It's time to get your paddle on.
The Mississippi River Paddle Share program launched last August, and on Tuesday it's reopening for its first full season.
The program, which is the first of its kind in the country, allows paddlers to reserve a kayak on the Paddle Share website using a credit card, and then pick up the boat at one of the pick-up stations along the river in the Twin Cities (you'll be texted or emailed an access code so you can get the kayak out of the locker).
Then, paddle away. You'll have 3 hours with the kayak before you have to return it at the specified drop-off locker downstream (more on that below).
New pick-up station coming this year
There are currently two pick-up stations open:
– At North Mississippi Regional Park, you can rent a single- or two-person kayak ($25 or $40, respectively for 3 hours). The return station is 3,9 miles downstream at Boom Island Park, where you have to return the kayak when your 3 hours is up.
– At Lowry Avenue Bridge/Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, you can rent a single-person kayak ($20 for 3 hours). The return station for this pick-up site is also at Boom Island Park, which is about 1.7 miles downstream.
A third pick-up location is coming soon, according to the Paddle Share website. You can rent a single- or two-person kayak ($25 or $40, respectively, for 3 hours) at Hidden Falls Regional Park. The kayak return for this pick-up spot is at Kelley’s Landing at Harriet Island Regional Park, about 6.3 miles away.
Paddle Share says the service is only meant for experienced kayakers. For more information and to make a reservation, click here.