Taking a canoe trip is truly an amazing way to make your group or your family vacation adventuresome and memorable! Canoeing is a fun activity that can be full of thrills without being too difficult and risky. In a canoe, you can safely explore certain wilderness spots that would otherwise be difficult to get to on foot!In addition to being a great group activity, most canoe trips are moderately priced so you don’t have to break the bank to spend the day canoeing. However, canoe trips do require a certain amount of preparation and pre-planning, as well as some basic gear. The following information is helpful for planning a safe, enjoyable canoe trip:

Develop a Plan 

According to the United States Coast Guard, more than 250,000 rivers are present throughout the United States. This provides a vast number of options for anyone looking for some on-the-water adventure! And canoeing can be done close to home or in exotic locations.

A critical first step in choosing which river is ideal for your trip is to plan. Determine the surroundings in which you are most comfortable and then research those rivers that meet such criteria. Once a river has been decided upon, research the area in which you will be and familiarize yourself with it. For example, if you opt for a river that is far from town and mingled with dense forest, plan for such an environment.

Necessary Equipment 

After the planning comes the packing. Canoe trips require more than a sack lunch and map of the river to be navigated. The list that follows encompasses a number of items strongly recommended to make your adventure a safe and comfortable one:

-Waterproof first aid kit that can be purchased already-assembled from a variety of retailers. Included within this kit should be, at a minimum, bandages, burn ointment, anti-bacterial cream, medication for insect bites and pain relievers.


-Life Jackets & Floatation Devices

-Plenty of Water – Plan to bring a water bottle for each member of the canoe party and subsequent jugs of fresh water

-Warm nylon jacket for each person

-Duct tape that can be used for repairs of the canoe or related equipment

-Dry plastic bags for storing additional clothing and gear

-Extra paddle

-Map and compass

-Food secured in waterproof bags. Make sure any food you bring is tightly secured in waterproof bags. This will go a long way for preventing a soggy lunch!

With regard to Life Jackets, make sure each person is actually wearing their life vest or floatation device. It is not sufficient to just have the PFD in the canoe, it needs to be worn at all times! Many rivers are deceiving in appearance: they look shallow but in fact have rapid currents. Properly fitting PFDs are also important so as to remain secure against the body and promote easy movement.

Ideas for Keeping Kids Engaged 

For adults, paddling a canoe while enjoying the picturesque surrounding can be a whole lot of fun, but for the kids, it can be a bit boring. However, there are a number of ways that can keep up the children’s interest. You can consider paddling near the shore to provide everyone an opportunity to watch for animals and birds and look for unique beach rock. Or if you have two canoes, you can have contests such as racing or spotting certain wildlife, plants, or other nature landmarks.

Choose Your Level

Aside from being a form of transportation, canoe racing is a remarkably fun activity! Racing using outrigger canoe is a sport that involves team paddling. This competitive sport is now appreciated worldwide. There is also what you call slalom canoe. Like a kayak, it is a closed watercraft employed for normal canoe trip. The main reason why slalom canoeing is held is to improve one’s skill of maneuvering a canoe at fastest speed possible all the way through a series of gates placed by the river rapids. You might not be a slalom canoe-racer, but you can certainly have some fun with your canoe in fast moving water!

As you can see, canoeing provides fun for all levels! It can be a fast-paced, competitive sport or a leisurely activity for those who just want to relax, sit back and enjoy being outside in nature. Regardless of which level you may choose, just remember to plan early, always be safe and bring your essentials!

Don’t Forget Lodging 

Make your canoe trip extra special by planning a canoe trip in the beautiful Smoky Mountains! The cold, clear mountain streams rushing into mountain rivers make a wonderful and exciting venue for summer canoeing! After a long day of fun on the water, you’ll be ready for a place to relax, unwind and get a good night’s sleep. Creekside Lodge in Maggie Valley is just the place for you! Creekside Lodge is family owned and operated and is a wonderful place to relax and recover after a long day in the sun! There’s only one problem…Creekside Lodge books up fast, especially in the summer months, so you need to make your reservation quickly! Take a moment today and call  800-621-1260 to reserve your spot! Then get set to enjoy some canoeing fun!