Kids & Family – I Love Paddling The Blog | The Place for People Who Love to Paddle Fri, 12 May 2017 20:07:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 It’s National Park Week Fri, 15 Apr 2016 20:29:06 +0000 #findyourpark! National Park Week is April 16-24, 2016]]> Voyageurs National Park Photo courtesy

Voyageurs National Park Photo courtesy


… and that means entry to each and every National Park is totally free. Its time to get out, explore and #findyourpark!

A few highlights:
April 16–24: Visit for free! Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission!
April 16: National Junior Ranger Day
April 22: Earth Day
April 23: National Park Instameet
April 24: Park Rx Day

Find A National Park Near You >

National Park Week is the time to discover national parks and the wonders they contain. Find your park! Photo courtesy National Park Service

National Park Week is the time to discover national parks and the wonders they contain. Find your park!
Photo courtesy National Park Service

What is the American Canoe Association? Thu, 10 Mar 2016 16:08:09 +0000 acabanner

For years we’ve been digging through the ACA web site for events, classes, and paddlesports news, and we’ve never really grasped the depth of the American Canoe Association and all it does. So what is it?

The ACA was founded in 1880 and has since grown “into the nation’s largest and most active nonprofit paddlesports organization with 30,000 members and over 300 Clubs and Affiliates across the United States and abroad.” These days, the ACA produces paddlesport events, certifies instructors, facilitates stewardship, organizes world-class competitions, promotes adaptive paddling, and supports local clubs in a myriad of ways. As paddlesports grow, and the health of our waters becomes more important every day, the ACA is on the leading edge — “to work at the grassroots, regional and national levels to promote fun and responsible canoeing, kayaking, rafting and stand up paddleboarding and advocacy for recreational access and stewardship of America’s waterways.”

What can you find on their site? A ton! Here are just a few highlights and links we use frequently: is proud to be an affiliate of the ACA, families, individuals, and clubs can join for number of benefits, find out more HERE

Places to Paddle: Wisconsin’s Bois Brule River Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:54:12 +0000 boisbrule1

Photos courtesy Brule River Canoe Rental

The Bois Brule in northwestern Wisconsin is world-famous amongst paddlers for the magical upper river which flows through secluded woodsy bogs, and then turns into a fun whitewater playground. The river runs towards Lake Superior falling 328 feet in eighteen miles, making for some exciting paddling (especially when the water is high) as the water rushes over rocks and ledges rush amidst wooded river bluffs. The lower Brule boasts over 80 rapids but there are family-friendly quiet stretches as well. Bois Brule River Fishing includes trout, steelhead, chinook and coho salmon. Check out the Wis DNR web site for more about the Brule River State Forest.

Find out More:
Canoeing Destinations: Wisconsin Rivers and Streams
Article: Paddling the Bois Brule
Bois Brule River on Wisconsin Trail Guide

I Can Paddle! Learn how to canoe at MN State Parks Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:14:20 +0000 READ MORE >]]> icanpaddlednr

Get the family out on the water this summer! Learn paddling skills from experienced guides while exploring some of Minnesota’s most stunning lakes and rivers.

Designed especially for first-time paddlers, so no experience or equipment is necessary. Through firsthand experience you’ll develop all of the skills necessary for a lifetime of paddling. Programs range from 2-hour basics on a lake to 4-5 hour excursions that cover basics and beyond. Safety tips, what to pack, and resources are covered.

Small group sizes mean you’ll get the attention you need to become a paddling pro in no time. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices are provided. Kids are welcome!

Find out more and Register for an upcoming paddle HERE >

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Real life trip report: canoeing with kids Fri, 23 Aug 2013 21:21:52 +0000 Read On > ]]>

Canoeing with Kids? Tripping with a Toddler? Check out a great trip report chock full of first hand experience on taking a three-year-old down the Wisconsin River.

From paddler Cory Ritterbusch:
“My wife and I have canoed the lower Wisconsin River for years now. After we welcomed our son, we continued to go (thanks to wonderful grandparent babysitters). We enjoyed our time, but missed our son and wondered when he would be ready to join us…”

Read the full story >


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Sign Up Time: 2013 Mississippi River Challenge Thu, 02 May 2013 14:42:07 +0000 Its time to start filling your summer with paddling events, and one of our faves is the Mississippi River Challenge in the Twin Cities MN.

Dates: July 27-28, 2013

Paddle 44 miles of urban waterways on a fully supported, guided tour of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers! The Mississippi River Challenge gives canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard paddlers of all levels a chance to paddle in good company for a great cause. Spot an eagle, paddle past wilderness and urban skylines, and experience history while camping in Historic Fort Snelling, where the two rivers meet.

“The river challenge is completely unique, and I look forward to it for months.” – 2012 paddler

The Mississippi River Challenge is the signature event for Friends of the Mississippi River with the dual purpose of getting people connected to our local waterways and raising money to support important river conservation work.

