Free Canoe Rides – October 4th and 5th

Free Canoe Rides for Youth and Families — October 4 & 5

Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures – aka “The Canoemobile” – comes to two metro parks for Ohio River fun and exploration

Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division, local partner Get Outdoors Kentucky, and Wilderness Inquiry’s Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) aim to introduce youth and families to the beauty of the Ohio River by offering free rides in Voyageur canoes.  Rides will leave from Shawnee Park on October 4 and Riverview Park on October 5. 

Shorter trips of 1 ½ hours will be offered by Wilderness Inquiry, with longer interpretive rides of 3 ½ hours offered by Get Outdoors Kentucky. The Voyageur canoes are safe, stable and can carry between 9 and 14 participants per ride.  Safety equipment and trained staff will be provided.  Organizers suggest wearing comfortable outdoor clothing that can get wet, but no flip-flops please!  Water coolers will be available, so bring a refillable water bottle.

The canoe trips are free to groups and individuals (ages 3 and older), but pre-registration is required by calling Jefferson Memorial Forest at 502-368-5404

Primary sponsors for the canoe adventures are Louisville Metro Council members Cheri Bryant Hamilton and Rick Blackwell, with additional support from council members Cindi Fowler and Attica Scott.

“We are fortunate to live along the Ohio River and have recreational access from our parks,” said Councilwoman Hamilton. “We are happy to provide such a fun outdoor adventure on the river again this year that the whole family can enjoy, and with public schools closed on Friday, October 4, families can spend the day at the park!” Shawnee and Riverview parks feature playgrounds and spraygrounds, and concessions will be available for purchase from the Get It On a Bun with Booty food truck.

The canoe adventures tie into Metro Parks’ overall effort to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and promote environmental education and awareness for youth and families throughout the urban areas of Louisville.

Likewise, the UWCA program started with the goal of serving urban youth in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area – linking learning standards to environmental education and stewardship, and promoting physical activity in the outdoors.

In addition to Louisville, the UWCA Canoemobile program will make stops in other cities that border a major river.



Friday, October 4
Shawnee Park – 4501 West Broadway

Shorter ride times:  8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm

Longer interpretive ride times: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Event located at the end of Southwestern Parkway on the north side of the park.


Saturday, October 5
Riverview Park – 8202 Greenwood Road

Shorter ride times:  8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm

Longer interpretive ride times: 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Park in the upper parking lot, and gather in the lower lot near the river.

About Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division

The 6,400 acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war, is Jefferson County’s largest nature preserve and one of the largest municipal urban forests in the nation.  The Forest is the flagship of Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division which is entrusted with providing stewardship, nature-based educational programming, and outdoor recreation within nearly 7,000 acres of forest, meadow, and riparian habitat across Louisville Metro. Jefferson Memorial Forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas. For more information or to volunteer, go to 


About The Canoemobile 

The Canoemobile is a program of Wilderness Inquiry, provided in partnership with the National Park Service with support from local organizations, fueled by Nature Valley Granola Bars. Wilderness Inquiry provides outdoor adventure opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities throughout North America and around the globe. For more information:

For more information about the Canoemobile program, contact Chad Dayton, 612-676-9419. Photos are available on request.


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