With only about half a year of warmer outdoor weather, we Grand Rapidians have to take advantage of every nice day and soak up the sunny rays. What better way to enjoy Pure Michigan summer than kayaking down the Grand River or peddling along your favorite bike trail?
Don’t own a kayak or bike? Never fear, a variety of businesses in town make it easy rent one for a few hours or even a full day. They make it convenient and affordable to enjoy the water and woods, without the high cost of buying the equipment yourself.
KAYAKS AND CANOES
If floating down the Grand River is your thing, then you’ll want to book an excursion with Grand River Kayak and Canoe. Single-person kayaks are $25 and double-seat canoes are $50. Life jackets, paddles and transportation are included. You’ll travel “Millennium Run,” which starts north of the Fulton Street Bridge. You’ll pass under historical railroad bridges and the I-95 overpass to the beautiful woodland nature. After about 120 minutes, you’ll dock by Johnson Park.
GR Paddling offers 37 different canoe and kayak trip options, from early-morning sunrise paddle to ‘Paddle and Art’ in which a trip on the Grand River also includes admission to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Prices vary by experience, but they all include roundtrip transportation from your Grand Rapids home or hotel and all paddling equipment. Summers book up quickly, so you’ll want to reserve your trips soon!
Located in Rockford, Rogue River Rentals operates paddle excursions on, you guessed it, the Rogue River. The company used to operate out of a shack by the river, but now it actually brings the kayaks to the launch point making it easy and quick to get going. They offer two- to four-hour kayak trips with prices ranging from $30 to $60.
For only $20 a day, you can rent a bike with helmet, lock, bell, lights, basket and map included. While previously hosted at the JW Marriott, Grand Rapids Bike Rentals’ five bikes are now located at 2221 Plainfield Ave NE – two miles north of downtown. The best part? Show your confirmation email at one of seven partner breweries (like Creston Brewery in Monroe North or Elk Brewing in Comstock Park) and you’ll get 10 percent off your bill!
With the BikeKDL program, your friendly neighborhood library chain rents out bikes to promote recreation and transportation. The branches in Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kelloggsville, Kentwood, Krause Memorial in Rockford, Walker and Wyoming branches plus the Service and Meeting Center all have Breezer Uptown EZX 8-speed bicycles for checkout – all you need is to be 18 or older with a KDL card in good standing. Bikes are due back by the end of the next business day or you’ll pay $20 a day in overdue charges – think of it like an extra expensive book. While the bikes include a basket, a bike lock and key, you’ll need to bring your own helmet.