Review of Canoe Rental at The Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville, KY

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 photo 20140525_135650_zps86826e14.jpgMy family loves getting outside and enjoying nature. We go to The Parklands often, so we were thrilled to hear they’d found a company to handle their canoe rentals. So over Memorial Day weekend we gave them a call and headed their way.

They were insanely busy. The parking lot was packed and we had to wait an hour and a half to get a canoe. That was fine, because it gave us a chance to take the kids to the playground for a bit before setting off. I’m also glad the demand is so high because it means this company isn’t likely to be going anywhere any time soon. 

I’ve been canoeing in the Parklands before, and it is really the perfect spot for beginners and families. The water is calm and not too deep, and it’s clean and peaceful. There’s wildlife and places to stop and look at fossils.

 photo 20140525_143817_zps99160ff9.jpgMy kids had never been canoeing before, so we opted for the one hour two mile trip. It takes off at the rental booth and ends at the interpretive center near the playground and sprayground area. It was a beautiful trip with only one difficult spot to get through, and even my youngest, who said there was no way he was getting in a canoe, ended up loving it.

Everything about our experience was great, except for the price. It cost nearly $70 for my family of four to canoe for an hour. The canoe rental alone is on the high side of what I consider reasonable at $35 for a tandem canoe for a 2 mile trip up to $71 for the 10.7 mile trip. There are lots of other types of vessels to choose from, each with its own rate per trip. But then they added two snap-in seats for my kids at $15 apiece, taking us up to $65 plus tax. They included paddles and life vests at no additional charge, which was great since I didn’t want to take wet life jackets home with me. However, even with those freebies, this is not an accessible activity for most families, especially when you consider you can take your own canoe (or a borrowed one) for free.

 photo 20140525_133324_zpsa589b145.jpgI respectfully request that Green Earth Outdoors stops charging for the extra seat rentals. This would make it an activity that more families could afford to do more often. Currently, canoe rentals are available Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer. Canoeing is a great way to experience The Parklands from a different perspective.

By guest contributor: Maggie

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  • To the author and those interested, allow us to provide clarity on the harmful statements made above since the courtesy of comment prior to publication was not granted. People are always quick to judge without first seeking to understand. Perhaps the fee we charge for rentals seems high for some, but for most, they are not based on comments and interest. Nor is it even fair to compare us to other canoe rental services. We are required by The Parklands to move all of our equipment onsite every day and out again every night. We do not have a physical presence on the water that most liveries have. This adds incredible amounts of labor cost and a lot of hard work to facilitate just having the rental service, before we even put a boat on the water. Additionally, because of the space we are allotted, we can only have so many craft available at any given time. These issues combined with risks such as low water and high water makes it challenging to just break even (which we won't under the current arrangement). There are significant cost to operate a livery since the season is shorter, insurance cost are incredibly high, equipment/vehicle cost and fuel are incredibly high, and maintaining phone, internet, and vehicles is incredibly high. One might think an extra seat for $15 is a lot, but that cost includes the seat, paddle and PFD and a seat in a shuttle for point to point trips. Plus additional weight in boats (even just 30-40 lbs) causes additional damages and shortens the life of the craft in a rocky stream like Floyds Fork. Our mission has always been to get people outside in affordable ways and when compared to other companies, we keep our cost very low to keep the prices to our customers affordable. Nearly half of our workforce at The Parklands is volunteering their time to aid in this effort-each giving over 40 hours a week of their time free to provide this service. Its very hot, tiring and dirty work to bring these boats in every day and put them away every day. If we had a place where we could just go in and turn on the lights to be open, and had unlimited craft to rent, things could be a lot different. We are working with The Parklands for a better solution for 2015 and beyond, but until that can happen, we appreciate your continued patronage and understanding.

    Douglas Wagoner
    Founder, Green Earth Outdoors

  • Thank you for your follow up and explanation. We review with honestly and in our writer's opinion, the fees are high. We understand that the cost is reasonable based on what all goes into your service. However, we hold true to our promise to our readers to give our honest feedback and our writer felt they were high and therefore, many of our readers would not be able to participate often. We too work very hard in providing such abundance of information to our readers and cannot feasibly send reviews to businesses to preview and respond to prior to publishing. Thank you for understanding and happy paddling.

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