Frequently Asked Questions About Our Kayak Trips
Is this kayak trip guided?
It can be! Typically, our kayakers want to paddle the Cumberland River with their own group. However, should you wish to have a guided experience (either for fun facts about the river or for an experienced set of eyes and ears) we do offer guided tours for an extra fee.
Note: there is a MINIMUM OF 2 PEOPLE to confirm any route so even if you’ve reserved only for yourself you’ll still have other paddlers out on the water with you. The Stones River route has a MINIMUM OF 4 PEOPLE.
What are your hours?
We kayak seasonally April through October. You can find our hours here and we are open 7 days a week! Please note again that we require a minimum of 2 people booked to confirm a Cumberland River route and 4 people to confirm a Stones River route, so feel free to call us at 615-933-9778 or email to inquire.
How do I find you?
We are a MOBILE COMPANY with no brick and mortar location. We do have a weekend camper located near the Shelby Park Nature Center. Book with us online and the shuttle will meet you at your the shuttle pick-up location for your trip, which are listed below.
MEETING LOCATIONS - CLICK LOCATION TO DROP A PIN
The Skyline: 1 hour Shelby Park to Downtown
The Greenway: 2 hour Near Opryland to Shelby Park
meet at the Shelby Park Boat Ramp.
The Full Nash: 4 hour Near Opryland to Downtown
The Full Stoner: 2 hour Stones River Dam to Kohl’s at Lebanon Pike
meet in Kohl’s parking lot at Lebanon Pike (Greenway info center in NE corner)
Do I need to have a reservation to kayak?
While same day bookings are sometimes available, we strongly encourage online reservations to ensure you have a spot. Click here to book your trip now.
I’m new to kayaking, can I go?
Of course! Each of our drivers and river guides are CPR/FIRST AID CERTIFIED and will provide a quick Kayaking 101 and safety demonstration before launching you onto the Cumberland River. Regardless of experience-level, Metro Parks, Army Corps of Engineers, and River Queen require that all kayakers wear lifejackets for the entirety of their paddle.
We suggest the 3-mile Skyline Paddle if you’re unsure or have beginners or children (over 7) with you.
Is there parking?
If you are meeting us downtown, for The Skyline paddle from Shelby Park to Downtown or for the Full Nash paddle, there is often free parking in Lot R (as long as there are no events going on at Nissan Stadium).
If you are meeting us for the Greenway paddle from Opryland to Shelby Park, Shelby Park has plenty of free parking. Parking is free in the Kohl’s parking lot for the Stones River route.
We are not responsible for any parking fees that may occur — please be aware of any no parking signs!
What can I bring kayaking?
For a full list items to bring read our Before You Go page.
You can bring items including your phone for pictures along with you but we strongly recommend bringing a DRY BAG for protection from the water. We have several available, if you would like to purchase one.
Small coolers will fit on the kayaks and canoes.
Please know that if you leave items in our van, we are not responsible for anything lost or stolen.
Where do I go?
Please note the different meeting locations for each trip listed below. As a rule of thumb, you will meet the shuttle where your paddle is set to end. Arrive at least 15 min before your trip for the shuttle.
The Skyline: Shelby Park to Downtown (Cumberland River)
The Greenway: Near Opryland to Shelby Park (Cumberland River)
MEET AT SHELBY PARK (NEAR THE NATURE CENTER): view map
The meeting point for the 5 mile, 2 hour paddle is where your paddle will end, at the Shelby Park boat ramp. The van shuttles you upstream to put you in the water near Opryland. You paddle downstream and we take out at the Shelby Park boat ramp.
The Full Nash: Near Opryland to Downtown (Cumberland River)
The Stoner: Percy Priest Dam to Kohl’s at Lebanon Pike (Stones River)
MEET AT KOHL’S (Greenway info center in NE corner): view map
The van shuttles you upstream to put you in the water at the dam. You paddle downstream and we take out at the Greenway sign at Lebanon Pike.
When should I arrive?
Arrive at least 15 mins before your scheduled trip. The shuttle leaves promptly at your scheduled reservation time and cannot be held for late arrivals.
Will I get wet?
Yes! Please wear comfortable clothing, shoes that can get wet, and sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.)
