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Maritime merriment easy with boat-rental options around Western Pa.

By Emma Deihle
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

It's summertime, and rather than stay on land, we prefer to take to the water. But don't worry; you don't need your own boat. Fortunately, aquatic rental shops throughout the region are ready to meet your nautical needs. Whether you're looking to cool off, explore the city from its waterways or engage with nature, these Western Pennsylvania boat rentals have everything you'll need for some maritime merriment, including transportation to launch or pickup points.

ALLEGHENY COUNTY

Boat Pittsburgh

412-323-2628 or www.boat-pgh.com

One of the city's newest companies to take to the rivers, Boat Pittsburgh in Sharpsburg offers unique views of the city aboard 22-foot pontoon boats.

Owner Nicole Moga says she decided to rent pontoon boats exclusively because they are safe, easy to drive and can fit more people than most other aquatic rentals.

Boat Pittsburgh has had about four to six rentals every Saturday and Sunday since its opening in late May. Weekends are the busiest times for a relaxing cruise, but rentals are available seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

Kayak Pittsburgh

412-969-9090 (North Shore), 412-559-3697 (North Park) or www.kayakpittsburgh.org

A project of Venture Outdoors, Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore celebrates its 10th season in the Steel City this summer.

Open Memorial Day through September and on weekends in October, Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore has emerged as one of the city's staple summertime activities. Rent a solo or tandem kayak, and set your own course along the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela rivers.

The other Kayak Pittsburgh location at the North Park Boathouse features rowboats, canoes and pedal boats, in addition to kayaks. Stand-up paddle boarding joins the list of options in early July.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Rental rates are by the hour.

Northeast Paddleboard Co.

412-720-5058 (Youghiogheny River Shop), 724-381-1854 (Greene Cove Yacht Club Shop), 412-860-3737 (Pittsburgh Paddleboard Shop) or www.northeastpaddleboard.com

Participate in one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world with a rental from Northeast Paddleboard Co.'s Youghiogheny River Shop in McKeesport.

Cruise the calm Youghiogheny River on a stand-up paddle board, or enjoy paddling from Northeast Paddleboard's two other locations: the Greene Cove Yacht Club Shop in Millsboro and the Pittsburgh Paddleboard Shop in Point State Park. First timers and families are welcome.

By-the-hour rentals include an appropriately sized paddle, surf leash and life jacket. Kayak rentals are available from Greene Cove only. Call ahead for hours and reservations.

armstrong COUNTY

The River's Edge

724-845-9501 or www.the-rivers-edge.com

Since its opening in May 2007, The River's Edge in Leechburg has provided customers scenic canoe and kayak trips up and down the Kiski River.

They offer short 4- to 7-mile trips, longer 8- to 11-mile trips, or an all-day rental. Owners Neill and Evelyn Andritz also can customize special trips that showcase the best swimming spots, restaurants or campsites along the river. One interesting attraction is that bald-eagle sightings are common during summer trips.

Rental season lasts from March to October.

Foxburg River Tours

724-659-0033 or www.foxburgsegwayandrivertours.com

Calmly paddle the Allegheny or satisfy your need for speed along the Clarion River during a Foxburg River Tours excursion.

Take a short 3.5-mile canoe or kayak trip from Emlenton to Foxburg or Foxburg to Parker, or a longer 7-mile trip from various neighboring locations.

If you'd rather kick back and enjoy the waterway with someone else at the helm, reserve a one-hour pontoon boat tour featuring views of surrounding homes and regional wildlife. Custom two-hour boat tours are available upon request.

Freeport Paddleboarding Co.

724-882-3290 or on Facebook

Freeport Paddleboarding Co. allows customers to choose which body of water they'd like to paddle, thanks to its mobile stand-up paddle-board option.

Beginners can register for lessons and tours. Owner Micalla Mikus is one of three people in Pennsylvania to have earned all three PaddleFit certifications.

All rentals at the Freeport facility include paddles, life vests and leashes. Call ahead for hours and reservations.

beaver COUNTY

Beighey's Raccoon Boat Rental

724-899-4130 or www.raccoonboatrental.com

Rent canoes, kayaks and hydrobikes by the hour from Beighey's Raccoon Boat Rental at Raccoon Creek State Park.

