Paddle Share is a self-serve kayak program that lets participants rent a boat for several hours and paddle to a destination downriver. The 2023 season starts in time for Memorial Day. You can reserve a kayak 21 days in advance. This means the first day you can make a reservation is May 7, 2022. 

This year they have opened up evening paddles (2pm - 7pm) on Tuesdays for the Minneapolis City Route and on Thursdays for the Pickerel Lake Station in St. Paul. 

“We are delighted to offer this recreational opportunity to our community this summer. Paddle Share is the perfect social distancing activity, offering a close-to-home adventure,” says Katie Nyberg, Executive Director of Mississippi Park Connection, a major partner of the program.

Paddle Share is a collaborative program developed to increase opportunities for people to get on the Mississippi River. Although the river passes through the Twin Cities, it is under-utilized for recreation. Paddle Share was established by the National Park Service to encourage kayaking on the river and reduce the need to own a boat or a vehicle in order to access the river. 

How it works:
The system is a one-way kayak rental. Users go to the website to select the route they would like to paddle, make a reservation at least a few hours in advance of when they would like to go, and are sent an access code. Users then go to the rental location and use their access code to unlock the designated locker, which contains a kayak, paddle, and life jacket.

Once on the water, there is plenty of time to leisurely paddle and explore sites along the route. User return equipment to the corresponding locker at the return station downriver before their rental time ends. Since users conclude the ride at a different location, public transportation, bike share, and ride share can help them return to their original location. Participants can also utilize two personal vehicles, one at the start and one at the finish.

For more information on locations, paddle schedule and pricing, please visit

More about COVID-19 protocols:

COVID-19 Protocols: Paddle Share is committed to providing a clean and safe way to recreate. We adhere to these standards based on best practices and CDC guidance.

Social Distancing: Staff and users must maintain the social distancing standard of 6 feet.

Cleaning: Staff will hand wash all life jackets after use. They will wash all hard surfaces including paddles and kayaks with CDC approved cleaning agents after each use. 

Scheduling: All equipment will be used only once in a 36-hour period. This will allow everything to be cleaned and then rest before it is used again. The reservation windows are longer than in previous years, allowing for a more staggered start time.