Summer is the perfect time of year to do some floatin’ on the river! The City of Wichita Park & Recreation office and SUPWichita are going to be offering a series of sunrise and sunset paddleboard and kayak tours along the Arkansas River this summer/fall.
What a treat it will be to enjoy the sunrise or sunset on the water in Wichita and float past the Keeper of the Plains.
You won’t need any equipment to participate – the fee will cover your rental. You also won’t need prior experience, because each float begins with a short training. (You will want to make sure you’re up for the exercise, because even though the float is leisurely, it’s still a strenuous activity that lasts a little over an hour.)
This is a great family event for ages 12 and older!
In addition to the scheduled floats, the City website says they are going to have “open float rental opportunities.” See the Kayak and Standup Paddle Board rental information below!
Standup Paddle Board and Kayak Floats on the Arkansas River
Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, there’s a kayak or standup paddleboard float for you!
Sunset Paddle Board and Kayak Tours
You’ll paddle at a leisurely pace from Cowtown to the Wichita Boathouse and see the Keeper of the Plains like you’ve never seen it before! Afterwards, gather for food and music and talk about your adventure.
The fee for both the Sunrise & Sunset tours is $35 and includes instruction, equipment rental, food, beverages and music, and transportation back to the starting place. The sunset tours are scheduled for the following dates/times (and pre-registration is required):
Saturday, June 15, 2019Cancelled due to high water levels on the Arkansas River. Instead, you can paddle board from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at OJ Watson Park on Saturday and 10 a.m.-noon on Sunday. Go here to reserve your spot.
- Friday, June 28, 2019
- Saturday, July 13, 2019
- Friday, August 2, 2019
- Saturday, August 17, 2019
- Friday, August 23, 2019
- Saturday, September 14, 2019
- Friday, September 20, 2019
Space is limited, and pre-registration is required for the tours. Signed waivers are also required before you participate. Register online at the Park & Recreation department website here.
Sunrise Paddle Board and Kayak Tours
As with the sunset tours, the Kayak and Paddle Board Sunrise Tours include a brief time with instruction, a leisurely (but still strenuous) paddling tour to the Keeper of the Plains and back, and pre-registration is required. Breakfast on the Wichita Boathouse deck is included afterwards. The fee for the sunrise tours is also $35.
So far I only see one Sunrise Paddle Board and Kayak Tour scheduled:
- Saturday, August 10, 2019
For anyone age 55+ who would like an easier introduction to kayak and paddle board tours, there is a senior tour scheduled. You should still consider this leisurely paddle a strenuous activity and make sure you’re up for it, but if you don’t think you can make it both ways (to the Keeper and back), they have you covered.
Friday, July 19, 2019
As with the other tours, pre-registration is required. The price is $35 per person. Get your tickets online here.
Standup Paddleboard and Kayak Rentals
SUP = stand-up paddleboarding
If the sunrise and sunset tour dates don’t work for you, the City has also scheduled open float times in the coming months. You’ll receive some basic instruction on paddling techniques and safety, then take off for a leisurely float down the Little Arkansas River. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Park under Kellogg at 605 S. Wichita. Parking is free there.
The price for stand-up paddleboard rental will be $15 per hour; the price for kayak rental will be $10 per hour. They’ll only accept cash, so be sure to bring some with you.
SUP and kayak rentals are cash-only.
*The river has been closed recently due to high flow rates, so this activity may be cancelled. Be sure you double-check before heading out!
Paddleboard/kayak rental will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from June 15 to August 31. No pre-registration is available; it’s strictly first-come, first-served. (And cash-only.)
This is a great idea for a fun date activity.
Of course, the unpredictable Kansas weather could get in the way of the best plans, so since this is an outdoor activity you’ll want to double-check that these stand-up paddleboard and kayak floats down the Arkansas River are still on if the weather looks iffy.