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Kayak & Paddlesport

Rentals, Classes & Trips


Choose your location

North Park

Rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, canoes, and pedal boats at North Park Lake.


Explore the Allegheny River at Sharpsburg’s James Sharp Landing.


We’re moving from our home under the bridge to a new facility. See the latest updates.

Paddle with a Purpose

Kayak Pittsburgh is a non-profit social enterprise under Venture Outdoors. This means that every rental contributes to community and youth outdoor programs. Together we inspire, educate, and equip.

Join a guided trip

Book a Private Group

Booking for 10 or more? Book a private kayak experience for your coworkers, friends, bridal party, and more. You’ll get access to special booking hours and we’ll provide everything you need to get your group on the water.

Youth groups get special pricing!


Gift Cards & Season Passes


Do I need to book in advance?

Yes! Please book your time slot in advance.

What if I don't know how to kayak?

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.

You can also visit our activities calendar if you’d like to take a Beginner Kayaking course.

Is kayaking physically strenuous?

Kayaking is like riding a bike; you can get in a great workout or just relax and enjoy the scenery. It’s up to you!

What's the weight limit?

The minimum weight is 35 pounds for any boat.​

Weight Limits 
Solo Kayak : 325 lbs ​
Tandem Kayak: 575 lbs​
Pedal boat: 740 lbs (distributed evenly)​
SUP: 300 lbs​
Canoe: 750 lbs​

How old must you be to kayak here?

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.
  • 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.

How old must you be to stand up paddleboard here?

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

How many people can fit in a canoe?

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

Canoes are only available at North Park.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes! You’re welcome to bring your dog (or cat) kayaking. You are responsible for their safety and will need to sign an additional waiver. Please bring life-jackets for your pets.

*NOTE: signing a waiver for your pet is a new requirement. You may have paddled in the past without this, but moving forward we will be taking additional precaution.

What's your cancel or refund policy?

Cancellations/ Refunds:


    • If the Kayak Pittsburgh rental location experiences a temporary closure due to inclement weather, you will receive a full refund.
    • If you are on the water while a storm approaches, we ask that you safely take shelter. If you are on the water for less than 30 minutes, you will receive a full refund.


      • You may cancel your booking up to 24 hours before the start of your rental.
      • To cancel email
      • If you choose to cancel your reservation due to inclement weather, but it’s after the 24-hour cancellation policy: please contact us at
      • If you have booked and we must cancel due to weather or water conditions we will alert you via phone call, email and/or text message.

What should I wear?

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, or you may bring your own. See PFD requirements here.

Where can I park?

At North Park there is a free parking lot located at the Boathouse.

For Downtown kayaking, click here for some options. Street parking is free on Sundays.

Will weather effect my trip?

We love our kayakers and your safety is our highest concern! We closely monitor thunder, rain, riverflow, and wind conditions. The safety of our guests and employees is Kayak Pittsburgh’s utmost priority.


  • For every clap of thunder and/or strike of lightening, Kayak Pittsburgh is required to close the rental location for at least 45 minutes. Depending on the longevity and intensity of the storm, the management team may decide to close the location for the remainder of the day.


  • The Kayak Pittsburgh rental location will continue operation if it’s raining unless there is a “Flash Flood Warning”.


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 hydrograph for part of the Allegheny River.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date weather updates.

Do I have to be a Venture Outdoors Member to rent a kayak?

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 $35 year and include $5 off the first hour of kayaking.

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

These rules will help keep you safe >>

  • 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
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