I Can Paddle!


I Can Paddle!

Get out on the water this summer!

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Learn paddling skills from experienced guides while exploring some of Minnesota's most stunning lakes and rivers. These programs are designed especially for first-time paddlers; no experience is necessary. Afterwards, you and your friends or family will be ready to launch your own paddling adventure.

  • Variety of entry-level canoeing and kayaking programs.
  • Learn the skills necessary to safely venture out onto Minnesota's lakes and rivers with ease.
  • All equipment provided, use of a canoe or kayak, plus paddles and life jackets.
  • Small group sizes—you'll get the attention you need to develop your skills.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Great for families!
  • Advance registration is required.

I Can Paddle! program details and schedules

I Can Paddle! Canoeing

Perfect for people that want to paddle together in the same boat. These programs teach the basics of canoeing on lakes, from launching a canoe to paddling efficiently and planning a safe canoe outing.

  • Programs last approximately two hours.
  • $25 per canoe, with up to two people per canoe.
  • A third person may be permitted to sit in the middle of the canoe with two other paddlers at no extra cost. This would be ideal for two parents with a younger child. Note that there is no seat in the middle of the canoe.
  • Participants must be at least 5 years old.
  • Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Advance registration is required.
  • A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can Paddle! programs where a permit is required.

2022 schedule

Ready to sign up? Reserve now!

Date Time Location
Thursday, June 166 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Saturday, June 1810 a.m. - noonSakatah Lake State Park
Sunday, June 1910 a.m. - noonRice Lake State Park
Thursday, June 236 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Thursday, June 306 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Saturday, July 210 a.m. - noonLake Maria State Park
Sunday, July 310 a.m. - noonLake Maria State Park
Thursday, July 76 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Saturday, July 910 a.m. - noonMoose Lake State Park
Sunday, July 1010 a.m. - noonSt. Croix State Park
Thursday, July 146 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Thursday, July 216 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Saturday, July 2310 a.m. - noonCuyuna Country State Recreation Area
Sunday, July 2410 a.m. - noonCuyuna Country State Recreation Area
Thursday, July 286 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Thursday, August 46 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Thursday, August 116 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Saturday, August 1310 a.m. - noonFort Snelling State Park
Sunday, August 1410 a.m. - noonWilliam O'Brien State Park
Thursday, August 186 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
I Can Paddle! Kayaking

These programs teach the basics of kayaking on lakes, from launching a kayak to paddling efficiently and planning a safe kayak outing.

  • Programs last approximately two hours.
  • Participants must be at least 8 years old.
  • Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • $20 per adult, $10 per child, one person per kayak.
  • Advance registration is required.
  • A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can Paddle! programs where a permit is required.

2022 schedule

Ready to sign up? Reserve now!

Date Time Location
Thursday, June 166 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Saturday, June 182 - 4 p.m.Sakatah Lake State Park
Sunday, June 192 - 4 p.m.Rice Lake State Park
Thursday, June 236 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Thursday, June 306 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Saturday, July 22 - 4 p.m.Lake Maria State Park
Sunday, July 32 - 4 p.m.Lake Maria State Park
Thursday, July 76 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Saturday, July 92 - 4 p.m.Moose Lake State Park
Sunday, July 102 - 4 p.m.St. Croix State Park
Thursday, July 146 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Thursday, July 216 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Saturday, July 232 - 4 p.m.Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
Sunday, July 242 - 4 p.m.Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
Thursday, July 286 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Thursday, August 46 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Thursday, August 116 - 8 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Saturday, August 132 - 4 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
Sunday, August 142 - 4 p.m.William O'Brien State Park
Thursday, August 186 - 8 p.m.Fort Snelling State Park
I Can Paddle! Kayaking on the River

Take your kayaking to the next level as you paddle along miles of the most scenic rivers in Minnesota. You'll learn how to read the river and river safety. Once on the water, we'll practice a variety of paddling techniques and maneuvers. You'll also learn how to plan a river trip for your entire family.

  • All programs start at 10 a.m. and go until approximately 2 p.m.
  • Participants must be at least 12 years old.
  • Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • $30 per adult, $20 per child, one person per kayak.
  • Advance registration is required.
  • A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can! programs where a permit is required.

Pre-trip information and shuttling

Because of the length and remote nature of I Can Paddle! Kayaking on the River programs, participants will be provided with a pre-trip packet including a packing list, program description, directions to water access, etc. These packets will be e-mailed out following your registration.

