St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

St. Paul Adventures: Kayaking on the Mississippi River

We’ve done quite a bit of urban kayaking lately, and one of the most recent excursions was paddling in our hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota. We went kayaking on the Mississippi River and Minnesota River with Minnesota Adventure Co. and had a wonderful morning out on the water.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Although we’ve kayaked and canoed all throughout the Twin Cities, we had never been out on the waters of St. Paul. Last summer, we went kayaking on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, so it was about time we made our way to the other side of the river to paddle in St. Paul.

As we made our way to the meeting point for our tour, we were a bit nervous about the weather. The skies were grey and it looked like it could start raining at any minute. We crossed our fingers and hoped that the rain would hold off for a few hours.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Our paddle session started at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. We met our group at Harriet Island in downtown St. Paul and jumped in a bus to get to our starting point: Fort Snelling State Park.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Fort Snelling State Park is filled with hiking, biking and ski trails, and it is also home to historic Fort Snelling. It’s a great starting point for a paddling excursion in the city. We launched our kayaks in the Minnesota River and paddled past lush green trees and beautiful, natural landscapes.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Even though we were kayaking in the heart of St. Paul, it didn’t feel like it. To start, we were paddling through the waters of a state park. In addition to the state park, the banks of the Mississippi River are protected by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). MNRRA is a national park that protects 72 miles of shoreline along the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Because of these two parks, we were welcomed with an abundance of nature that winds through the city.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

When the weather cooperates, both rivers are extremely calm and perfect for a relaxing paddle. Even with the cloudy skies and impending storm, we lucked out with calm water. Throughout our paddle, we saw plenty of birds, and even a Bald eagle! We made our way under bridges and past some of the prettiest landscapes in the city.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

The calm waters gave us plenty of time to chat with our fellow paddlers. We had a great time talking with Conor, one of the owners of Minnesota Adventure Co., and we enjoyed hearing about their plans to expand their tour offerings in the upcoming years. Mountain biking adventures and overnight paddle tours are a couple of additions that might be on their radar in the future!

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

After paddling around six miles downriver, the St. Paul skyline started to come into view. The bridges over the Mississippi framed the city quite nicely, and we couldn’t resist stopping for a photo break.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Right before we got to the heart of downtown, it was time to land our kayaks on the shores of Harriet Island where our adventure started. Luckily, we dodged the rain (minus a little sprinkle here and there), and even with the clouds, it ended up being a beautiful morning kayaking in St. Paul.

St Paul Kayaking on the Mississippi River with Minnesota Adventure Co

Minnesota Adventure Co. offers a variety of tours each weekend. The three tours—Mississippi, Minnehaha, and Hudson Bay—take kayakers of all levels to some great kayaking spots in the area. We definitely have our eyes on the Minnehaha tour for our next paddle session in the area!

 

Have you ever been kayaking on the Mississippi River?

 

Special thanks to Visit Saint Paul and Minnesota Adventure Co. for providing us with a fun St. Paul kayak adventure! As always, all opinions are our own.

 

Kayaking adventures on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minnesota with Minnesota Adventure Co.
24 Comments
  • Les Petits Pas de Juls
    Posted at 08:24h, 26 August Reply

    Always makes me want to jump in a kayak and take the adventure with you!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Jul’
    Les Petits Pas de Juls recently posted…Getting Greener: 1 Year Without Shampoo – What it Truly Feels LikeMy Profile

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman
    Posted at 12:21h, 26 August Reply

    As usual, love your photography. You guys do such great work. I grew up in Columbus Ohio and always loved taking my canoe out on the rivers. It didn’t take very much effort to get away from the city an into an entirely different world. St Paul looks like a beautiful city.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Is Angels Landing The Best Hike In Zion?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:52h, 03 September Reply

      Thanks so much–really appreciate it! Columbus would be such a great spot to grow up in–we were just there last month! Lots of great nature in the city there, too!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Kavey Favelle
    Posted at 12:26h, 26 August Reply

    This really looks like such a wonderful way to see the sights and sounds of the river and into St Paul. Is Kayaking quite easy if you’ve not done it before or better to get some proper training first?
    Kavey Favelle recently posted…Travel Fears, Scary Stories and Safety Tips from Travel BloggersMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:54h, 03 September Reply

