Recreational Services

River Kayaking Policies


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Thank you for your interest in Kayaking UToledo. Please read these policies designed with all participants' wellbeing in mind. If you have any questions about Kayaking UToledo, please call 419.530.3700. 

  • Failure to adhere to any UToledo Rec policies may result in suspension and/or fees.
  • To rent a kayak, call 419 530 3700 or go to the Recreation Center Main Office at 2800 E. Rocket Drive
  • Kayaks must stay within designated areas
  • Personal flotation devices (PFDs) or life jackets must be worn at all times
  • UToledo Rec will provide PFDs, if you choose to provide your own,  it must be:
    • Coast Guard approved
    • In good and serviceable condition
    • The appropriate size for the intended user
  • Participants must be over 50 lbs
  • No participants under age 18 without a parent or guardian
  • No drugs, alcohol or tobacco
  • No fishing permitted while kayaking
  • No glass permitted on kayaks
  • You are responsible for returning all gear in the condition in which you received it
  • Equipment must be returned to and inspected by UToledo Rec staff
  • All UToledo policies are applicable 
  • UToledo Rec has discretion to cancel kayaking for any reason due to safety concerns
  • UToledo Rec is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items


For safety information and tips on kayaking, please visit:


What should I wear to a kayak on the Ottawa River?

Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and dirty.  Avoid cotton clothing, as cotton soaks up water like a sponge and will be heavy and uncomfortable when kayaking. Cotton also stops insulating you from the cold when it’s wet, so you can become chilled very easily in wet cotton clothing, even on a warm day. Synthetic or wicking fabrics are recommended such as nylon, polyester, fleece, or wool. Raingear is recommended if the weather calls for it.
Old tennis shoes or sandals that attach to the foot are recommended. Do not wear flip-flops.
Bug spray and sunscreen are highly recommended.
What should I bring with me?

Bring a filled water bottle, bug spray, sun protection (hat, sunglasses with strap, sunscreen).  A towel and a change of clothes and shoes to leave in the car are recommended. You may get wet, and shoes may get muddy.  All other equipment and gear will be provided for you.

The weather looks bad; will kayaking be cancelled?

Kayaking will be cancelled under the following conditions:

  • The combined temperature of water and air shall be greater than 120-degrees Fahrenheit.  Water temperature must be at least 65-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Consistent wind speed shall not exceed 20 mph (17 knots). Also, stations will be closed if there is a Tornado Watch in effect.
  • The max water height (based on the USGA measurement) is 10 ft. and the minimum water height is 2.5 ft. A visual assessment of conditions is also completed to determine if kayaking will be cancelled.
  • Kayaking will be cancelled if there are lightning strikes or thunder in the area. If kayakers hear thunder or see lightning while on the water, they should seek shelter and wait 30 minutes after the last thunder heard before getting back on the water.

Do I need my own life jacket to kayak?

No, all kayaking equipment is provided.

Can my child paddle?

Children must be over 50 lbs to kayak

How do I reserve a kayak?

To request a kayak during our open hours (link to hours), call 419.530.3700 or go to the Recreation Center Main Office at 2800 E. Rocket Dr.  An UTREC employee will meet you at the kayak storage location in the West Garage to unlock the kayaks.  All participants are responsible for carrying the kayaks to the river launch and entering the water on their own.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are not permitted.

Last Updated: 1/13/21