Pricing shown is valid for reservations made by 4pm the day before the requested trip date. Walk-Ins and late reservations are welcome but subject to availability and surcharges as described below.
**Though we are open from the first of April through the end of October, the Schedules shown are for the period May 21st through Labor Day weekend. Early and late season schedules vary. Please confirm availability at least 2 days in advance during early and late season.
Rusty Oar - Canoes/Kayaks
Length: 2-2.5 hours / approx 6 miles / Map
Price: Canoes $36 / Kayaks $20 / Tandem Kayaks $40
Departure: On the hour from 8am to 3pm (8am trip by prepaid reservation only)
Description: Our most popular trip, we depart from our River Road livery to the drop-in at Rusty Oar for a 2-3 hour float back to the River Road livery.
**Non-reservation rate add $4
White River Campground - Canoes/Kayaks
Length: 3.5-4.5 hours / approx 10 miles / Map
Price: Canoes $42 / Kayaks $25 / Tandem Kayaks $46
Departure: On the hour from 9am to 1pm
Description: We depart from our River Road livery and drop-in at the White River Campground at Strawtown. This trip involves a portage around the low-head dam at the Rusty Oar property, and continues to our River Road livery.
**Non-reservation rate add $4
Lafayette Trace/Perkinsville - Canoes/Kayaks
Length: 5.5-8 hours / approx 15 & 18 miles / Map
Price Lafayette Trace: Canoes $46 / Kayaks $28 / Tandem Kayaks $50
Price Perkinsville: Canoes $48 / Kayaks $30 / Tandem Kayaks $52
Departure: 9:00am and 10:00am
Description: We depart from our River Road livery and drop in at either the Lafayette Trace or Perkinsville (3 miles further) access points for an all-day float back to our River Road livery. These trips involve a portage around the low-head dam at our Rusty Oar property.
**Non-reservation rate add $4
Overnight Camp - Canoes/Kayaks
Length: 2 day | Map
Price: Please contact us for pricing
Departure: By reservation only, please contact us for departure times and camping reservations.
Description: For those who want to pack their gear for an overnight float and camping trip, we depart from our River Road property and drop in at the Perkinsville access. You will float to either White River Campground, or to our Rusty Oar property depending on your original reservation time. This trip includes the portage around the low-head dam. You finish the following day back at our River Road livery.
We recognize that many people own their canoes and kayaks, and we also know that access and trip logistics can be a hassle. We provide livery/transport service from our River Avenue facility to all of our launch sites on our regular trip departure schedules. Transport Fees to the Rusty Oar and White River Campground launch sites are $15 per boat, and $20 per boat to the Lafayette Trace and Perkinsville launch sites if you reserve your trip by 4pm the day before your requested trip date. Non-reservation surcharges of $4 per boat apply and you may have to wait if you don’t make a reservation, but your car will be safe in our lot so you can relax and enjoy your day without wondering if your ride home is where you left it.
River Tube Trips
Length: 2-3 hours / approx 3.5 miles, or 4-5 hours / approx 6 miles / Map
**Trip length-of-time can vary greatly depending on water levels. We provide a shorter trip alternative to Potter’s Bridge in late summer/low water conditions. The Rusty Oar launch is not always available. Check with us for latest water conditions and trip availability.
Potter’s Bridge Price: 2-3 hours: $10 for a 44" Tube / $12 for a 48” Tube / $15 for a 48" Tube w/Backrest / $20 for a Twin Tube
Rusty Oar Price: 4-5 hours: $14 for a 44" Tube / $16 for a 48" Tube / $19 for a 48” Tube w/Backrest / $24 for a Twin Tube
Cooler Tube Rental: $10
Potter’s Bridge every hour 10am-1pm
Rusty Oar 10am & 12pm
Description: We depart from our River Road livery and drop-in at either historic Potter’s Bridge north of downtown Noblesville for a 2-3 hour float back down to the River Road livery, or if river conditions permit we can drop you in at our Rusty Oar launch site for a 4-5 hour float.
We welcome large groups. Canoeing is a great platform for team building, company picnics or outings, church functions, family reunions, scout projects, and school group activities. Our properties at Rusty Oar and River Avenue provide a peaceful and scenic back drop for your group to enjoy, and make the logistics of assembly, transportation, and wrapping up the event very easy to execute. The definition of a large group is a total of 20 people or more. The group can utilize any combination of canoes and kayaks. We have tents, tables, chairs, and partnerships with caterers who can supply food and drinks. We offer discounted pricing based on the number of people in your party. Please contact us at our 317-867-4233 reservation number for scheduling and detailed planning.
