Kayak Pittsburgh FAQ

Typically, anyone ages 3+ can go kayaking.

However, some restrictions apply:

  • Age 3 (or 35 lbs) to 12 – Must be in a tandem kayak with a parent or guardian, and parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form for each child.
    Note: children cannot ride on a lap, they must have a seat. Booster seats are available at our North Park & Aspinwall location. Boosters add a third small seat to a tandem kayak.
  • Age 13-15 – May be in a solo kayak, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the water. Must also have parent or guardian sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Age 16-17 – May be in a solo kayak on water alone, but parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Age 18+ – Must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.

Weight Requirements

  • Minimum weight requirement is 35 pounds.
  • Maximum weight limit is 325 pounds for solo kayaks and 575 pounds for tandem kayaks.

You must be 16 years or older to go stand up paddle boarding.

However, some restriction may apply:

  • Age 16-17 – May go out on a stand up paddle board on the water alone, but parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Age 18+ – Must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.

Typically, anyone ages 3+ can go canoeing.

However, some restrictions apply:

  • Age 3 (or 35 lbs) to 12 – Must be with a parent or guardian, and parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form for each child.
  • Age 13-15 – Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the water. Must also have parent or guardian sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Age 16-17 – May canoe but a parent or guardian must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.
  • Age 18+ – Must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.

Max Weight and Paddlers

  • Maximum 2 adults and 1 child are allow in a canoe at a time (750lbs total max).

Kayaking in our rivers and lakes is perfect for beginners as well as advanced paddlers. Our rivers are slow moving, and our lakes are calm. It is easy to learn and after a few minutes of instruction from our staff, you will be equipped to head out onto the river and enjoy the city from a whole new vantage point.

Current Venture Outdoors Members can now reserve up to three boats at North Park and North Shore. For more info or to reserve, click here.

We take group reservations for groups of 10 or more at all locations. We are very flexible with reservation times Monday – Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, we can only accept reservations at 10:00 AM depending on availability of the boats.

Make a group reservation at least 3 days in advance by calling 412-255-0564 ext 200 during business hours or email kayakpittsburgh@ventureoutdoors.org. A $50 deposit is required for all reservations.

There are lockers available for you to store your things free of charge and at your own risk. There is also an option to pay $1 to rent a lock for the lockers.

No, you don’t have to be a Venture Outdoors member to kayak, but you’ll help support our mission AND save on kayaking rental if you are a member!

Venture Outdoors Memberships start at only $20 a year and include $5 off the first hour of kayaking. Members who give $125 or more receive two free 1-hour rental vouchers.

Better yet, when you become a Venture Outdoors Member at any Kayak Pittsburgh location at the Adventurer or higher level you’ll receive one free 1-hour rental voucher! (In addition to aforementioned level-related vouchers.)

All current Members are eligible to receive a 12% discount when buying a Kayak Pittsburgh season pass. Sign up for Membership or learn more here.

Yes! Season Passes are available to buy here. Current Venture Outdoors Members are eligible to receive a 12% discount on season passes, please email membership@ventureoutdoors.org for more information.

Kayaking is like riding a bike; you can get in a great workout or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Wear whatever you’re comfortable in! While you should not expect to get excessively wet, your paddle will drip a bit as you move along the water.

We don’t recommend:

  • Jeans
  • Bulky clothes
  • Flip flops or shoes that can fall off easily

We do recommend:

  • Non-cotton materials
  • Layering
  • Preparing for direct sun
  • Preparing for a cool breeze
  • Tennis shoes or sandals with straps

All boaters must wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times.  We provide these at the concession.

Our minimum rental is one hour. Kayaks can be rented for additional 1/2 hours – stay out as long as you like as long as you return before we close.

Yes. All participants must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form before paddling. Those under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form for them. Download and print the form here.

We love our kayakers and your safety is our highest concern! We closely monitor weather and river conditions, including river flow. River flow is measured in cubic feet per second and it’s one of the key indicators of river conditions. We follow a standard rule of 27kcfs or 27 thousands of cubic feet per second. This means we do not allow kayakers in the water when the flow is above 27kcfs. We use a hydrograph provided by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)andNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help us make this call. Check out the following link to view a hydrograph for part of the Allegheny River: http://ow.ly/OWmOF. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for minute to minute weather updates.

There is a free parking lot located at the Boathouse in North Park and at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

For North Shore parking, click here for some options. Street parking is free on Sundays.

  • Always wear your PFD
  • No drugs/alcohol
  • Stay away from boats, bridges, buoys, debris, and stationary objects
  • Along the river paddle close to shore
  • Always stay seated in your boat
  • Stay clear of people fishing
  • Kayak Pittsburgh staff at each location will explain where you are allowed to paddle that day pending water conditions

Contact Us

North Park

10301 Pearce Mill Rd
Allison Park, PA 15101

412-337-8347

North Shore

1 Federal St
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

412-337-1519

Aspinwall Riverfront Park

285 River Ave
Aspinwall, PA 15215

412-389-2445