Plan a safe trip
- Plan your trip with a map before you leave. Tell someone your plans, including put-in and take-out times.
- Travel with a companion or group.
- Most people paddle 2-3 river miles per hour.
- River levels can affect your speed and trip safety. Check conditions before you go.
- Don’t underestimate the power of wind and waves, especially on large lakes.
- Be cautious of obstacles in the river and avoid overhanging and dead trees.
- Bring clean drinking water and a waterproof container with a first aid kit, waterproof matches and extra clothes.
- Wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.
- Purchase a license for your non-motorized watercraft if it’s more than 10 feet in length. If you’re not from Minnesota, check your state’s watercraft license laws.
Safety and rules
Licenses and fees »
Life jacket law »
Child life jacket law »
Paddling safety »
Protect the river
Your experience on the river depends on a healthy environment. As you explore the beauty of this waterway, also do your best to protect it.
Before launching...before leaving:
- Clean off aquatic plants and animals.
- Drain all water away from the landing.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
- Learn more.
The Minnesota buffer law establishes new vegetation buffers along rivers, streams and ditches to help filter out chemicals and sediment before they reach waterways.