We are working on additional trips that will provide access to the river from Anderson to Fishers and Carmel. One of these will be a river tube trip, and we will add at least two new canoe/kayak trips. We will update our site to include these new trips as they open, please stay tuned.
Please view the map and the specific trip information above to help you plan your excursion. Also note that for all trips starting above Rusty Oar, a dam portage is required during the trip. It is important (for your safety) that you are aware of this river feature. More detailed information is available in the FAQ section.
What to Bring
Wear or bring anything you don’t mind getting wet, and dress for the weather conditions of the day. We supply our customers with lifejackets (several sizes), paddles, seat cushions, a shuttle up-river, and your desired boat/tube. Note: for your convenience and safety, we do not allow customers to carry boats and/or launch themselves without assistance.
Getting Here and Parking
Travel to our livery at 17180 River Road, Noblesville, IN 46060, and plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your reservation time. Stop to check in at the barn on your left as you enter our property, then park in the bottom – down the hill (past the house and barn). Map your trip
Paying, Paperwork, and Beginning
You will check in at the barn on top of the hill titled, “Check In”. You will pay and fill out reservation and waiver forms. You will be given further instructions at this point as to where to wait for your shuttle.
Shuttling and Embarking
Your party will travel in passenger vans to the launch location. We provide all the necessary equipment at the time we present our safety speech that will cover everything you will need to know about making your adventure as safe as possible. Our workers will assist you as you enter and launch your boat.
Approximate travel times via shuttle from the Check-In location to launch points are as follows:
- Rusty Oar: 10-15 minutes
- Potter’s Bridge: 5-10 minutes
- White River Campground: 15-20 minutes
- Lafayette Trace Park: 20-25 minutes
Ending Your Trip
Your finishing point will be the location on River Road where you parked and checked in. A short walk up the river bank and you’ll be back at your car.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The take-out point will be on the right side of the river a few hundred yards downstream from the abandoned, iron railroad-bridge. This bridge is downstream from the three bridges in downtown Noblesville: the walking/rail bridge, the Logan Street bridge, and the Conner Street bridge. We will have workers at the dock to help you out of your boats. We ask that you give them the last name on your reservation, and drop your paddles and life jackets at the top of the steps before you leave.
Note: all trips require you to check-in at the River Road location (listed in the “Getting Here and Parking” section above). All trips will end at this location as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many passengers can fit in a boat?
- When should my group arrive to go canoeing?
- For how many hours do we get to use the boat?
- Is there an age or size requirement?
- Can I bring a pet?
- Is this a dangerous river?
- What is the dam portage and what is required in regards to this obstacle?
- Do we need reservations?
- What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
- If there is an emergency what do we do?
- We have a large group. Is there anything we should know to make our lives easier when planning our trip?
- So what If I have my own boat?
How many passengers can fit in a boat?
Each boat in our fleet has a maximum occupancy limit and maximum weight capacity determined by the boat manufacturer and our insurance company. Our canoes can hold no more than three (3) passengers with a gross weight of no more than four hundred and fifty (450) pounds. This means that the total weight of everyone in the boat and the equipment in the watercraft cannot exceed the limit. Also, our canoes can only fit three passengers if one of the passengers is a small child (over the age of six (6) and under ninety (90) pounds). Kayaks can hold one passenger, and tandem kayaks can hold two passengers. These rules were designed with the safety of our boaters in mind and thus are important to follow in order to have a fun filled outing.
When should my group arrive to go canoeing?
Arriving early is an essential component that is often overlooked when considering a float trip. Nobody likes to be rushed. With that in mind we recommend that you arrive one half hour (30 minutes) prior to the departure time. We adhere to an "in line" policy of fifteen (15) minutes prior to the departure. This means that you and your group must be standing in line to be signed up and fitted for life jackets no later than fifteen minutes prior to the time scheduled for the trip to begin. This allows ample time for you and your group to organize yourselves and prepare for an enjoyable day. It also ensures that each trip will leave on time without one or two people holding up the entire group. Also, we strongly recommend that in order to save time you make a reservation prior to your arrival and that you have your rental forms and waiver forms completed in order to speed up the process. The forms are available on our site.
For how many hours do we get to use the boat?
Every one of our rentals covers the entire day! We feel this is one aspect that sets us apart from other liveries that have strict guidelines on times and outrageous late fees. We want all of our customers to take as much or as little time as they want on the river. With this in mind there is one guideline; every boat must be returned no later 6pm. That means that if you embark on a two hour float trip at 8:00am you can spend many more hours on the river if you choose!
Is there an age or size requirement?
