Canoe Trips

Paddle on the Oxbow

Exclamation mark

Canoe Trips

Guided canoe trips start at 1pm at our Canoe Docks, which are located a 1/3 mile from our parking lot, over rolling terrain. The cut off time to reserve a boat is 12:15pm on the day of the trip. Trips run from 1pm-3pm every day in July and August and on Saturdays and Sundays through October 8th. Please plan to arrive to the Center by at least 12:30pm to accommodate your entry and allow your group enough time to walk the 1/3 mile to the river.

Every trip is led by a NYS Licensed Guide and Wild Center naturalist, ready to take you on an amazing trip through the Raquette River’s Oxbow as you explore different marsh habitats and catch a glimpse of native wildlife. You can paddle as a family, with up to 2 adults and 2 children per boat. The cost per boat is $30/members, $45/non-members.

Paddles, boats, and life jackets are all provided and cleaned regularly. However if you prefer to bring your own life jacket, you are welcome to do so. This experience is tailored for paddlers of all experience levels, ages 4 and up. Children (ages 4-15) must be accompanied by at least 1 adult per 3 children. The trip includes a 1/3 mile walk to and from the river over rolling terrain.

What if I've never canoed before?

Novice canoers are welcome and encouraged. This trip is on calm, flat water and our pace is gentle–we cover around one mile of river in one hour. Guides are trained to ensure groups stay together, teach basic paddling technique, and assist anyone having difficulty.

How many people can be in a canoe?

The number of people in your canoe will depend on the make up of your group. Parties of 2 have one person in the front seat and one in the rear seat. A party of 3 has the third person sitting on the floor of the canoe (cushion provided). If your group has 2 adults and 2 children, the children can both sit on the floor of the canoe if they are under 100 lbs and the weight distribution is safe. However, the seating of your boat will be left to the guide’s discretion.

Our canoes are 17 feet long and have a weight capacity of 500 pounds.

Do I need a life jacket?

Participants are required to wear personal floatation devices (PFD) throughout the entire paddle. The Wild Center will provide a life jacket for you. You may bring your own as long as it is Coast Guard approved and meets a visual inspection by your guide.

Will I get wet?

It is always possible. Even experienced canoers can flip their boat unexpectedly. We suggest not bringing items that cannot get wet or securing them within the water proof bag that will be provided. In the spring, the water level is often high and may cover our docks. The likelihood of your shoes getting wet is low, but possible.

What if it rains?

The Wild Center canoe trips are scheduled to go rain or shine. In the event of severe weather or extreme wind, it is possible for trips to be postponed or cancelled. This decision is made immediately prior to the trip and will be communicated to you when you arrive. If the trip is cancelled due to weather, participants have the option of a refund or rescheduling for a future trip

Can I rent a boat from you and go by myself?

All Wild Center canoe trips are staff-led to provide the optimal interpretive experience for our guests.

What is the cancellation policy?

The Wild Center reserves the right to cancel this trip based on severe weather or other hazardous conditions. If the weather conditions look unsafe, your guides will leave details at the Ticket Booth regarding a possible cancellation up to ½ hour prior to the start time.

What is the refund policy?

If a registration is cancelled 14 days or more before a program starts we will refund the full program cost. Cancellations received less than 14 days before the start of a program will not be refunded unless we can fill your reservation with another interested participant. If The Wild Center cancels a program due to inclement weather or other unavoidable reasons, participants will receive a full refund or transfer option.

Can my children come?

Yes, children ages 4 and up are welcome. Children between the ages of 4 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult without exception. For every three children in your group, there must be one parent or guardian present. Boats can accommodate up to 1 adult and three children.

What should I bring?

It’s always best to come prepared. Weather on the river varies from hot and humid to cool and rainy all summer long. These are some things you might consider bringing along when getting ready for your canoe trip at The Wild Center:

  • Sturdy shoes that can get wet
  • Full water bottle for each person
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses or hat
  • Rain jacket
  • Camera

The Wild Center will provide boats, paddles, one waterproof bag for each boat, and a life jacket for each individual.

What kind of wildlife will we see?

Every single canoe trip on the oxbow is different. Our guides are skilled at picking out things of interest whether it’s an impressive adaptation of a meat-eating plant, the flash of a kingfisher diving into the water, or a turtle sun bathing in the distance. These things combined with Adirondack human history make for a pleasant adventure.

Are the canoes located at The Wild Center?

The canoes are located at The Wild Center dock on the Raquette River. Upon entering our campus you will receive a map of our campus. From the parking lot, head past Wild Walk toward the Oxbow Overlook Trail. On the first turn of the Oxbow trail you will see a large arrow marking the Canoe Cut-Off trail to the right. The gravel trail has slight to moderate grades and the cut-off trail has exposed rocks and roots. At the end of the canoe trip, participants will also need to hike back up this trail in order to return to the museum or parking lot

Are there other ways we can explore the Raquette River?

If you prefer to explore the Raquette on your own, or the makeup of your group is different than our guidelines, you can check out Raquette River Outfitters to rent a canoe. This local outfitter company is located just south of The Wild Center along the river and has many different boat sizes and styles available for rental.

Couldn't find the answer to your question?

Contact Shannon Surdyk at