If you are going out after the paddle, you may want to bring a change of clothes, especially for your bottom half.
Are pets allowed on the kayak?
Yes- we’ve had dogs and cats paddle with us! We love pets and want to keep them safe, so make sure they have a leash and PFD. (Also, they ride for free).
Are the kayaks sit-on-top?
Yes! Our stable and gorgeous blue and green sit-on-top kayaks are made right here in Sparta, Tennessee at Jackson Kayak.
What is included?
Life jacket (to be worn AT ALL TIMES)
Shuttle upriver to kayak launch site
Release forms if not printed in advance
Laminated maps of the Cumberland River upon request
Kayaking Crash Course
All of our drivers are CPR/First Aid certified
Is there an age requirement to kayak?
Because this an activity where you will be paddling on a river shared with larger industrial and recreational boats, we do not recommend children under 7, and children under 10 must be in a tandem kayak with parent/guardian. If you wish to kayak with a child under the age of 7, please call us at 615-933-9778.
How much time should I allow?
The total length of your experience depends on how strongly and which direction the wind is blowing, how fast the river current moves, and the amount of recent rainfall. Please add an extra hour onto your trip time for shuttling and loading/unloading of kayaks.
What is your weather policy?
We run rain or shine. We are required to cancel for severe weather (lightning, temperatures above 100℉, etc.). Severe weather cancellations may not be made until the start of the tour – we will notify you if made in advance of the trip. Continue reading for our cancellation policy.
What is your cancellation policy?
We get it- plans change! We understand. Therefore, we offer three options for your booking should you contact us more than 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure. They are as follows:
Reschedule: You can reschedule your trip for any other time in the same season. Note that trips booked for weekdays can only be rescheduled for another weekday.
Transfer: If you are not planning to return to Nashville this season, we are happy to print a gift certificate in the amount of your booking for you to give to whomever you choose.
Donate: We would love for you to consider donating your unused reservation to our Kayaks 4 Kids program. Kayaks 4 Kids provides free kayaking trips to youth from economically disadvantaged communities.
Refund: If you are from out of town and we cancel for severe weather, you will receive a refund minus 10% for booking fees.
Paddlers rescheduling less than 24 hours prior to their scheduled route will be charged a 50% re-booking fee. This is because your boat has been reserved for you and can’t be rented to anyone else. No-shows will not be refunded whatsoever.
In the very rare event that we need to cancel your journey due to road closures, inclement weather, or any other unforeseen circumstances, we will do our best to reschedule your trip or find a commensurate accommodation.
*Routes and start times subject to change due to road closures, special events, construction etc. We will notify you as soon as the information becomes available.*
Should I tip the driver?
Our drivers definitely appreciate tips! It shows them they did a great job taking care of you by getting you on the river safely and lets them know you enjoyed your experience. 20% is customary. We’ve made it easy to add gratuity online when booking your reservation, or we are happy to accept cash at the end of your paddle.
Can I book a large kayaking group?
Yes! Please give us a call at 615-933-9RQV (9778) for more information. Groups of 15+ qualify for a 10% discount.
What is paddling on the Cumberland River like?
The Cumberland River is wide and paddles more like a lake so this is an ACTIVE PADDLE, meaning you will be using your arms most of the time. When the river is low and/or the wind is coming from the S/SE/SW, the paddle can be a bit more strenuous than normal.
There is no shade so bring adequate SUN PROTECTION. For a full list items to bring read our Before You Go page.
The river is a Class 1 flat water commercial waterway so you will likely share the water with barges, riverboats, fishing boats, and other motorized pleasure craft that can create some small wake. Metro Parks and the Army Corps of Engineers require that you wear a life jacket at all times on the Cumberland River.
What is paddling on the Stones River like?
The Stones River is a smaller non-industrial river starting at the J. Percy Priest Dam and becomes part of the Cumberland River at the end of Neely’s Bend near Peeler Park. This river runs alongside popular biking and running trails in Donelson. There are places to pull off and have lunch, tributaries to explore, and easy put-ins and take-outs.
The river is a Class 1 flat water river. Metro Parks and the Army Corps of Engineers require that you wear a life jacket at all times on the Stones River.
I have questions/special circumstances, what do I do?
Call us! 615-933-9RQV (9778). We love to put people on the river!