Guided Trips

There is nothing like fresh air and a day on the river to help you relax and unwind. Just minutes from Columbia, you can enjoy the wilderness setting of the historic and biologically diverse Duck River. So, turn off your cell phone and take time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Duck River.

Higher Pursuits offers several guided trips throughout the summer including a Sunset Floats, Wildlife Observation Tours, Fall paddling Trips, and other guided trips on sections of the river we do not normally provide service on.  Each trip is led by an experienced Lead Guide and Assistant Guide.

Sunset Paddle on the Duck River

See the sights and sounds of the river at sunset and into twilight

This guided trip starts just a couple of hours before sunset so that participants can view the changes on the river as the sun goes down and the moon rises. After enjoying sunset, participants will complete the paddle during twilight and early evening.  Higher Pursuits will provide a lead and assistant guide for this trip as well as lights for the boats.

The Sunset Paddle starts around 5 pm but the exact start time will vary based on the sunset for that particular day. The trip typically last 4 to 5 hours depending on the paddling pace of the group.

About the Trip:

  • Sign up Online or feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions
  • Class Times: See arrival time for each date. Each trip will last approximately 3 to 4 hours
  • Minimum Age Requirement: 12 years old and up
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Wear closed toe shoes that will stay on your feet
  • We suggest bringing a jacket in case you get cold once the sun set
  • All participants must wear their lifejacket (PFD) while on our guided trips.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on guided trips.
  • Maximum: 10 participants
  • Minimum: 4 participants

Cost:

  • $65 per person (Includes kayak rental)
  • $45 per person if you have your own kayak (includes boat shuttle)
guided trips on the Duck River
Gorgeous sunset on the Duck River during one of our guided sunset paddles
2019 Sunset Paddle Dates:
  • May 16
  • June 13
  • June 14
  • July 11
  • July 12
  • August 12
  • August 13
  • September 9
  • September 10

Wildlife Exploration Tours

An exploration of the amazing biodiversity of the Duck River

The Wildlife Exploration Tour will help participants find evidence of wildlife on the river, provided information on the wonderful diversity of wildlife, and provide opportunities to observe wildlife. There are freshwater mussels, birds, and other aquatic life that we will explore throughout the day. There is never any guarantee on what wildlife we will see or what we can discover.

The Duck River is just over 270 miles in length and meanders it way through Middle Tennessee. It is one of the longest rivers contained entirely within the Tennessee borders and showcases scenic pastoral lands, steep rock cliffs, and forested banks. As one of the most biologically diverse rivers in North America, the Duck River contains over 500 species of aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates. This includes over 60 species of mussels, 151 fish species, and 22 aquatic snail species.

Bald Eagle on the Duck River
Bald Eagle on the Duck River

Our lead guide is Mandy Carter-Lowe, an Associate Professor of Biology at Columbia State Community College. Mandy holds a bachelors degree in biology and chemistry from Murray State University and a Master’s in Biology from Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to her experience in academics, Mandy is an experienced paddler and previously worked at Henry Horton State Park conducting nature programming that included canoe trips and interpretive programs. Her time with the state parks taught her that the natural world is meant to be observed and enjoyed and teaching does not have to be limited to the classroom.

About the Trip:

  • Sign up Online or feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions
  • Class Times: Arrive at 8 am at Higher Pursuits for a brief introduction. The class will paddle the 5.5 mile section of the Duck River. We anticipate that you will arrive back at Higher Pursuits around 2 to 3 pm.
  • Minimum Age Requirement: 12 years old and up
  • Bring a lunch packed in a zip lock and plenty of water
  • Wear closed toe shoes that will stay on your feet
  • All participants must wear their lifejacket (PFD) while on our guided trips.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on guided trips.
  • Maximum: 10 participants
  • Minimum: 4 participants

Cost:

  • $65 per person (Includes kayak rental)
  • $45 per person if you have your own kayak (includes boat shuttle)

2019 Wildlife Exploration Trip Dates:

  • TBD
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron on the Duck River

Additional Information about guided trips

  • Higher Pursuits reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any trip due to inclement weather or unsafe water conditions.
  • If Higher Pursuits cancels a trip you will be given an option of rescheduling for another trip or receive a full refund.
  • Higher Pursuits requires that ALL PARTICIPANTS wear a personal floatation device (lifejacket) at all times.
  • Use of alcohol is not permitted at any time.

Custom guided trips are available with a minimum of four participants and if we have a guide available. Typically custom guided trips are not available on the weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day due to the high volume of rental customers and require at least a two weeks notice to determine with we have a guide available for your trip