Kayak and Canoe Rentals

Coronavirus Update

We have adjusted our set-up and operations to allow for social distancing, but we need our customers to help us meet these requirements. Below are some ways you can help us continue to operate:

  • It is our goal to transport only your group in a vehicle.
  • Bring a mask, neck gaiter, or bandana for each person in your group to wear while in the office and riding in our vehicles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are considered part of a vulnerable population (elderly, heath conditions that increase risk) please wait to join us later in the summer.

Other steps that Higher Pursuits is taking:

  • As of right now we are only running the 5.5 mile route until we determine that our operations can handle an additional route.
  • Our goal is to space groups out throughout the morning. If we have too many people in one timeslot, we may ask you to shift your reservation to a different time.
  • We have a cleaning protocols in place for our buildings, equipment, lifejackets, and outhouses.

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.

How to make a reservation

We recommend making your Kayak and Canoe Rental 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 that weekends.

Step 1: Pick which route you want to paddle

  • 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 – $5 more per boat rental and shuttle – takes approximately 5 to 7 hours. Weekday drop off times are 9:30 am and 10:30 am. Weekend drop off times are 8:30am, 9:30 am and 10:30 am. There is a group size limit of 12 for this route.

Step 2: Pick your Boat Type

  • Basic Kayak – three styles available – see description below
  • Premium Kayak
  • Fishing Kayak
  • Two Person Kayak
  • Canoe
  • Shuttle for your own boat

Step 3: Select your Date and Time

  • If one of your boat types selected are not available the date will be grayed out. Try choosing a different boat type.
  • We do not accept same day reservations online. Call for same day reservations.
  • 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 grouip 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 faster check-in please complete a release form for each person in your group, including one for each minor. If you have a participant under the age of 18, they will need a parent or guardian to sign their release form ahead of time (Download our release form)

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.

Canoe and Kayak Rentals
Kayaks at the Canoe Base

Rental Prices

Cheeks Bend Route

  • Basic Kayak: $30 per kayak
  • Premium Kayak: $40 per kayak
  • Fishing Kayak: $50 per kayak
  • Canoe Rental: $45 per canoe
  • Tandem Kayak (two person): $45 per tandem
  • Shuttle for your own canoe and kayak: $15 per boat

Carpenter Bridge Route

  • Basic Kayak: $35 per kayak
  • Premium Kayak: $45 per kayak
  • Fishing Kayak: $55 per kayak
  • Canoe Rental: $50 per canoe
  • Tandem Kayak (two person): $50 per tandem
  • Shuttle for your own canoe and kayak: $20 per boat
  • Group Size limit: 12 people
  • See Hours for drop off times

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 three kayak types: If you are not sure which kayak you want then reserve “Any Basic Kayak” and we will help you select a kayak after you check in.

Jackson Riviera Sit on top kayak
Jackison Riviera (Sit on top) 325 lb capacity

Our most popular kayak. Comfortable molded seat, room for small cooler, very stable, easy to paddle and turns on a dime.

Perception Impulse Kayak
Perception Impulse (Sit inside) Kayak 275 lb capacity

Stable, Comfortable, lightweight and easy to steer. Lots of space behind the seat for gear, great for beginners and kids.

Jackson Tripper Kayak
Jackson Tripper (Sit inside) 375 lb capacity

Our most stable kayak. Lots of room for a dog or a young child to sit in the kayak with you. Easy to get in and out of.

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.

Premium Kayaks

We also offer a premium level of kayaks for rental. These are very comfortable sit-on-top kayaks with a stadium style seat. When you reserve your premium kayak online, reserve a premium kayak and then at the end of your reservation, there is a place to provide comments on which model you would like. We will make every effort to accommodate your request but have a limited number of each style.

Perception Pescador Pro 12 sit on top kayak
Perception Pescador Pro 12
375 lb capacity

Comfortable seat, great storage in front and back. Fast boat that is very stable.

Pescador Pro 10 sit-on-top kayak
Perception Pescador Pro 10
325 lb capacity

Comfortable seat, easy to turn, stable design. It has easy to access storage

Premium Kayak Rental
Jackson Bite
400 lb capacity

Comfortable seat, very stable, lots of room in the front and back compartments

Jackson Coosa Fishing Kayak
Jackson Coosa
350 lb capacity

Comfortable seat, very maneuverable, great storage space behind the seat

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

Fishing Kayaks

We rent two styles of Jackson Fishing Kayaks. These are some of the best fishing kayaks on the market and have some great features to help you have a great day on the water. When you reserve your fishing kayak online, reserve a fishing kayak and then at the end of your reservation, there is a place to provide comments on which model you would like. We will make every effort to accommodate your request but have a limited number of each style.

Jackson Liska Fishing Kayak
Jackson Liska
400 lb capacity
Jackson Coosa HD fishing kayak
Jackson Coosa HD
425 lb capacity

Tandem Kayaks

Tandem Kayaks are two person kayaks. The tandem kayaks we rent have two molded in seats and a small space on the back 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


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. We offer two style of kids kayaks and will help you pick out a kayak after you check in. When you book online, reserve a basic kayak (Impulse, Rivi or any basic kayak) and then at the end of your reservation make a comment that you need a kids kayak. Kids come in all shapes and sizes so sometimes they grew over the winter and are ready for a smaller adult kayak.

Perception Prodigy XS Kayak
Perception Prodigy XS (Kids Kayak)
150 lb capacity
Jackson Mini Tripper Kayak
Jackson Mini Tripper (Kids Kayak)
120 lb capcity