Participants will meet at a program's designated water access; from there, we will shuttle you to the put-in where you will begin the program and then paddle back to your cars at the water access.

2022 schedule

Ready to sign up? Reserve now!

Date Time Location Nearest town
Saturday, June 2510 a.m. - 2 p.m.St. Croix River State Water TrailTaylors Falls
Sunday, June 2610 a.m. - 2 p.m.St. Croix River State Water TrailTaylors Falls
Saturday, July 1610 a.m. - 2 p.m.Rum River State Water TrailCambridge
Sunday, July 1710 a.m. - 2 p.m.Rum River State Water TrailCambridge
Saturday, July 3010 a.m. - 2 p.m.Minnesota River State Water TrailCarver
Sunday, July 3110 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Minnesota River State Water Trail
Carver
Saturday, August 610 a.m. - 2 p.m.St. Croix River State Water TrailTaylors Falls
Sunday, August 710 a.m. - 2 p.m.St. Croix River State Water TrailTaylors Falls
I Can Paddle! Sea Kayaking

So you've paddled lakes and you've paddled rivers...but have you paddled a Great Lake? Try sea kayaking on the Lake Superior State Water Trail! You'll learn all the basics of sea kayaking while gliding past towering cliffs and the Split Rock Lighthouse.

  • Programs last two hours.
  • Participants must be at least 12 years old.
  • Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • $45 per adult, $35 per child.
  • Advance registration is required.
  • A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can! programs where a permit is required.

2022 schedule

Ready to sign up? Reserve now!

Date Time Location
Saturday, July 1610 a.m. - noonSplit Rock Lighthouse State Park
Saturday, July 161 - 3 p.m. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Saturday, July 3010 a.m. - noonSplit Rock Lighthouse State Park
Saturday, July 301 - 3 p.m. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Saturday, August 2010 a.m. - noonSplit Rock Lighthouse State Park
Saturday, August 201 - 3 p.m. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
I Can Paddle! Canoe Camping

Our overnight canoe camping programs will help prepare you for future paddling trips to lakes and riverside campsites. We'll help you plan for your trip and make sure that you learn all of the necessary canoeing and camping skills as we paddle and camp along the St. Croix River through St. Croix State Park, or on Savanna Lake located in Savanna Portage State Park.

  • $85 per canoe, with up to two people per canoe.
  • Reservation includes meals and all canoeing and camping equipment. (Sleeping bag not included.)
  • Participants must be at least 10 years old.
  • Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Advance registration is required.
  • Programs begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by noon the following day.
  • A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can Paddle! programs where a permit is required.

Additional information

Participants will be provided with a pre-trip packet that includes additional program information, logistics and packing lists to help you prepare for your trip. These packets will be emailed out following your registration. Participants will also receive an email and/or phone call from program leaders regarding meal preferences.

New this year, we will be offering the canoe camping program at Savanna Lake located in Savanna Portage State Park and on the St. Croix River in St. Croix State Park. Participant experience will differ slightly between these two locations:

St. Croix State Park: We'll meet at the park and then shuttle together up-river to the river access. We’ll spend the day paddling to a remote rustic group campsite along the St. Croix River, where we’ll focus on camp skills and spend the night. The next day we’ll break camp and paddle down-river, back to our vehicles at the park. These programs offer a more remote canoe camping experience, but you will need to shuttle up-river with us and you will not be near your vehicle overnight.

Savanna Portage State Park: We'll meet everyone at the group camp and paddle out directly from there. We'll spend the day paddling, and then return to the group camp to focus on canoe camping skills and spend the night. The next morning we’ll break camp and offer some additional canoeing instruction before we end the day at the group camp where we began. These programs are a bit more convenient for participants, since you won't need to shuttle.

2022 schedule

Ready to sign up? Reserve now!

Date Time Location
Saturday, July 29 a.m.Savanna Portage State Park
Saturday, July 169 a.m.Savanna Portage State Park
Saturday, August 69 a.m.St. Croix State Park
Saturday, August 209 a.m.St. Croix State Park

Sign up now!

Pre-registration is required for all I Can! programs.

Early registration is recommended, as these programs tend to fill up fast. Online reservations can be made 24 hours a day. Sign up online now! Or, if you prefer to sign up by phone, call 866-857-2757.

Cancellations

All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather or hazardous conditions. Cancellations for I Can! programs can be made up to one week prior to the program for a full refund minus the reservation fee.

Questions?

Still have questions? Please contact the DNR Information Center. You can also get more information by emailing [email protected].

Legacy Amendment logo

This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.