Minnesota is home to some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the country, and summer is the perfect time to pick up a paddle and explore these waters. To get started, consider renting equipment like kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes. They’re the perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and exercise.
Renting equipment offers a low-commitment, low-waste way of trying out different activities, and many rental shops will gladly provide pointers and tips to help you feel more confident out on the water. Many of these organizations also offer gift certificates for friends and family members who might enjoy the gift of a Minnesota water experience.
Be sure to check with the organization or outfitter to understand how bad weather can affect your opportunity, whether or not groups can be accommodated, and how (or if) transportation to launch points is provided. Many times reservations are required, so plan ahead.
Before heading out onto the waters, it’s always a good idea to review safety tips. The Minnesota DNR has rules, laws and safety requirements for Minnesota waterways.
Rent at the water
Wheel Fun Rentals
Offering stand up paddle board, pedal boat, kayak, and canoe rentals at Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and Lake Nokomis.
3000 Calhoun Parkway East
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
Mississippi River Paddle Share
A new and exciting rental (and transportation!) opportunity for people who don’t own a boat and want a safe and enjoyable river experience. This is the first organization of its kind in the country.
Three Rivers Park District
Watercraft rentals of all types and for all mobility levels. Try one out and see your favorite parks from a new angle.
Canoes, kayaks, and snowshoes are available for rent at the park office, about ¼ mile from the park entrance. They are available on a first come, first served basis when the office is open.
Guided tours, shuttle services, and classes
Paddle Bridge Guide Collective
Guides accommodate all ranges of skills and experience, providing safe and inclusive outdoor paddling opportunities along the Mississippi River and around the Twin Cities. They are dedicated to natural preservation, environmental education and sharing our passion for the outdoors with others.
Public and private guided canoe trips through the heart of the Twin Cities. Can accommodate groups of up to 150 for half-day paddles in 24' voyageur canoes.
REI Classes and Events
Paddle with REI on kayaks or paddleboards. They provide all necessary gear to help you move comfortably through the water and even camp along the shore, if you’d like.
Multiple Twin Cities locations.
A not-for-profit, free shuttle on the Mississippi River for kayak and canoe paddlers in the Twin Cities area.
Stand Up Minnesota
Paddleboard orientation, water safety training, equipment, photography and transportation provided. Groups of four friends can paddle for less than $25/hour.
Twin Cities Kayaking, LLC
Kayaks and paddleboard rental.
Rental shops and outfitters
Hoigaards Paddlesports Rentals
Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards available for rent.
5425 Excelsior Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55416
University of Minnesota - Recreation and Wellness Gear Rental
Camping gear, canoes, and kayaks available to rent.
123 Harvard Street Southeast, Suite 68, Minneapolis, MN 55455