Below we have answers to our most frequently asked questions, tips for your paddling trip and a suggested list of what to bring. If you have other questions, please call or email us.
Tips for Paddling
- Always wear your life jacket!
- Leave your valuables at home so you don’t lose them in the river. (such as rings, wallets, necklaces, expensive eyeglasses)
- Use a strap to secure eyeglasses or sunglasses.
- Wear shoes that can get wet.
- Don’t tie canoes together or grab other canoes.
- Do not throw trash in the river or on the river bank.
- We have mesh reusable trash bags available for use. We also recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans and have trash receptacles available for your trash at the end of the day.
- Do not bring GLASS BOTTLES. Glass bottles sink to the bottom of the river, create a hazard if broken and will never decompose.
- We strongly recommend that you do not consume alcohol on the river (see FAQs below).
- Respect private property
What should I bring?
- Water, Gatorade or other beverages to keep you hydrated.
- Shoes that can get wet. We recommend tennis shoes or water shoes. Flip-flops generally do not stay on your feet and end up floating down the river.
- Dry clothes and towel. We recommend that you leave these in your car, so you have something dry to change into after your trip is over.
- Bug Spray
- Hat and sunglasses
- Trash Bag
- Comfortable clothing that can get wet and dry quickly.
- For your convenience, we have a small store that sells water, sodas, snacks, ice cream and other items you may have forgotten for your trip
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you allow alcohol?
- State law does allow for paddlers to consume alcohol while on the river, but in 2016 a new regulation was passed by TWRA. This regulation prohibits the consumption of alcohol while on the gravel bars.
- You can possess alcohol but not consume it while on land.
- Higher Pursuits recommends that you do not consume alcohol while paddling, but if you or your group chooses to drink alcohol we ask that you drink in moderation, designate a non-drinking driver, and be respectful of other paddlers and the river.
- Please do not litter.
- State law does not allow consumption of alcohol at any of the boat ramps.
- Higher Pursuits does not allow consumption of alcohol on our property or in our vehicles.
- If you drink, drink responsibility, but again we recommend that you not drink while on the river.
Do you allow dogs?
We recommend that you not bring your dog. The river can be overwhelming for your pet. Hot temperatures, moving water and chase able wildlife can create challenges for both you and your dog. If you decide you must bring your dog, there are a few things we would like for you to consider.
- Please keep your dog on a leash at all times when at the canoe base.
- Even dogs need a lifejacket. Yes, most dogs can swim but only for short periods of time and they may not be able to overcome a stronger current. We have a limited number of dog lifejackets available.
- Is your dog an indoor dog most of the time? The 100-degree day on the river in the middle of summer may not be the best day to bring your pet.
- Have they ever been in a canoe or kayak? If this is also your first time in a canoe or kayak, consider getting yourself comfortable in a kayak first then taking your dog another time when you feel more confident.
- Does your dog listen to basic commands? There may be other dogs at the canoe base, kids, and other people. Please ensure that you have control over your dog.
- Having a dog with you may delay your departure or pick up if other groups are not comfortable with riding in the vehicle with your dog.
What is your minimum age limit?
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. Before deciding to bring a child canoeing or kayaking we ask that you consider the following:
- Is your child comfortable in the water?
- Do they know how to swim?
- Do they enjoy swimming, are they comfortable going underwater?
- Is it going to be too hot, too cold, too windy or just too sunny for a young child (are they heat tolerant)?
- Do you feel confident that you can manage yourself, your boat and your child if your boat flips over?
As of 2020, all minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age.
Do you rent kayaks?
Yes, Higher Pursuits offers several types of kayaks.
Basic Kayak – We offer a sit-on-top kayak (Jackson Riviera) and a sit inside kayak (Perception Sound 10.5). Both kayaks are great for beginner and experienced paddlers. Visit our Rental page for pictures and descriptions.
Premium Single Kayak – We offer two basic styles of premium kayaks – Sit-on-top (comes in a 10-foot or 12-foot length) and sit inside (Jackson Tripper). Both styles feature a comfortable seat, lots of storage and are great options for those needing a little more room or additional weight capacity. The Tripper is a great kayak for the person that has a pet or young child they want to have in the kayak with them. Visit our Rental page for pictures and descriptions.
Do you rent 2 person kayaks?
Yes, Higher Pursuits now has two type of two person kayaks (tandem kayaks) – Basic and Premium.
Basic Tandem Kayak: The Basic two-person kayak looks just like the Riviera sit-on-top kayak but with two seats. They are a great option for groups that want to kayak but do not want to paddle by themselves. The two person kayaks have also been very popular with families. An adult sits in the back of the kayak and a child sits in the front seat. This is a great way to introduce kids to kayaking and teach them how to paddle a kayak.
Premium Tandem Kayak: The Premium Two-Person Kayak (Tandem). The Crescent Crew is a versatile kayak that has a high weight capacity (600 lbs) so it can handle two adults with a child. The frame seats are very comfortable and allow for different seating configurations. It has a larger storage area behind the seat and lots of space for the whole family.
What if I have my own canoe or kayak?
Higher Pursuits welcomes paddlers that have their own canoes or kayaks. We charge a $15 per boat shuttle fee. When you arrive at the canoe base we can discuss the best way to shuttle your equipment. On the weekends we strongly recommend you make an online reservation for your personal shuttle. We often sell out of personal shuttle spaces on the weekend and can only accomondate customers that have reserved ahead of time.
What kind of canoes do you rent?
We mainly uses the Mad River Journey Canoe which is a 15.5 foot polyethylene canoes that are extremely durable and their short length make them easy to maneuver. These models work great for families. They are considered a stable canoe that is easily maneuvered.
How many people do you allow in a canoe?
We recommend that only two adults paddle in canoe. However, families can place one to two children in the middle of canoe. The number of children you can fit into the middle of a canoe is determined by the size and age of the child. Generally speaking, the more people you put in a canoe the more unstable a canoe becomes. Many families also enjoy trying the 2 person kayak. This allows an adult to sit in the back of the two person kayak and the child to sit in the front of the kayak.
Do you allow fishing?
Fishing is allowed on the Duck River. If you take fish or attempt to take fish (including crayfish) by any method or if you assist someone else to do so, you must have a valid fishing license. This license must be renewed each year in order to be valid. Children 12 and under do not require a fishing license.
The Duck River is great fishing for smallmouth bass, large mouth bass, rock bass, and crappie fishing. There is no trout on this section of the Duck River.
Do you sell fishing bait?
We do not sell any artificial or live bait at Higher Pursuits, so you will need to purchase bait before you arrive.
Do you provide life jackets for children?
Yes. We have wide variety of personal flotation devices (life jackets) for children of most ages.
Do I have to wear my life jacket?
State law requires all children under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket at all times. Adults may choose not to wear their jacket, however we recommend that all paddlers wear their life jacket while paddling and playing in the river.
Do you take Credit Cards?
Yes. We take all major forms of credit cards (including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa).
What else do you sell in your store?
In our store, we sell chips, sodas, water, jerky, and other snacks. There are also have t-shirts, necklaces, stickers, sunglasses, small Coolers, dry boxes for your phone, gift items, and basic paddling accessories.
Do you sell ice?
We do normally have a couple of bags of ice available at the store, but do not keep a large volume of ice in stock