Kayak and Canoe Rentals

The Higher Pursuits Duck River Canoe Base is located just minutes from downtown Columbia, TN and features kayak and canoe rentals on the beautiful and scenic Duck River.

Kayaks on a gravel bar on the river
Kayaks on a gravel bar

The Duck River winds its way through Maury County, the Yanahli Wildlife Management Area and the Duck River State Natural Area. The Duck River was designated as a state scenic river and blue way because of its diverse wildlife and historic mill sites. This makes all our routes feel remote and unobstructed by houses and roads.

We offer two paddling routes on the Duck River: 5.5 mile and 8.5 mile. There are gorgeous gravel bars, rock bluffs and beautiful scenery throughout. The 5.5 mile route is an easygoing Class I with very few swift spots (this is the route we recommend for first time paddlers, large groups or groups with young kids). The 8.5 mile route has a few spots that require you to be able to maneuver your boat to avoid an obstacle. At certain water levels this route is closed. The decision to open or close the 8.5 mile route is made daily based on the current water conditions and weather.

Coronavirus update

We are now mask optional. We realize that each person or group has different risk factors and concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus, if you would like our staff to wear a mask in the office or in our vehicles just let us know and we will be happy to accommodate your request. We continue to have small group waiting areas, we ask the customers continue social distancing measures and our staff continues to clean and disinfect equipment. If you do not feel well, stay home. You will receive a refund or be able to reschedule. If you know you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home, you will receive a refund or be able to reschedule. Make your reservation online. This limits your time in the office during check-in and allows us to monitor how many people are arriving at the canoe base.

How to make a reservation

We recommend making your kayak or canoe reservation online to ensure boat availability. If you have your own canoe or kayak and just need a shuttle, we also recommend making a reservation online. we have limited spaces for personally owned boats, especially on the weekends.

Step 1

Pick Your Route

5.5 Mile – Cheeks Bend Route – takes approximately 3 to 5 hours depending on the water level and paddling speed.

8.5 Mile – Carpenter Bridge Route – takes approximately 5 to 7 hours, cost is $5 more per boat or shuttle. There is a group size limit of 12 for this route with limited drop off times.

**Alert** The Carpenter Bridge Route (8.5 Mile Route) is closed due to a downed tree and a collapsing bank.

Step 2

Pick your Boat Type
  • Basic Kayak – two styles available
  • Premium Kayak
  • Basic Two Person Kayak
  • Premium Two Person Kayak
  • Canoe
  • Shuttle for your own boat (this is for personally owned boats only)

Step 3

Pick your Date and Time

Call for same day reservations.

If one of the boats you have selected is not available the date will be grayed out. Try choosing a different boat type.

Typically in the summertime our weekend sells out one to two weeks in advance.

There is a detailed list of our seasonal hours at our Hours of Operation Page.

At the end of your reservation there is an option to let us know if you are paddling with a group or a comments box to let us know any special needs your group has or other information we might need to know.

You are required to prepay for your reservation, but can make any changes or cancellations up to 24 hours in advance of your trip for a full refund.

For same day reservations please call us at 931-840-8575. We accept cash or all major credits cards. On busy weekends, booking online is your fastest check-in method and ensures boat availability.

Rental Prices

Cheeks Bend Route

  • Basic Kayak: $30 per kayak
  • Premium Kayak: $40 per kayak
  • Canoe Rental: $45 per canoe
  • Basic Tandem Kayak (two person): $45 per tandem
  • Premium Tandem Kayak: $55 per tandem
  • Shuttle for your own canoe and kayak: $15 per boat

Carpenter Bridge Route

What is Included? All rental prices include paddles, lifejacket, shuttle to the put-in and shuttle from the take-out

Inclement Weather: If we are unable to open for rentals or need to close early we always post on our facebook page to keep as many customers informed as possible. If you have a reservation and we decide to close due to weather or water conditions we will call the phone number used in your online booking and give you the option to reschedule or provide a full refund.

