Youth Paddle Sports

Please note that at this current time, this particular programming is not offered. If you have an interest in programming being revived, please send your inquire to

Ground Up Adventures is planning lots of exciting activities at the Boathouse on the Red this summer. Check back for updates. Here are a few ideas we have "floating around".

We love the river!!!! Kids love the river too! Parents? Community members? Well, in this town--not so much.  Fair enough--people who have grown up here have been told repeatedly that the river is dangerous and dirty and as we're finding out, they belived those myths. Yes, myths. There is no dangerous "undertow"--indeed, there is NO hydrologic force called an undertow anywhere. Maybe the rumors started because of the lowhead dams that sometimes created dangerous recirculating "holes." But those only existed at the bottom of the dams--not throughout the river--and they no longer exist because of the rocks installed by the Corps of Engineers years ago. Sure, there is the danger associated with any body of water, like all of the Minnesota lakes that Grand Cities residents love to enjoy. That is why every Boathouse user is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. And the water isn't dirty--that is "suspended sediment." A fancy phrase for the floating soil that washes off the fields. It does decrease visibility in the water, but it doesn't make you dirty. The Red and Red Lake Rivers are an awesome resource for the Grand Cities, and we want to help develop youth programming on it as soon as we can. Here's what we envision:

  • Introductory Classes: These one-time events would include basic instruction in river safety, paddling equipment, river reading and navigating, and paddling skills. These classes would be directed at inexperiened youth 10-16 years old.
  • Youth Paddling Club: This would a progression of our sessions over a 3-5 week period, with fun activities interspered with paddling instruction (think races, treasure hunts, and longer floats).
  • Family Outings: Designed for families with younger kids--we'll get you out enjoying the river with your little ones of any age! These 1-2 hour trips will likely put in near Lincoln Park and take out downstream at the boathouse.
  • Adventure Trips: As we get our 'river legs', we're thinking of possible full day or overnight trips upstream on the Red Lake River.