When do we open for canoe, kayak and raft trips?

Kayak Trip on the Little Miami RiverA frequently asked question is; when do we open for canoe, kayak and raft trips at RiversEdge Canoe and Kayak Outfitters. The open date is entirely dependent on the weather and river conditions. We need an extended warm up period of about 7 days, not too much rainfall, and we will be ready to open. A minimum combined air and river water temperature of 110 degrees is required. Yesterday the water temperature in the river dropped to 40 degrees at night and warmed up to about 49 degrees during the day. Since RiversEdge has a minimum of 110 degrees of combined air and water temperature to offer trips, we are close. While 110 is the minimum, we are more comfortable when the river water is approximately 55 degrees and have a minimum of 120 combined air and water. If you happen to get wet, with the water at or above 55 and the air at or above 65 most people will still have an enjoyable outing, especially if they are wearing the personal flotation device (life jacket) that we provide.

There is also the factor of river level that will enter into the decision to open, basically it cannot be much above 4 feet on the Spring Valley Gauge, although the level varies a bit for canoes, kayaks and rafts. Please see the “What do river levels mean” post for details on river levels.

The final factor is the condition of the river as far as obstructions. While we are clearing the river of trees all through the late Winter and Spring, there are occasionally trees in a difficult area of the river that requires waiting until the level is low enough to work on.

We hope this helps explain the rationale that goes into when we can open for canoe trips, kayak trips and raft trips, and hope to see you soon in a canoe, kayak or raft on the beautiful Little Miami River!

Plan head by reviewing our Rates & Reservations page.

Have Some More Summer Fun

School’s starting soon, but there’s still time to have some fun! Come on down to RiversEdge to have a fun day canoeing, kayaking or rafting.

Four Ways to Enjoy a Staycation in Weekend Adventure in Ohio

ReostaycationAt this point in the year, many of us are wondering – where did the summer go? If you feel like you’ve missed out, the good news is that there is still time for an awesome summer adventure!

Here are four great ways to enjoy the weekend right here in your own Ohio backyard:

  1. Caesar Creek State Park – offers one of the best outdoor recreation and nature preserve areas in the area.  The seventy-nine hundred-acre park offers ample opportunity for fishing, hiking, biking, and more. Class A camping facilities are available for an overnight trip.
  2. Skydive Warren County – the Tri-State’s oldest United States Parachute Association dropzone. Family owned and operated, Skydive Warren County has been providing first-class skydiving experiences in our area for over four decades. Experienced tandem skydiving instructors assist skydivers to ensure an exciting but safe experience.
  3. Fort Ancient – providing the chance to see more than 2,000 years of Native American history and culture, this preserve is largest and best-preserved prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the United States. In addition to exploration and learning opportunities outdoors, Fort Ancient also offers a museum dedicated to American Indian culture.
  4. Rivers Edge Outfitters – providing everything you need to enjoy a paddling adventure, we offer canoe rental and kayak rental for three different trips along the scenic Little Miami River. Of course, we can tell you how great Rivers Edge paddling excursions are, but don’t just take our word for it. A recent post from Warren County recreation blog, Stories from the Playground, describes the Rivers Edge route as, “one of the least crowded and most secluded stretches of the Little Miami Scenic River. Relaxing, yet thrilling all the same.”

There are still plenty of great weekends left this season – get out and play! Here at Rivers Edge, we are ready to help you make the most of your end-of-summer adventure.


The Fitness Benefits of Canoeing or Kayaking

paddle1When we think of reasons to canoe and kayak, we often think of fun and recreation. In addition to these motivations, the process of paddling also offers some serious fitness benefits that will contribute to a stronger and healthier you.

Overall, paddling is a fantastic activity for building strength and endurance. Unlike the typical gym experience, canoeing and kayaking provide amazing scenery, the exhilaration of fresh air and water, and the excitement of an ever-changing and challenging workout. Specific paddling benefits include:

Abdominal Core Strength

As a workout for the core, paddling is one of the best you can imagine. The upper and lower abdominal muscles of the core are strengthened by the turning and moving you do as you paddle. In developing your core muscle strength, you will gain balance and stability, which in turn reduces strain on your back.

Building/Toning Shoulder and Arm Strength

Paddling is a great way to build arm and shoulder strength because of the continuous motion and water resistance. Since paddling a kayak or canoe requires precision and control, it is a great form of strength training without the stress and strain of other high impact sports.

Cardio Conditioning

Paddling is a continuous motion activity that is great for raising the heart rate, enhancing cardiovascular health, and burning calories. Depending on the wind and river conditions, canoeing and kayaking can be a good interval training workout, with periods of hard paddling and periods of rest.

Ready to trade your normal exercise routine for a fun canoe or kayak fitness adventure? Come down to Rivers Edge Outfitters! Visit our Rates & Reservations page to review our options and book online.

Bald Eagles are Back!