Yes and yes. The size requirements, as mentioned above, are determined by our manufacturers. For more information on the size limits, please refer to the very first question on the FAQ page. As for the age limit, any passenger in the boat, regardless if accompanied by a parent or not, must be at least six (6) years of age. This is yet another policy set with the safety of our customers in mind. If you have a canoeing enthusiast in your group that is younger than six, we apologize, but always openly invite you to come back when the age requirements are met. If you are under eighteen a parent or guardian must sign to be legally responsible for the boat. This person must also be present at the time of the rental whether they accompany the group canoeing or not. You must be 21 years of age to rent a boat independently.
Can I bring a pet?
Yes. We understand that to many of our customers pets are just as important as any member of the family, and that some actually enjoy canoeing or kayaking equally as much! Unfortunately however, there is no safe way for us to transport the pet in our shuttle vehicles due to possible allergies suffered by other passengers or other unforeseen circumstances. If you are interested in bringing a pet, you will have to make transportation arrangements for the animal. Also, we do not provide life jackets for the animals if this is a concern. If you are interested in bringing a pet we recommend that you call for more details and inform us of the circumstances so that we can provide you and your group with the best option.
Is this a dangerous river?
No matter how lazy or predictable a river may seem there are always hidden dangers and risk factors associated with canoeing or kayaking. Ignorance is not bliss when safety is concerned. That is why we go out of our way to make sure that you and your group are equipped with proper safety gear (more than most state laws require) and that we inform everyone repeatedly of dangers on the river. The water is not necessarily deep at most points (usually three to six feet) and generally does not have a swift current. However, as it is a natural body of water and not an amusement park ride mother nature can change the conditions whenever she feels. This means that fallen trees, rock formations, and even the wildlife can play a factor in the river conditions. If you have any safety questions or concerns we ask that you voice them to any one of our staff members before your outing gets underway. We would rather spend an extra few minutes clarifying safety information than have any member of your party feel uncomfortable during what is supposed to be a fun and relaxing day. (Just as a minor note: Our drivers will always recite a pre-written safety speech before loading any passengers into the boats. We've found that nearly all of the issues we've had in the past are from parties that do not take the information seriously. We ask that everyone in your group listens to this information and adheres to it during the entire trip to make the day as safe as possible.)
What is the dam portage and what is required in regards to this obstacle?
Roughly five (5) miles north of our shop there is a dam that spans the entire width of the river, making it impossible to paddle around with your watercraft. The process is fairly simple. On the west side of the river there is a canoe portage at which you beach your boat and carry it around the provided pathway. Once around simply set your boat back in the water and continue on your trip. Anything north of the Rusty Oar (location provided on the map) requires that you use this portage. If you or any member of your group is unable to perform this task then please inform us of this so that we can help you with other options and arrangements.
Do we need reservations?
We require reservations. We recommend strongly that you make a reservation at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to your departure time. If you simply arrive and want to embark on one of our trips you may be disappointed with a prolonged wait or with the possibility that we are entirely booked for the day. Planning ahead makes everyone's day more enjoyable, so keep this in mind when planning a trip.
What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
We will call and inform you and your group the day of your scheduled trip if we feel it is unsafe to go boating (high water, dangerous storms, etc.) If it is simply raining we will still depart at our scheduled times. If you decide you do not want to canoe during unfavorable weather simply call us and cancel. There is no penalty for doing so, regardless of the reason. All we ask is that you contact us and keep us informed.
If there is an emergency what do we do?
Honestly, we hope that you and your group consider this possibility. Boating is a risk activity, regardless of the safety measures taken to minimize the danger. We always advise that at least one member of the group carries a cellular phone in case of emergency. If the situation warrants immediate aid, dial 911. We can assist you in case of a serious issue, but please only contact us if you are sure you need aid. The important thing to remember, regardless of the situation, is not to panic. Make sure everyone is safe, then rationally consider what the best course of action would be to take.
We have a large group. Is there anything we should know to make our lives easier when planning our trip?
This is yet another component of a canoe trip that unfortunately many individuals hope will just fall into place when the day comes. First of all, always make a reservation. Second, plan to arrive as early as possible, as larger groups tend to require more time to get organized. Have a group leader collect all of the money and the pre-completed forms in order to make sign up a short process rather than a long one. Finally, we strongly recommend carpooling. This allows members of your group to arrive at the same time, and also resolves limited parking issues. Planning ahead makes group trips enjoyable and simple, and will only benefit you in the long run.
So what If I have my own boat?
