The state capital of Ohio, Columbus is also the state's biggest city and one of the largest cities in the whole Midwest region. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, Columbus is a vibrant, lively place and has always been a popular tourist destination for a wide variety of reasons. Named after world-famous explorer Christopher Columbus, the city was founded back in 1812 and constructed at the confluence of two rivers: the Scioto and the Olentangy.
With an impressive skyline and many famous landmarks to see, the city is regarded as a must-visit Midwest location and has a lot of outdoor activities to offer. Most notably, kayaking is on the rise in Columbus as more people start to take an interest in ecotourism activities. Located far from the ocean and Great Lakes, many people are surprised to learn that Columbus is such an exciting kayaking location, but the city boasts two great rivers running right through its center, as well as nearby creeks and lakes for kayakers of all abilities and ages to enjoy. Things to Do in Columbus
Best Kayaking Locations in Columbus, Ohio
There are multiple kayaking locations to be found both in central Columbus and around the surrounding area. Here are some of the top rated kayaking spots you can enjoy on your next outdoor Columbus adventure.
· Scioto River
The Scioto River runs right through the central and southern parts of the state of Ohio, passing through Columbus on the way. The river runs for over 230 miles in total, offering a lot of great kayaking and some very special views. The fun part about kayaking on the Scioto River in Columbus is that it runs right through some of the city's most popular districts, so you can take in views of the skyline and various monuments in a whole new way, and the flat waters are welcoming to inexperienced kayakers.
· Olentangy River
Shorter and narrower than the Scioto, the Olentangy runs for 97 miles and actually flows into the Scioto at Columbus. Just like the Scioto, it runs through much of Columbus, taking in various districts and landmarks like the Ohio Stadium, Kenny Park, Columbus Park of Roses, and more, offering a thoroughly unique way to visit the city.
· Big Darby Creek
Just a short drive outside of central Columbus sits Big Darby Creek. This is a real hotspot with kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The creek is actually a tributary to the Scioto River and allows visitors to enjoy the greener side of Columbus, complete with a wide array of flora and fauna. This is actually the only spot in the world where the Scioto madtom fish can be found, as well as being home to many kinds of mussels and other marine life.
Kayak Tours and Rentals in Columbus, Ohio
As the popularity of kayaking in Columbus, Ohio continues to surge, various kayaking rental and tour companies are springing up around the city to offer their services. Here are a few of Columbus’ top rated kayak companies for you to choose from on your next visit to the city.
1. Olentangy Paddle - (855 643-8611)
As the name suggests, this kayaking company focuses on the Olentangy River, but also offers kayaking trips on various other waterways around Columbus and Central Ohio in general, including the Scioto River, Big Walnut, and Alum Creek. Routes will vary over the course of the year depending on the river conditions and depth, but there’s always something fun to enjoy with this great Columbus kayaking company.
2. Paddle In The City - 650 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215
From May through to October, Paddle in the City kayaking events offer a great way for kayak enthusiasts of all kinds to come together in a great location and share their hobby and passion together. Weekly guided kayak tours and lessons are available, led by certified instructors every time. These kayaking lessons take place on the Scioto River, not far from its confluence with the Olentangy.
3. Trapper John's Canoe Livery - 7141 London Groveport Rd, Grove City, OH 43123 (614 877-4321)
One of the most popular livery locations in all of Ohio, Trapper John's offers kayak and canoe rentals for people of all ages and abilities, as well as offering a wide array of self-guided and fully guided tours of Big Darby Creek. The Sampler Trip is a great way to get started, running for 1-2 hours and featuring nothing but calm waters and gentle breezes.