Kayaking the St. Mary’s River

The whole reason that Ft. Wayne, Indiana exists is because three rivers meet there.  The St. Mary River and the St. Joseph River flow into Ft. Wayne.  They meet downtown, and then flow together, creating the Maumee River, which eventually makes its way to Lake Erie.

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The site where the three rivers meet!

Growing up in Ft. Wayne, I’d stand on bridges and look down into the rivers, thinking how nice it would be to actually be on the water and use the rivers.  But at the time, there weren’t any viable options to be on the rivers.

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This bridge used to be the closest I could get to the rivers!

Thank goodness for newer community iniciatives and businesses, because now there are a number of options for us all to enjoy the rivers!  Not long after I stepped foot in Ft. Wayne, I connected with Ft. Wayne Outfitters and rented a kayak for an afternoon.

With construction underway for the Riverfront Project, I wasn’t sure if Ft. Wayne Outfitters was renting kayaks this summer.  But they were, and they told me that they were also surprised that 2018 has been their busiest season yet!

Ft. Wayne Outfitters rents kayaks, double kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards for two hours, half a day, or all day.  Reserve your space online, and they’ll get you on the water!  Click here for rates and availability.

They’re storing their kayaks and canoes on the riverbank, which makes it really easy to get in, push off, and enjoy the river!  (As opposed to getting in a kayak off a dock, trying to keep one’s balance as you carefully lower yourself into the kayak, or hoisting yourself back onto the dock when it’s over–without flipping over!  Again, I was relieved with the easy access, and hope it remains as easy next year when construction is finished.

Like I mentioned earlier, using a kayak on the St. Mary’s River has been a lifelong dream of mine, and I enjoyed my two hours to the fullest!

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A view of the Old Fort–from the river!  Like I was a frontier trader!

 

I was pleasantly surprised that a number of other people were also out on the river on a Wednesday afternoon.  I came across a group of three women in kayaks, four men in canoes, two men with stand-up paddleboards, and three more kayakers–besides the woman and her grandson who were waiting for a airboat ride.  I came across the airboat, too, which gave me quite a turn!

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The dock at the Deck restaurant.  Paddle right up and get served!  (The Deck does have another kayak rental company operating off this dock, so I don’t know if they frown on kayaks from other outfitters docking at the Deck . . . let me know if you know!)

If you’re in Ft. Wayne, looking for something to do, get out and kayak!  Or canoe!  Just get out on those rivers and enjoy them!  It’s a memorable way to get to know any city–particularly the city you call home!

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My biggest concern was getting sucked into a dam and drowning.  Fortunately, the dams are well marked.  Do NOT try to go into one.  You will die.
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One happy kayaker!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily says:

    Looks like lots of fun!

    1. Jill says:

      It was!

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