We provide livery service from our River Avenue facility to any of our launch points for a flat rate of $15 if you reserve your trip by 4pm the day before your requested trip date. Non-reservation surcharges apply and you may have to wait if you don’t make a reservation. We will load your canoe or kayak on our trailers pulled by our shuttle vans and transport you to the desired launch site. All of our trips end where they started- at the River Avenue facility. So when you’re finished with your trip, you’ll be right back at our parking lot and your car.
Season Pass for Transport is $200: You may purchase a season pass for transport of your boat on our trailers to one of our launch points. This pass is good for our season which begins April 1 and ends October 31. Your transport will run in conjunction with one of our regularly scheduled trips. You can park at our River Ave facility, we will transport you and your boat to our regularly scheduled launch points, and you float back to the River Ave facility. You must make a reservation just as you would if you were renting a boat/booking a trip with us. Please see us at our River Avenue headquarters to purchase a pass.
Season Pass for Parking/Launch Access is $150: You may purchase a season pass to park at our River Ave facility, arrange your own transportation to an access point, and float back to our River Ave facility. This pass is good for our season which begins April 1 and ends October 31. This pass allows you to launch at any of the public access points or other private property access points on the White River including our own Rusty Oar property, however, you cannot park or leave a vehicle at our Rusty Oar property. Please see us at our River Avenue headquarters to purchase a pass.
Download and complete the following forms prior to your visit to White River Canoe Company:
Instruction, Tips & Safety
Rules of the Road - What Paddlers Need to Know
Canoeing and Kayaking are great fun. Just ask any paddler you find on the water. Paddling offers so much to so many; quiet lazy paddling, intense adrenaline or the path to more adventure and fun. Paddling is a great way to access nature, experience reflective moments and enjoy family and friends away from the distractions of life.
Conflicts often arise between various boating groups because of craft size, education and training of the operators, maneuverability, geographic constraints and the sheer numbers of recreational users of the waterways. Paddlers do need to be aware of a few of the “Rules of the Road” when sharing resources with other marine traffic.
Importantly, keep a proper lookout. Remember to be courteous to other boaters and law enforcement officers. They’re there to help you to be safe and have fun!
First and foremost, please be aware of your surroundings. You may be the only craft on the water or may be sharing the channel with others. Whatever the circumstance, your awareness of other traffic may make the sole difference in the safety of everyone on the water.
Remember to cross other boats as a group instead of straggling across the river and blocking other traffic. In shared waterways, the more boaters watching out for others, the safer everyone will be.
10 Ways to Paddle Safely
1. ALWAYS Wear Your Life Jacket - Wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times on the water.
2. Don’t drink while paddling - Avoid alcohol, which impairs the coordination and balance you need to control a canoe or kayak.
3. Stay Low - Learn how to enter and exit your boat safely and stay low in your boat when possible. Most paddlesport-related drownings are the result of capsizing.
4. Keep Your Balance - Don’t overload your boat. Distribute passengers, secure gear evenly and low..
5. Practice the Wet Exit - Learn how to get out of, hang on to, right, and re-enter your capsized boat.
6. Don’t Get Left in the Cold - Dress for the weather conditions and be prepared for coldwater immersion. Hypothermia is a danger any time of year.
7. Plan Ahead - Know the water you’re paddling, plan your day of paddling, and file a “float plan” so that someone knows where to find you and when you plan to return.
8. Never Paddle Alone - Companions can come to your aid if you get in trouble. New paddlers should paddle with someone more experienced—it’s a great way to learn and remain safe if there’s a mishap.
9. Be in Command - Know how to move your boat forward, back, and sideways, and how to stop using paddle strokes. Watch ahead for hazards like undercut rocks, bridge pilings, large branches and trees, big drop-offs, or other boats.
10. Learn about Your Boat - Consider taking a canoe or kayak safety class.
How to Choose the Correct Life Jacket - A Guide from Your United States Coast Guard
A wearable life jacket for each person must be aboard.
These life jackets must be…
- US Coast Guard approved
- The proper size for the intended wearer
- In good and serviceable condition
- Properly stowed (readily accessible)
When a vessel is underway with children under 13 years old, they must be wearing a life jacket unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
If a life jacket fits properly...
It will help keep your head above the water. Too big, and the life jacket will ride up around your face. Too small, it will not be able to keep your body afloat. Life jackets designed for adults will not work for children!
Try it on for size...
- Check the manufacturer’s label to ensure that the life jacket is a proper fit for your size and weight.
- Make sure the jacket is properly fastened.
- Hold your arms straight up over your head.
- Ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull up.
- Make sure there is no excess room above the openings and that the jacket does not ride up over your chin or face.
- For the best fit, try the life jacket in shallow water under safe and supervised conditions.
For Additional Information
Visit the American Canoe Association for additional information regarding education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport recreation.