Reeling in a whopper of a paddling opportunity is an easy catch. With its many waterways, the southwest metro abounds with padding possibilities for all ages and levels.
Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats, canoes and rowboats for rent are plentiful. Classes can get you seaworthy for a yoga class or a moonlight paddle.
Chaska, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie all offer rentals, as do Carver County Parks and Three Rivers Park District. Victoria and Waconia do not; they partner—as do Chanhassen and Chaska—with Carver County Parks on paddle programming. Waconia allows a local business to rent out watercraft in a park for use on Lake Waconia
Carver County Parks
Paddleboard and canoe rentals are available at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park beach in Chanhassen (Highway 41, between Highways 5 and 7), from 1–5 p.m. Saturdays mid-June–August. ($14/hour for paddleboards; $8/hour for canoes.)
“It’s a growing program, a growing service that we hope to continue to establish there, and people rely upon it to recreate,” says Sam Pertz, parks and trails supervisor for the county.
It also provides organized paddling classes and excursions. From June–August, people can kayak, paddleboard or canoe with the Paddle & Grub Clubs, on 10 guided excursions of waterways. ($85 person/season.) Each week, the clubs go to a new paddling destination. Mondays are offered in partnership with Chaska parks. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are offered in partnership with Chanhassen, Victoria and Waconia parks.
"For all three clubs, we go over all the county,” says Jessica Fenn, county recreation and volunteer specialist.
The county also offers paddleboard opportunities, including date nights, yoga classes, lessons, and canoe and paddleboard trips by the light of the moon.
Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, paddleboats and rowboats can be rented at the Lake Ann Park Beach concession stand, 1456 W. 78th St., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily through the third week of August. (Paddleboards $16/hour; the rest $12/hour).
Two paddleboats and two paddleboards can be rented 11 a.m.–dusk beginning in early June at the Firemen’s Park Clayhole concession stand, Chaska Boulevard, just west of Highway 41. ($10/ 30 minutes.) 952.227.7746 or 952.227.7913 (the concession stand).
Canoes, paddleboards, youth kayaks and Corcl boats, which are round and can paddle in any direction, can be rented 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily from mid-June–late-August at Round Lake Park beach, 16691 Valley View Road. Paddleboards $8/hour; all other watercraft $5/hour. Canoe rentals $5/hour at Riley Lake Park beach, 9180 Riley Lake Road, are available 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily.
Spokes Bike and Ice Cream Shop of St. Bonafacius rents kayaks, paddleboards, single- and double-kayaks and two-person canoes through Labor Day from its rental “shack” at Cedar Point Park, Cedar Street along the southern shore of Lake Waconia. Hours: 3–8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays; 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays; 1–4 p.m. Sundays. It also offers paddle classes and a youth paddle school.
Bryant Lake Regional Park, 6800 Rowling Road, Eden Prairie, rents canoes, single- and double-kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and paddleboards daily through Labor Day. (Paddleboards $10/30 minutes; the rest are $6/30 minutes.)
Canoes, as well as single- and double-kayaks, can be rented for $6/30 minutes Thursdays–Sundays through Labor Day at Lake Auburn Campground at the Carver Park Reserve, 7290 Victoria Drive, Victoria.
Three Rivers offers many classes and opportunities to paddle its waterways.