Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Urban Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis

We have been kayaking in so many different places—in lakes, rivers, you name it. But we have yet to even make a dent in exploring all the lakes in our home state (there are mover than 11,000 lakes in Minnesota after all!). One of our major oversights in our paddling expeditions, was never kayaking on the Mississippi River.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Mississippi River starts in north central Minnesota, about an hour from where we grew up, and it runs straight through the Twin Cities where we live now. So, even though we have explored the shores of the Mississippi River, we haven’t actually explored the waters themselves. It was about time to correct that error, so last summer when the TBEX North America conference came to town, we signed up for a morning of paddling on the Mississippi with Above the Falls Sports and a group of fellow bloggers.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photo courtesy of Above the Falls Sports

We love urban kayaking and it was fun to see the Minneapolis skyline from the water. It’s a perspective of the city we had yet to witness, plus getting out on the water is always a great time.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Our tour explored the river above St. Anthony Falls—Micah and I were in a tandem kayak which is always quite the experience. We never have the same ideas on where we want the kayak to go, so it’s always causes problems out on the water! Thankfully, this time around we were able to catch up and chat with some friends, so there wasn’t time to debate over which direction we wanted to go.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We were on the “working the local channel” tour and our group started the tour from Boom Island. We paddled along the wide open river by the Grain Belt Brewery landmark, under bridges, down canals lined with trees, and along the shores of Nicollet Island. Our tour started out going downriver, which meant we had to finish the last leg heading back upriver. Luckily, the current wasn’t too strong so the paddle was manageable.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

It was a fantastic spring morning out on the water—the cloudy skies eventually turned to sun, the weather was warm, and we had great company paddling with us. Throughout the tour, our guides filled us with information on what we were seeing and the history of the city.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We had a great time kayaking, but we would also love to check out another tour that is offered by Above the Falls Sports called Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls. On this paddle, you make your way to Minnehaha Creek by passing limestone cliffs, sandy beaches and making your way through the Lower Saint Anthony Lock. Paddling through a lock on kayak would be a fun adventure!

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Above the Falls Sports offers a short paddling lesson before every tour and all paddling equipment is included (boat, paddle, PFD and guide). They also take photos during the experience that you can download from an online gallery; medium resolution photos are free to download, and high resolution images are $2.00 each. You can bring your own camera with as well, but we would recommend a dry bag or waterproof camera if you do! It’s also a good idea to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, water, a hat and a snack with on your tour.

Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We loved getting a chance to finally explore the Mississippi River from the water. This tour is a great urban adventure for anyone looking for something just a little bit different, and it definitely made kayaking on the Mississippi a higher priority for us in the future!

Have you ever been kayaking on the Mississippi River?

Special thanks to TBEX and Above the Falls Sports for organizing and hosting us on this kayaking adventure! As always, all opinions are our own.

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22 Comments
  • Lauren Craving Sunshine
    Posted at 17:19h, 04 March Reply

    This looks like so much fun! I would never think of Kayaking in such an urban environment. It would give such a different perspective to the city!

  • Heather
    Twitter:
    Posted at 20:14h, 04 March Reply

    I can’t say I’ve been kayaking on the Mississippi river. What a perfect way to blend the enjoyment of urban and nature scenery at the same time. And it never hurts to get a little exercise 😉
    I will most certainly look into kayaking when visiting Minneapolis. Thanks for putting this fun activity on my radar.

  • Drew
    Posted at 06:31h, 05 March Reply

    Doesn’t ‘urban kayaking’ sound so hipster? I LOVE to kayak but my wife and I are like you – when we ride tandem, we rarely agree on the direction or the speed of the paddling – it can be…interesting. At least on a leisurely ride, you don’t need to worry too much about keeping up with the group or not making it to your next break spot at a reasonable time 🙂

  • Christopher Rudder
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:27h, 05 March Reply

    You know I’ve been to so many places where kayaking was happening and never thought about trying it. They even have it here on lake Ontario and Don River in Toronto. (When it is not -5 like it is right now lol) It is something I would love to try. It looks very exhausting but a good work out.

  • whatdevondiscovered
    Posted at 12:55h, 05 March Reply

    I’ve never been kayaking on the Mississippi, but rafting and kayaking are two of my favorite ways to explore a new place.

  • Viajar pela história - Catarina Leonardo
    Posted at 18:22h, 05 March Reply

    I had no ideia that there are 11,000 lakes in Minnesota… Very interesting. Kayaking seems an excellent way to see the river 🙂

  • Janna
    Posted at 03:53h, 06 March Reply

    I suck at kayaking! haha but I still do it anyway. Me and my husband fell behind so many times during our kayaking trip in Kauai. Great views u guys got during ur trip!

  • Chrysoula
    Twitter:
    Posted at 08:04h, 06 March Reply

    It looks like a fan activity I would love to try as well but what I loved is the view of the skyline as you are in the river. So close to the city but surrounded by beautiful nature

  • Annie
    Posted at 16:59h, 06 March Reply

    I love kayaking, but didn’t even know it was an option through the city! Being able to see the Minneapolis skyline from the water seems like a wonderful experience.

  • Rhonda Albom
    Posted at 01:16h, 07 March Reply

    Dare I admit that I was surprised to read that you were on the Mississippi in Minneapolis. I grew up in Chicago and always think of it as a southern river, Your tour looked fantastic. Kayaking on calm waters like that is so much fun, and gives you time to enjoy the scenery as you peacefully float by.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Flying Boats Race at Manly Beach in New ZealandMy Profile

  • Dhaval Parmar
    Posted at 04:11h, 11 March Reply

    This looks like a so much fun with adventures! I would never think of Kayaking in such an urban environment. It would give such a different perspective to the city! Thanks to share with awesome pics.

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