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Summer Guide 2023: Pontoons, Kayaks, Paddleboards, and Those Fancy Swan Paddleboats

Live that boat life for less!

New this year: Illuminated night swan paddleboats with Wheel Fun Rentals.

Do you want to get tipsy on a pontoon this summer? You don’t have to be rich to make that dream come true. All  you need is some friends who are willing to pool some cash together and BYOB. 

Or maybe you’d like to take a break from biking or jogging, and would like to spend some time using your body to get around via a kayak, paddleboard, or slow-moving paddleboat. (No really; those swan thingies are a workout.)

Anyway, what I am saying is: You’ve got options, and those options are listed below.

Baker Park Reserve

Canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and paddleboard rentals on 917 acres of water. 2309 Baker Park Rd., Maple Plain, 763-694-7860;

Bde Maka Ska

Canoes, solo and double kayak boats, and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 3000 E. Bde Maka Ska Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-823-5765;

Bryant Lake Regional Park

Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, rowboat, and stand-up paddleboard rentals on 178 acres of water. 6800 Rowland Rd., Eden Prairie; 763-694-7764;

Carver Park Reserve (Lake Auburn Campgrounds)

They’ve got tons of kayaks and canoes here, plus a rowboat. 7400 Grimm Rd. (Lowry Nature Center), Victoria, 763-694-7650;

Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle board rentals. 25875 Juniper Ave., New Prague, 763-694-7777;

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, and stand-up paddle board rentals on 137 acres of water. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake, 763-694-7777;

Fish Lake Regional Park

Row boat, canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals on 244 acres of water. 14900 Bass Lake Rd., Maple Grove, 763-694-7818;

Mike Newbry via Unsplash

French Regional Park

Canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals on 866 acres of water. 12605 Cty. Rd. 9, Plymouth, 763-694-7750;

Gale Woods Farm

Canoes on 558 acres of water. 7210 County Rd. 110 W., Minnetrista, 763-694-2001;

Harty’s Boat Rental, Bait Shop, and Moorings

20’ and 22’ pontoons and a fishing boat. 1920 E. Medicine Lake Blvd., Plymouth, 763-671-6711;

Howard’s Point Marina

Fishing boats, pontoon, and tritoon rentals. 5400 Howards Point Rd., Shorewood; 952-474-4464;

Hungry Jack Canoe Outfitters

Providing advice, equipment, and rations for wilderness canoeing in the boundary waters. 318 S. Hungry Jack Rd., Grand Marais, 218-388-2275;

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals. No gas motors on 84 acres of water. 10145 Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington, 763-694-7687;

Lake Auburn Campground

Rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and tandem kayaks. Carver Park Reserve, 7290 Victoria Dr., Victoria; 763-694-1112;

Lake Como

Choose from two-person swan-shaped paddleboats (they light up at night!), kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul; 651-487-8046;

Lake Harriet

Canoes, solo and double kayak boats, paddleboats (not the swan ones though), and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-922-9226;

Lake Nokomis

Rent one of those paddleboats that seats 5 and looks like a swan, or be boring and go for a kayak, canoe, or a standup paddleboard via Wheel Fun Rentals. 5022 W. Nokomis Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-729-1127;

Filip Mroz via Unsplash

Mississippi River Paddle Share

Summer recreation program featuring self-serve kayak rentals along the Mississippi River featuring a variety of routes, from nature-bound to city views. Entry points include Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, River Park, North Mississippi Regional Park, Bohemian Flats Park, Lilydale Regional Park; exit stops include North Mississippi Regional Park, Boom Island Regional Park, and Minneapolis Rowing Club/Lake Street Bridge. Find more info at

North Country Canoe Outfitters

Guided canoe adventures in the Boundary Waters and Quetico. 474 Kawishiwi Tr., Ely, 218-365-5581;

Seagull Canoe Outfitters

Boundary Waters tours, rentals, and outfitting. 12208 Gunflint Tr., Grand Marais, 218-388-2216;

Silverwood Park

They have a single canoe here. 2500 County Rd. E, St. Anthony; 763-694-7707;

Tally’s Dockside

Pontoon, fishing boat, paddleboard, canoe, and kayak rentals. They also offer a variety of food, wine, and beer boat tours. 4441 Lake Ave. S., White Bear Lake; 651-429-2633;

Taylors Falls Canoe & Kayak Rentals

Wild mountain provides canoe and kayak equipment for exploring scenic Taylors Falls. MN Interstate State Park, 307 Miltown Rd., Taylors Falls; 651-465-1080;

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

Tours and equipment for your next Boundary Waters adventure. 189 Sag Lake Tr., Grand Marais, 888-226-6348;

Wild River Outfitters Canoe and Kayak RentalCanoe and kayak rentals and advice for exploring the Upper St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. 15177 State Rd. 70, Grantsburg, WI, 715-463-2254;

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