Minimum Age: Our minimum age is 3 years old, however some children older than three years old may not be ready to join you for a day on the river. Please visit our frequently asked questions page for additional information. All minors under the age of 16 years old must be accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age.

Type of Boats We Rent

Basic Kayaks

When you make your reservation online you can pick one of these two kayak types. During your reservation process online, if the date is “greyed” out then we are probably sold out of a specific model and you will need to look for a different style kayak in the basic line up. Feel free to call us if you need assistance.

Basic Kayak – Sit-on-Top – Riviera

The Jackson Riviera Sit-on-top kayak is one of our most popular kayaks. It has a molded seat that provides great support to your back and is comfortable. It is very stable, easy to paddle and easy to control on the water. This is a great choice for any age, but in particular this is popular choice with our young adults, youth and first time paddlers.

Jackson Riviera Kayak
Jackson Riviera – 325 lb capacity

Basic Kayak – Sit Inside – Jackson Tripper

Our most stable kayak. Lots of room for a dog or a young child (typically 3 years old to 7 years old) to sit in the kayak with you. Easy to get in and out of. Although the Jackson Tripper is technically considered a sit inside kayak, it features a spacious interior with lots of leg room for tall folks or for the paddler that needs just a little more room and stability.

Jackson Tripper – 375 lb capacity

Premium Kayaks

We also offer a premium level of kayaks for rental. This year we are offering a 10 foot model and a 12 foot model. These are very comfortable sit-on-top kayaks with a stadium style seat. They feature a spacious deck, lots of storage and a very comfortable seat. When you make your reservation, let us know if you have a preference between a 10 foot or 12 foot length.

Premium 10 foot Sit-on-top kayaks

Premium 12 foot Sit-on-top kayaks

What makes it a premium kayak?

When you make your reservation, let us know if you have a preferred model and we will do our best to reserve that specific boat for you.

Tandem Kayaks

Tandem Kayaks are two person kayaks. We now have two Tandem Kayak choices – the basic tandem and our new premium tandem kayak.

Basic Tandem Kayak

The basic tandem kayak has two molded in seats with a small space in the back of the kayak for a bag or small cooler. The Jackson Riviera Tandem is a super stable kayak and the molded seats are more comfortable than you might think. This is a great boat for families that want to put an adult in the back and a child in the front or for a group of friends that want to paddle together instead of individual kayaks

Jackson Riviera Tandem Kayak
Jackson Riviera Tandem (Two Person Kayak)
450 lb capacity

Premium Tandem Kayak

New for 2021, our premium tandem kayak features two comfortable frame seats that allows you to paddle the kayak solo, with two people, or even turn the front seat around so you can see the other paddler. It is extremely stable and has a high weight capacity (600 lbs) so it can easily hold two adults and a child. It has a larger space behind the seat for a cooler or whatever you need to bring with you for the day.

Crescent Crew (Tandem kayak)
600 lb capacity

Premium Tandem Kayak Features:


We rent the Mad River Journey 156 canoes. These are stable canoes with plenty of room to put a child in the middle of canoe or for your gear or cooler. For a more enjoyable trip on the river we recommend only two adults per canoe. Small children can also ride in the center of the boat, but we recommend no more than two children

Mad River Journey 156 Canoe Rental
Mad River Journey 156 Canoe
1100 pound capacity with enough room for a cooler or small kids to sit in the middle

Kids Kayaks

Higher Pursuits offers kids kayaks so that families can begin to introduce kids to the joy of paddling their own boat in a kayak that is sized for them. Kids come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they grew over the winter and are ready for a smaller adult kayak. Either way, we can help your family decide if a kids kayak is the best option or if your child is ready for a small adult kayak.

When you book online, reserve a basic sit-on-top kayak and then at the end of your reservation make a comment that you may need a kids kayak.

Jackson Mini Tripper Kayak
Jackson Mini Tripper (Kids Kayak) 120 lb capacity