August is such a funny month: Half of us are cramming as much summertime into 31 days as possible while the other half googles, “When does Starbucks get the PSL on the menu?” (If you don’t know what a PSL is, you’re almost certainly in the first group.)
No matter which camp you occupy, taking advantage of our region’s rivers and creeks is always a good idea. These are some of our favorite spots to rent a kayak and paddle on a southeast Ohio waterway.
Scenic River Canoe Excursions
Guests can choose one of two trips at Scenic River Canoe Excursions in Milford: Remington’s Run (which reopens Aug. 12, due to road construction) and Fletcher’s Mid Trip. Book online to choose your path based on the boat and how long you want to spend on the Little Miami River: Remington’s is open to single kayaks only and takes three to five hours. Or use a single kayak, a tandem kayak, or a canoe on Fletcher’s, which takes two to three hours. 4595 Round Bottom Rd., Milford, (513) 576-9000
Pro tip: Scenic River is along the only national wild and scenic river in the tri-state, which is perfectly friendly for beginners. Plus, both trips run by Milford’s Little Miami Brewing Company, where you can park your canoe or kayak for a drink and a bite.
Tippecanoe and Kayaks Too
If you don’t go on a round-trip float, how do you get back to your car? Tippecanoe and Kayaks Too, in Cleves, will drive you up the Great Miami River, and you get to paddle back 7½ miles to your car. Select a single person kayak or a two- or three-person canoe.
Pro tip: While the route does have some rapids, they are Class 1 rapids, which is the smallest on a five-point scale. Translation: This is a great route for beginners and still fun for canoe and kayak vets. 5700 State Route 128, Cleves, (513) 290-8574
Winton Woods Harbor
Winton Lake, in Springfield Township, clocks in at 175 acres, and at Winton Woods Harbor, guests can rent rowboats, four-seat pedal boats, and kayaks, as well as mini pontoons and motor boats. 10245 Winton Rd., Springfield Twp., (513) 931-1849
Pro tip: Make a day out of your visit to Winton Woods, which also features paved trails, bike rentals, fishing, an 18-hole disc golf course, horseback riding, and playgrounds—both a traditional one and Parky’s Ark wet playground.
Green Acres Kayak Rental
With more than 2,000 single-person kayaks available, you won’t run the risk of encountering a boat shortage at Green Acres Kayak Rental in Harrison. Green Acres has four trips available along the Whitewater River, ranging from three to eight miles long. A shuttle will drive you to the trip’s starting point, allowing kayaks—or tubes!—to float back to home base. 10465 Suspension Bridge Rd., Harrison, (513) 353-4770
Pro tip: Kayak in the mornings for the best chance to spot wildlife, including bald eagles, herons, osprey, hawks, and beavers.