If you get a larger group together, Beighey's offers tandems and rowboats, as well. Several local outing clubs meet at Raccoon Creek State Park to enjoy trips along the Allegheny every week.

Beighey's prices: $10 for the first hour on the canoe, kayak or hydrobike; $5 for each additional hour.

butler COUNTY

Crescent Bay Marine & Boat Rental

724-368-9955 or www.moraineboatrentals.com

Boat Moraine State Park's 3,225-acre Lake Arthur equipped with gear from Crescent Bay Marine & Boat Rental. The rental shop offers kayaks, canoes, tillers, paddle boards, runabouts and pontoon boats.

The boats come in all shapes and sizes, and tandems are available, as well. Life preservers and the first tank of fuel are included in the cost of motorized boat rentals.

The season lasts from Memorial Day weekend to a few weekends after Labor Day. Summer hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

clarion COUNTY

Cook Forest State Park

Pale Whale Canoe details: 814-744-8300 or www.cookriverside.com

Cook Forest Canoe details: 814-744-8094 or www.cookforestcanoe.com

Two canoe and kayak rentals in Cook Forest State Park will complement the adventure-seeking aspect of your aquatic journey.

The Pale Whale Canoe Fleet on the Clarion River provides 4-, 10- and 15-mile trip options. Overnight trips are available by advanced reservation only.

Cook Forest Canoe Rental also offers a variety of trips from two bases: seven canoe and kayak trips from the Cook Forest base and three trips from the Clarington base.

Call ahead for hours of operation.

erie COUNTY

Port Erie Sports

814-452-2628 or www.porteriesports.com

Port Erie Sports in Erie provides any vessel one could need to explore the waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay.

They have a wide selection of offshore fishing and bay fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, runabouts and water skis. Port Erie Sports is also one of the only Jet Ski and Jetovator (flying water bike) rental stores in Western Pennsylvania.

Hours are from 8 a.m. to sundown daily.

fayette COUNTY

Hazelbaker's Canoe Rentals

724-736-8155 or www.hazelbakerscanoes.com

Float down the Youghiogheny River aboard a kayak or canoe from Hazelbaker's Canoe Rentals in Layton.

Hazelbaker's offers two main trips: the 8-mile short trip from Dawson to Layton and the 14-mile long trip from Connellsville to Layton. An overnight trip is available, too.

Be sure to check out the other Hazelbaker's location at Laurel Hill State Park, which offers canoe, kayak, hydrobike and paddle-board rentals seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Daily trip times are 8 and 10 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

warren COUNTY

Allegheny Outfitters

814-723-1203 or www.alleghenyoutfitters.com

Depart for as little as two hours or as long as six days on a trip sponsored by Allegheny Outfitters, Warren.

Allegheny Outfitters allows guests to choose from nine trips along the Allegheny River: three day trips and six overnight trips of varying lengths. Stops include Wildwood, the Kinzua Dam and Tionesta.

Most trips have a two-canoe minimum. The season starts Memorial Day weekend and lasts through Labor Day weekend. Call for hours and shuttle departure times.

westmoreland COUNTY

NorthWest Kayak and Canoe Rentals

724-668-0044 or www.northwestkayakandcanoe.com

NorthWest Kayak and Canoe Rentals at Keystone State Park enters its fifth summer along the 78-acre Keystone Lake.

Family-owned NorthWest offers one of the largest selections of water equipment rentals in the area: kayaks, canoes, tandems, rowboats, motors, paddle boats and stand-up paddle boards.

Judy Barker, one of the owners, emphasizes that the shop caters to canoers and kayakers of all skill levels. All rentals include life vests, paddles and lessons for beginners.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters

412-329-6126 or www.youghcanoe.com

West Newton's Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters lets guests choose between three different float trips: Cedar Creek Park, four miles; Smithton Beach, seven miles; and Whitsett Landing, 11 miles.

Customers may use canoes or kayaks for the trips. An overnight camping trip from Connellsville can be reserved with a three-boat minimum.

Weekday trip times are 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (reservations required); Weekend trips depart on the hour beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m.

Hours of operation and rental offerings listed are subject to change due to weather conditions.

Emma Deihle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8513 or edeihle@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


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