Not too long ago, Bald Eagles nearly became extinct.  Now they’ve made a comeback and we even have some nesting along the Little Miami River near RiversEdge Outfitters.  On your next trip here, keep an eye on the sky and you just might see them . . .

Kayak or Canoe? How to Decide on the Right Watercraft


If you are looking for a fun summer outing, a paddling trip could be just the thing. River trips can be planned as a half day or full day adventure. You can set the pace at whatever level you’d like – for thrill and excitement or tranquil relaxation.

The two popular paddling watercraft choices are kayaks and canoes. While both have much in common as fun water sports, kayaking and canoeing do have differences. Considering the type of outing you would like to plan will help you decide whether to kayak or canoe.


If you are looking for a fast paced ride through rougher waters, or just a calm paddle across a placid lake, kayaks are a good choice. Kayaks are quick and tend to be a little easier for a novice to maneuver. One of the confusing things about kayaks for many people is the difference between a whitewater type kayak and a recreational kayak. Recreational kayaks are much more stable, have comfortable seats, and are suitable for novices to use. White water kayaks usually require some training before you hit the river. We only use stable, recreational kayaks. If you plan to paddle alone, a kayak will be much more manageable. Make sure you are comfortable, not only on the water, but also in the water. The kayak is also the most stable of all watercraft, partly due to a low center of gravity.


Do your trip plans include stopping for a picnic or fishing? If you will have a lot of gear, a canoe is your best bet, as it contains ample storage. A canoe is the ideal craft for families, and we have canoes with 3 seats. A center seat for 1 or 2 small children works great. If the weather happens to be a little on the cool side, a canoe trip will probably be more enjoyable, since you tend to not get as wet when you canoe. You should also consider the course you plan to paddle.

Whether you choose to kayak or canoe, with the proper planning, you’re sure to have an amazing time on your water adventure!

Memorial Day Weekend is Here – and So Is Summer!

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend? It’s the official start of summer and we will be running canoe, kayak and raft trips on the Little Miami River all weekend long. Join us for some fun and sun in the great outdoors.

Take a look at our weekly update video get a taste of the fun that you can have here at RiversEdge Outfitters.

What Do River Levels Mean for Canoe and Kayak Rental


When planning your canoe or kayak rental, it is extremely important that you know what to expect on your trip. While lake conditions can be more predictable, when canoeing or kayaking on a river, it may be a little more challenging to anticipate what conditions you will encounter.

All rivers are rated on a class scale to help you assess the size and technicality of the whitewater. The ratings are based on the International Rating Scale of River Difficulty, which rates rivers by rapids intensity or class, based on a six level scale. These ratings indicate the required skill level associated with navigating the river.

As you might expect, the characteristics of a river can change significantly as the water level of a river changes, so rivers are also rated according to river flow or water level. In the spring or after periods of heavy rain, higher water levels can turn a Class II river into a Class IV, so classification for a particular river may change from season to season.

When planning your canoe or kayak rental, consider the class of the river options as well as the following letter designations, which are used to describe water level and rate of flow:

  • L (Low) – Water level is below normal levels for the river. Low level depth may interfere with paddling ability, shallow areas may turn into dry banks, and low areas become muddy sandbars.
  • M (Medium) – Water level is at the normal river flow. Medium water typically means good water for rivers with slight gradients and enough depth for passage on the steeper sections.
  • MH (Medium High) – When the water is medium high it is higher than normal, which means a faster flow on gentle gradients. It is the best flow for more difficult river sections with enough water for passage over low ledges and through rock patches.
  • H (High) – At the high stage, the water becomes more difficult to handle, and is well above normal level. Currents may be heavy, and small debris may come floating by. This level may mean the river is dangerous for inexperienced kayakers or canoeists.
  • HH (High-High) – At this level, the water is very heavy and the current may be extremely complex, making even slightest gradients treacherous. Debris occurs more frequently. This level is recommended for experts only.
  • F (Flood) – Water level is abnormally high and extremely dangerous. Flood level is characterized by overflowing banks, extremely violent current, and low-lying areas underwater. The only boaters who should be out are professionally trained and equipped rescue crews.


Rivers Edge regularly checks river levels for the Little Miami River by using the National Water Information System tool provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This tool can show the recent and current river levels all over the United States, but we just check the data for the Little Miami by Spring Valley, Ohio, which is just upstream from us. By clicking here you can View the National Water Information System for the Little Miami today. Since the data presented is in feet we thought it would be best to translate what that means for a canoe or kayak trip with Rivers Edge.

When the river levels on the Little Miami are… It means…
1.5’ – 3.0’ Feet This is Summer’s normal range. The river is at a great level to paddle with a gentle current that averages about 1.5 -2 miles per hour.
3.0’ – 4.5’ Feet This is a Spring time level and can be great for most paddlers. It will have a bit more current, with averages of 2-2.5 miles per hour.
4.5’ – 5.6’,Feet This is a higher level that we generally only allow kayaks and rafts on the river.,There may be additional restrictions involving age of participants and skill levels.
5.7’ and Above We usually do not run at this level and would caution any private boater that paddling skills may be necessary and that wearing of a PFD should be considered mandatory at this level.

