Paddle Down
the Mile

Guided Tours by Kayak, Canoe and Stand-up Paddleboard

The Paddle in the City program, presented by HERO USA in partnership with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, offers urban water tours around Downtown Columbus. Participants will have the opportunity to see some of the most scenic parts of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers by canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding as part of these tours.

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About Paddle in the City

Paddle in the City tours, which started in 2017, begin in May and run through the end of October, offering tours across three seasons including sunset paddles. Instructors not only lead the tours, but also teach skill development and information related to nature. Tours meet at 650 Nationwide Blvd., behind Huntington Park.

How The Urban Waterway Tours Work

Before each class, certified instructors lead participants through a quick course on paddling safety. Once that’s completed and all the watercraft are in the river, participants are guided downstream and instructed on the relevant skills while simultaneously learning about nature in and around the water downtown. In addition to the tours, HERO USA also organizes a summer river clean-up in August, followed by an after-party at Mikey’s Late Night Slice.

Options for Downtown River Tour Participants


Paddle Down the River canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard tour details:

  • Days: Saturdays and Sundays, May through October
  • Times: 10 a.m.; sunset tours available as well
  • Cost: $25-$40

A Closer Look at HERO USA

HERO USA is a nonprofit dedicated to helping children facing physical, social and economic obstacles. The organization helps these young people learn basic skills and safety for recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, as well as skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding and skiing. More information is available here.

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