      It’s always a good idea to get some training, but a lot of the tours we’ve been on have offered a quick lesson before the tour. If you go with a certified guide who can show you the ropes and if the water is calm, it is a great way to start! This kayak trip was a good one for beginners when we went because the water was really calm!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Kate Brissette
    Posted at 15:31h, 26 August Reply

    We love kayaking but have only ever been a few times – and always in more secluded areas. I love the idea of urban kayaking and getting a different view of a city you love! So many of your photos looked like you were out in the wilderness too, so it seems like it is a good mix of nature and city. Love that second-to-last photo of you guys in front of the skyline! So cool!
    Kate Brissette recently posted…A Spirited Weekend on the Nelson 151 Trail in VirginiaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:47h, 03 September Reply

      Thanks so much–it was a really run experience! A great mix of nature and city, too! Always nice to find that right in the middle of a busy area 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Janine Thomas
    Posted at 09:53h, 27 August Reply

    I have only ever been in a sea kayak, but this looks like such a great river . You were lucky that the waters were calm. I am not too crazy about the idea of trying to kayak for the first time in rough waters.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:43h, 03 September Reply

      Sea kayaking would be awesome too! But yeah I agree–kayaking in rough waters for your first time definitely wouldn’t be the best experience! Always good to get a feel for it on calm waters first!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Tamara Elliott
    Posted at 12:03h, 27 August Reply

    There’s no doubt there are plenty of fab lakes in that state! Love your photos, and glad to hear you guys made it out before the rain!

  • Danik
    Posted at 15:49h, 27 August Reply

    I have to admit I never tried Kayaking and now I want to do it. Doing it on the Mississippi river sounds like a great destination to do this.
    Danik recently posted…Amazing day trip from Amsterdam – De Haar castleMy Profile

  • Anne Slater-Brooks
    Posted at 23:42h, 27 August Reply

    I love kayaking and this looks fab. So near to the city but looks so wild as though you are miles away
    Anne Slater-Brooks recently posted…Flying High On My First Helicopter Lesson at Doncaster Sheffield AirportMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:14h, 03 September Reply

      Yeah it’s really great that most of the riverfront is protected–really makes you feel like you are far from the city!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Jennifer Melroy
    Posted at 18:37h, 29 August Reply

    Technically, I haven’t kayaked on the Mississippi but I have kayaked on water that ended up in the Mississippi River. It would be interesting to do a kayak trip all the way down the Mississippi and really long.
    Jennifer Melroy recently posted…10 Stunning Places to Watch the 2024 North American Solar EclipseMy Profile

  • Trisha Velarmino
    Posted at 23:06h, 29 August Reply

    It feels like you’re not in a city at all! The plan of Minnesota Adventure Co. to expand is a great idea. More options for outdoor activities that will encourage people to go out and do some fun stuff that is also good for the soul!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:02h, 03 September Reply

      I know, right? It definitely doesn’t feel like we were in the middle of the city. Always love when we can enjoy nature within a city!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Vicky and Buddy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 18:17h, 03 September Reply

    I think it’s really awesome when you can do these types of outdoor activities in the heart of a city. I did a similar kayaking tour in Miami, not a place most people associate with kayaking. It was my first time, so I’m really looking forward to kayaking again. I’m glad the weather held out for you and you were able to get such awesome photos!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 19:59h, 03 September Reply

      Miami would be a great place to kayak too! We always love paddling through cities–it’s fun to change the scenery up!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Columbus, OhioMy Profile

  • Agness of eTramping
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:00h, 08 September Reply

    I would definitely love to try kayaking, Jenna and the Mississippi river seems the perfect place for it. Do I need some training or classes for it?

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:43h, 15 September Reply

      The Mississippi is a great spot for kayaking! Classes are always beneficial but the tour guides are fully certified and do give you a short lesson before taking you out on the water. So it would just depend on how comfortable you are on the water if you felt you would like a class before or not!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Waterfalls and Hiking at Hocking Hills State ParkMy Profile

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