Please keep in mind that these levels are further adjusted based on the air and water temperature. Rivers Edge generally will not open without a combined air and water temperature of at least 110 degrees. We frequently wait until we have 120 combined (ex. Water of 60 degrees and air temperature of 60). The USGS gauge near Old Town has temperature feature that we use as our basis.

We also share regular updates about river levels via our blog category, Hours & River Conditions. Don’t hesitate to contact us any time to check river levels before your next trip.

When you’re ready to plan your next canoe or kayak adventure please visit our Rates & Reservations page to review our options and book online!

Open Tomorrow

With the great weather forecast for Saturday we will be open and running canoe, kayak and rafts Saturday the 18th of April, and run trips every hour on the hour from 10:00am to 3:00pm.  We will only be offering the 1.5-3 hour Blue Jacket trip.  Water level is great, and it is forecast to be upper 70’s and sunny!  With the rain predicted we do not plan on being open Sunday the 19th.

Great News for the Little Miami River

Here’s some really great news for the Little Miami River and those of us that love this beautiful river.  The Glen Helen Association has just added 30.5 acres to their Glen Helen Preserve.  The acreage is part of an unused Girl Scout camp.  Glen Helen and the Girl Scouts arranged for the transfer of the property that will be permanently protected.

The property also included nearly 2000 feet of frontage on the Little Miami River.  This means additional protection for the water quality and aquatic life in and along the Little Miami.

So a big thank you to the wonderful folks at Glen Helen and the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for helping protect this wonderful river.

You can read more about it here on the WHIO website. 

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Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at RiversEdge Outfitters! ... See MoreSee Less

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at RiversEdge Outfitters!

Thank you for your service, veterans! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you for your service, veterans!

Last river level update. The river dropped 6 feet in the last 24 hours! Almost back to normal. ... See MoreSee Less

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That is insane how quickly the water recedes like that

Most of the rise is due to Storm Water coming off of impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, parking lots, roofs and the like. One of the greatest threats to the Little Miami River is Urban Storm Water runoff which causes rapid rise in water levels ever deepening the main channel and creating steep banks along the sides of the river banks.

Here's the update video about 24 hours later. The river went up about 6 inches instead of dropping! Tomorrow it will be much lower. ... See MoreSee Less

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Rhonda Cummings Brown

Well that blows.

Jessica Boyd

Robert Akemon

Christopher Dorr

And the only country left to sign the Paris Climate Agreement is ???

Shawn Grimes

Holly Cow!!!


Jody . . . KC . . . Shawn . . .

Travis Crone

Mickie Tipton-Jenkins

Nick Gayheart

Todd LeFevre Kyleigh Shea Burgess

Nice, I like what you’ve done to the place. Now I won’t have to drag my boat so far to the water! Lol

Megan Hoprich

Joe Weaver thats where we went!

Were you in a canoe while filming this?

Brian Comer ready to go kayaking??

Kendra Hill Lutz check this out.

Caitlin Wigginton 😮


Brian Roberts Jay Kilpatrick. =OOO

Jason Borchers, we should go kayaking tomorrow.

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A quick video showing the Little Miami at it's current level at RiversEdge Canoe & Kayak Outfitters. ... See MoreSee Less

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Comment on Facebook

What a mess


Ruth Muldoon Osterfeld!


Mucky yucky.


Christopher Dorr

Let me on!

Oh my goodness, thats awful! Eric Burchett


Cari Torres


That looks like fun!!

I've been there...done that.

Joshua Abner


Doug Dailey




Oh my

Malachi Holley

Melody Kingsley

You open tomorrow?

Wow, no kayaking for me today. This is our favorite summer location, look forward to next year.

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First ones out this morning to enjoy a beautiful Fall day on the Little Miami! Trips today and Sunday every hour 10 - 3. ... See MoreSee Less

First ones out this morning to enjoy a beautiful Fall day on the Little Miami!  Trips today and Sunday every hour 10 - 3.Image attachment

Great weather this weekend to enjoy a float on the Little Miami! Trips Saturday and Sunday every hour 10 - 3. See you on the river! ... See MoreSee Less

Great weather this weekend to enjoy a float on the Little Miami!  Trips Saturday and Sunday every hour 10 - 3.  See you on the river!

Open weekdays with reservations through September. Open next 3 weekends with trips every hour Saturday and Sunday 10 - 3. See you on the river! ... See MoreSee Less

Beautiful sunny weekend, get your last river trip today or Sunday! Trips every hour 10 - 3 . ... See MoreSee Less

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Born to be on the River, forced to work.... 😒

Last! It's 80 next weekend

I wanted to come down today but may not make it. Will you be open next Sunday?

Yes, trips next weekend both days every hour 10 - 3.

We are now closed for the season. Thanks for a great 2017, and see you next Spring! ... See MoreSee Less

River levels on the Little Miami
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