The Great Miami waterway offers several routes for kayakers, but if you want to explore beyond the rivers of Dayton, Indianapolis hosts a water adventure that’s worth the drive.
At the Riverside Regional Park, a new hub for kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle board rentals, has opened between White River and White River Greenway. Frank’s Paddlesports Livery offers visitors the opportunity to book a 7-mile trip, a 4-mile trip or rent by the hour. Guests taking to White River for the day will be transported to takeoff points at the Indianapolis Arts Center and Rocky Ripple to start their journey.
Hamilton County has put in a decade of work to clean up and restore White River for recreational use. This summer marks the success of that campaign with the opening of the river’s first paddle sports livery at 3001 N. White River Parkway Drive W. in Indianapolis.
“The purpose of Frank’s Livery is to provide a unique perspective to Indy residents and visitors of the natural beauty of our waterways,” said Peter Bloomquist, Frank’s Livery co-founder and director, in a press release. “We look forward to providing our guests with exceptional service by training and employing enthusiastic and knowledgeable team members to serve as authentic extensions of our unique brand.”
The paddle sports livery is the first piece of the White River Vision Plan announced by the county in 2019 to redevelop 58 miles of the river. Through the next steps of the plan, the county intends to create year-round river amenities that provide activity, education and entertainment for visitors and residents.
The White River State Park in the state’s capital runs alongside the river and provides even more water activities for the family to cool off during a daytrip to the city. On the Central Canal, pedal boats are available to rent. Visitors can even choose pedal boats that look like swans and seat up to five people. The swan boats are incorporated into Wheel Fun Rentals’ Sunset Rides along the lit canal through the summer season.
Downtown Indianapolis features several outdoor dining options for fueling up before or after venturing down the river. With a patio right on the canal and a specialty beef sandwich on the menu, Fresco Italian Café on the Canal may be the perfect cool off spot. Fresco’s also makes gelato and Italian shaved ice in-house and offer roast-your-own s’mores tableside for a little summer treat. Or, try Canal Bistro, a Greek restaurant, which serves all the Greek favorites and puts a spin on weekend brunch with baklava-stuffed French toast, gyro burritos and garden hummus wraps.
HOW TO GO
What: Kayaking and canoeing down White River with Frank’s Paddlesports Livery
When: All season long; Frank’s is closed Mondays, but open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Where: White River; Frank’s Paddlesports Livery is located at 3001 N. White River Parkway Drive W. in Indianapolis.
Cost: Rental rates at Frank’s are: (1) Canoes are $35 for the first hour and $20 per additional hour for a maximum of 3 hours, $70 for the 3-hour trip and $85 for the 4.5-hour trip; (2) Kayaks are $20 for the first hour and $10 per additional hour for a maximum of 3 hours, $40 for the 3-hour trip and $50 for the 4.5-hour trip; (3) Paddleboards are $20 for the first hour and $10 per additional hour for a maximum of 3 hours, $40 for the 3-hour trip and $50 for the 4.5-hour trip.
More info: To rent online and for additional details, visit http://www.frankslivery.com/.