Canoe Trips

Paddle on the Oxbow

The Wild Center canoe trip brings you even closer to the real nature of the Adirondacks. Each 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, $40/non-members.

These trips are offered each day in July and August from 2 – 4pm. Because of high demand you must pre-register for the canoe trips online.

Paddles, boats and lifejackets are all provided. This experience is tailored for paddlers of all experience levels, ages 5 and up. Children (ages 5-15) must be accompanied by at least 1 adult per 2 children. The trip includes a 1/2 mile walk to and from the river.

Questions? Contact Shannon Surdyk at ssurdyk@wildcenter.org

For more canoe options nearby, check in with Raquette River Outfitters, our partners in this watery expedition.

FAQ: Things You Should Know

Have questions about what to expect on a canoe trip at The Wild Center? You may be able to find the answer below.

  • 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.

  • Can my children come?

    Yes, children ages 5 and up are welcome. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult without exception. For every two children in your group, there must be one parent or guardian present. There is a maximum of two children per canoe so if your group has three or more children, please plan on purchasing an additional boat with at least 2 accompanying adults in your party.

  • 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. If your group has 2 adults and 2 children, the children can both sit on the floor of the canoe if they are both under the age of 15 and the weight distribution is safe. However, the seating of your boat will be left to the guide’s discretion.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 muskrat swimming in the distance. These things combined with Adirondack human history make for a pleasant adventure.

  • Will I get wet?

    It is always possible. When the water level of the river is high, you can expect to wade through the water to your knees or sometimes higher in order to reach the dock. Shoes must be worn at all times, so the best way to prepare for this is to wear sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty and dressing in synthetic or non-cotton clothing if 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 registering for a future trip.

  • Are the canoes located at The Wild Center?

    The canoes are located at The Wild Center dock on the Raquette River. As a group, we will meet at the museum building and walk the one-half mile down to the boats. The gravel trail has slight to moderate grades. At the end of the canoe trip, participants will also need to hike back up this trail in order to return to the museum.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Admission Desk regarding a possible cancellation up to ½ hour prior to the 2:00 pm 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.

  • Couldn't find the answer to your question?

    Contact Shannon Surdyk at ssurdyk@wildcenter.org