- Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing
- Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen
- Shoes that you don’t mind getting wet (sandals, crocs, old tennis shoes, etc.)
- Snack (if you like)
- Light rail and food/drink money (if on the Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls tour)
All necessary paddling equipment will be provided for you (boat, paddle, PFD, and guide).
We are 100% beginner friendly on all of our tours. Most of our guests have never paddled before and have a great time. Before each tour, our guides teach paddling basics and river safety to make sure everyone is comfortable before getting on the water. However, if you are at all concerned with your physical ability, we suggest that you start with our shorter 2.5 hour “Working the Local Channel” tour.
Should you decide to cancel your trip, we require at least 12 hours notice to refund your deposit. If you would simply like to reschedule, we are able to keep your deposit and apply it to a different date.
We monitor weather very closely, and if there is any chance of an electrical storm, or heavy rains with high wind, we are forced to cancel the tour. We will run tours in light rain. Should we have to cancel your tour due to weather, we will notify you as soon as we make that decision and either refund your payment or try to reschedule you. We try to give you as much notice as possible, but weather is often unpredictable and we cannot guarantee a time when we would notify you of our decision.
We don’t recommend bringing valuables on the water and are not responsible for lost or damaged items. However, if you would like to bring your valuables on the water, we do have zip-locks in our shop for you to use. We also provide free lockers if you would like to store your personal items in our shop during your tour.
Note: Our “Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls” tour does not return to our shop. So for this specific tour you should be prepared to bring items with you on the water or leave them in your car or at home.
Our guides work very hard to ensure your safety and enjoyment on the river. Gratuities are not required, but greatly appreciated. If your guide exceeded your expectations, feel free to honor them with a tip! (If you didn’t bring cash, gratuity can be added to the card on file from your reservation)
We suggest that guests arrive at our shop at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled trip time to ensure there is enough time to finish paperwork, get outfitted with life jackets, use the restroom, etc. If you are driving, please arrive earlier than 15 minutes to give yourself time to find a parking spot.
Unfortunately, we do not have our own parking lot.
The most convenient parking lot is located directly behind the Bachelor Farmer restaurant located at:
50 N 2nd Ave Minneapolis, 55401
This parking lot is CASH ONLY all day parking. It is $5.00 for weekends and nights (after 4PM), and $8.00 for weekdays.
If this lot is not available, on N 1st Street there is another lot (with the same rates listed above) as well as a parking ramp that is $10.00 daily until 4PM and $5.00 after 4:00PM.
There is also plenty of metered parking around our shop that is usually $1 /hour (can vary by location). Metered parking does have a 2 hour max prepay, but if you download the Minneapolis Parking App, you can feed the meter from your phone.
We offer a 30% discount to children 6-12 years old.
We generally don’t recommend that children under the age of 6 paddle with us. We have found that children under six tend to get uncomfortable in a kayak for an extended period of time. However, if you believe that your child will enjoy the trip and not hinder your own enjoyment or safety, we can allow young children with the requirements that they know how to swim and will fit into our child life jackets. Keep in mind that parent or guardian must sign our waiver for anyone under 18 (if you need the waiver ahead of time, we will happily email it to you).
We prefer that all of our guests use our tandem kayaks, unless you have an odd number of people in your reservation (in which case 1 person will be in a single kayak). Our tandem kayaks tend to be more stable and comfortable for our guests. If you have paddling experience and prefer to use our single kayaks, you must notify us ahead of time so we can have singles ready when you arrive. If you don’t let us know ahead of time, we cannot guarantee that we will have singles available for you to use.
Our tandem kayak: Ocean Kayak “Malibu Twin XL”
Our single kayak: Old Town “Camden 120”
Yes. We take pictures on every tour and post them on SmugMug.com. If you provide us with a valid email address on your waiver, we will send you a specific link to your group’s photos on Smug Mug. Medium resolution photos are free to download, and high resolution photos are $2.00 per photo. To see examples of other trip photos please visit: www.abovethefallssports.smugmug.com
Tour length can vary with river flow rates, wind, paddler skill lever, etc. We do our best to estimate the length of your tour, but we cannot guarantee when your tour will finish. Please keep in mind that your tour may be shorter or longer than our estimate and plan your day accordingly.
Unless you specify that you would like a private tour, there will likely be others joining you. We strive to make every tour a unique and exhilarating experience, and part of this is meeting new people! We don’t require that you socialize with your paddling neighbor, but we love seeing guests learn from each other and share the incredible experience. However, if you would like to arrange a private tour, we require a minimum of 8 paddlers with advance notice (subject to tour availability). Note: even if you don’t specify that you would like a private tour, there is still the possibility of being the only group on your tour (depending on the day of week and time of season).
During the majority of our season, the water levels are low and the river moves quite slowly. This makes a kayak very easy to maneuver and control. There are no rapids on this section of the river, and at some points it may even feel like paddling a lake. That being said, there are always risks associated with paddling and being in a moving body of water. Before every tour, our guides give a safety and skill demonstration to make sure our customers are comfortable before getting on the river. While on the water, our guides take every precaution to ensure the safety of every guest.
Note: In the spring, when water levels are at their peak, the risk associated with paddling on the river dramatically increases. We monitor water levels and flow rates very closely and will cancel a tour if the water levels are higher than we have deemed to be safe for inexperienced paddlers.
In the metro area, some pollutants are at higher levels than normal, but direct contact with the water is not harmful. It is a good idea, though, to rinse off after prolonged contact with the river water.
The boats that our guests use are wide-set and very stable. The majority of our guests will be in our tandem kayaks that are designed to maintain stability when paddling in the ocean. Our single kayaks are also designed with a wide hull to increase stability. If you are cognizant of your surroundings and pay attention to the guide’s directions, the likelihood of capsizing is very low.
Our single kayaks have a maximum load of 350lbs and our tandem kayaks have a maximum load of 450 lbs. If you, or you and your paddling partner, are concerned about nearing the maximum load for our tandem kayaks, please let us know ahead of time so we can arrange to have you in single kayaks.
Yep! We are dog friendly and love to see your canine pals cruising down the river! Our tandem sit-on-top kayaks perfectly fit you and your dog for a comfortable paddle. That being said, please make sure that your dog is able to swim and comfortable sitting in a small boat for an extended period of time. Safety of humans and animals alike is our #1 priority!
***Note: If you are planning on bringing your dog, please make a note on your reservation or notify a staff member via phone or email before your tour