their home.
8. Blue Moon Canoe & Kayak
Set off on a tranquil day trip on the shady waters of Floyds Fork with Blue Moon Canoe & Kayak. They provide you with everything you’ll need, including kayak rental, life jackets and a shuttle. As you paddle for two, cast your eyes to the banks to see if you spot deer peering through the trees.
9. Park and Ocean
Fort Lauderdale is the Venice of America, with beautiful beaches and luxury yachts lining the coast. Park and Ocean gives you a chance to get a taste of these high-end waters, albeit on a somewhat more humble craft than a multi-million dollar sailboat. Join a kayak or canoe tour or take a self-guided escapade on the waters of Hugh Taylor Birch Park, sandwiched between the Atlantic and Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway. After exploring how the other half lives, relax with a cold beer and a bite to eat on Park and Ocean’s pet-friendly patio.
10. Pinky’s Kayak Rentals
Drift with your dog on a self-guided kayak tour on the beautiful bayou or enjoy a shorter excursion on Taylo Lake. Pinky’s Kayak Rentals is located near Houston, giving city dwellers the chance to cut loose on the water. Rentals include a free shuttle to one of six different locations on the slow-moving creek. After some fun in the sun, trade your paddle for a fork and grab a bite to eat on the patio at nearby Boondoggles.
Where will you choose to cruise with your pooch? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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