Try This: Kayak with Kids at Elk Island Park

This weekend, for the first time, we kayaked with the kids at Elk Island Park. Though we were rained out from a storm coming in quicker than we thought it would, and ran from the lake in the a downpour, I’m sure it’s something that the kids will remember for a while, with the rumbling thunder that felt like it was right above our heads. 

A national park pass is required (but you can get two years for the price of one if you purchase a pass this year – such a fantastic value) and you can either bring your own kayaks, or take advantage of the rentals in the park.

If you don’t have your own kayaks or canoes, or don’t want to deal with the hassle of loading kayaks on to your roof rack in the pouring rain, you can take advantage of the rentals and helpful staff members in the park.

Rentals are available: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Stat. Holidays (July and August)
Saturdays, Sundays and Stat Holidays (May, June and September). First Hour: $25/canoe & tandem kayak, $15/single kayak and stand up paddle board and $10 for each additional hour.

Where to find rentals: Rentals can be found at the sandy part of Astotin Lake, in Elk Island Park. There’s a convenient boat dock, making it simple to get in and out of the water – and staff are very helpful.

We brought along our six year old, who was easily paddling alone on the lake. She was able to keep up nicely, and the lake was big enough for her to explore without being tired, and calm enough for her easily navigate her kids kayak with us around. Putting in was simple, she was able to do it herself, we did this at the boat launch. Getting out, we steered to the boat dock where helpful staff helped her out of the water on to the dock, and I steered to the shore, wanting to step in as little water as possible, wanting to avoid potential leeches in the water.

Not somewhere that I would want to swim, getting in and out of the kayak we had minimal contact with the water, which was a little murky, it was a nice paddle around the lake and somewhere new to explore close to home. There’s lots to see around the shoreline, and it’s a great way to spend a morning with the kids – especially if you’ve never tried it.

To find out more information, you can contact (780) 922-4324 or visit

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