Join us on this fun adventure to support Friends of the Mississippi River’s mission to engage community members to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region.

Register Now and Find out More >

New This Week Fri, 19 Apr 2013 20:45:45 +0000 New on This Week:

Get Inspired: Paddle the Winisk River

Vern Fish submitted’s latest Far North Trip Report. Ontario’s Winisk River flows north from Winisk Lake to Hudson Bay, cutting across the Canadian Shield and then dropping into the limestone lowlands of Hudson Bay. This 10-day trip report is sure to inspire moderate to advanced paddlers with its tales of whitewater, wildlife and trail life. It’s also packed with great information should you travel there yourself …

Sommers Canoe Base in Ely, MN: 90 Years of canoeing and boy scouting tradition.

During the summer of 2012, the Northern Tier High Adventure Program helped 755 crews, most of them Boy Scouts, explore the wilderness of northern Minnesota and Canada. That’s 6,012 people starting and ending canoe trips at one of three base camps, and connecting with the boreal forests of the north country through classic wilderness adventure. You can, too! …

We’d love to meet you. Visit us at the Outdoor Adventure Expo, April 26 – 28.

Midwest Mountaineering’s Outdoor Adventure Expo is the surest sign of spring in Minneapolis. There will be more than 120 presentations, over 100 exhibitors, sales throughout the store, and the world’s largest canoe auction. Stop by the booth to pick up your free “I heart paddling” sticker and register to win a Mitchell paddle. We look forward to meeting you!


Let the Kids Paddle at Canoe Camp this Summer Mon, 25 Mar 2013 21:49:28 +0000

Last fall we wrote a book review for Let Them Paddle: Coming of Age on the Water, by Alan Kesselheim–Kesselheim took his children on a 6-week canoe trip on the Kazan when his youngest was 10 years old. That’s in the Canadian Arctic. The trip was the start of a family tradition, and the book was a testament to that tradition and the value of canoeing in helping children grow.

We want parents everywhere to be inspired to take their kids canoeing, but we also want you to know that you’re not alone. Now is the time to start planning for summer vacation–and there are plenty of camps and programs that will do a fine job of introducing your children to canoe tripping. Here are a few resources to get started, whether you want to go paddling as a family or send your kids  to canoe camp:’s Updated Trip Planning Guide (PDF)’s guide to Canoe Camps for Kids

Canoeing and Paddling Schools and Programs across the U.S.

Become a Boundary Waters Family, the ABCs of camping in the Boundary Waters with kids.




Can You Canoe? The Okee Dokee Bros say it all…. Thu, 06 Dec 2012 21:33:23 +0000

The Okee Dokee Brothers (they're folky)


Ok, so we know that the Okee Dokee Brothers are much-acclaimed musicians for kids, but this song is too good to be typecast. Have a listen! It’ll make your day, and then pass it along to a young paddler-to-be! CLICK HERE to play the songs >


A month-long canoe trip down the Mississippi inspired the album, and now they’re getting a well deserved Grammy nod! Keep fingers crossed, and read the full story here at the Star Tribune >

“[The Okee Dokee Brothers] remind us of the American belief that we’re bound for better weather. Their album [Can You Canoe?] celebrates everyday explorers, young and old, who rediscover that notion daily”- NPR’s All Things Considered 

New Programs Like “Gangster Rides” Get City-dwellers into Nature Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:31:19 +0000 Ever been on a “Gangster Canoe Ride”? We haven’t either, but thanks to a creative new program by Minneapolis based Wilderness Inquiry, we all can.

A pioneer press article this week featured an August canoe tour by Wilderness Inquiry on the Mississippi River. Ten city-dwellers rode in 24-foot canoes to learn about the history of organized crime in the Twin Cities during prohibition. The tour was one of 14 themed tours offered this summer as a way to get the general public out on the water.

Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure, Photo courtesy WIlderness Inquiry

Wilderness Inquiry (WI) has been making great strides in introducing urbanites to paddling and the outdoors. In addition to the themed tours, the organization has been introducing youth to canoeing through Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program, which has a goal of introducing 10,000 youth annually to “direct ‘hands-on’ experience with nature.”

This year, WI is expanding its reach beyond the Twin Cities to Cincinnati, Ohio by partnering with the Camping and Education Foundation. A parent foundation to two wilderness camps based on Rainy Lake in Northern Minnesota, the Foundation and WI are hosting an Ohio River Paddle October 8 – 12. By hosting three to four hour paddles, the organizations hope to get 250 urban youth outside.

As to whether one outing can change someone’s opinion about the outdoors? According the Pioneer Press article, one participant said “the experience changed her opinion of the bustling Mississippi River and made her more confident in her knowledge of canoeing, wilderness and local history.”

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