The Boardman River is truly a beautiful and natural river. In fact, often times you stand a good chance of seeing wildlife on the banks and in sky around you while traveling down it. It is on the natural river act, meaning any trees and such that come down over the course of the year must remain in the water for fish habitat, unless they are completely obstructing the river at which point they are removed. The river also twists and turns through the Boardman Valley and holds a very steady current. For the most part, you do not have to paddle to keep moving, the current will carry you along. But please be advised that there is a tremendous amount of steering and navigation required for this river. This being said, there is always the possibility of tipping over, particularly in a kayak or in a canoe. For the most part the water averages knee to waist deep, but there are scattered deeper pockets throughout sometimes reaching 5-7 feet in depth. The river is also spring fed with temperatures averaging around 60 degrees.
For all trips we transport you up river, as far as the Forks Campground, 1/4 mile off of Supply Road. All trips will end right here at the Ranch.
Although we do not have any age restrictions on the river activities, we do not recommend canoeing or kayaking for children under 2 years old, pregnant women, or the novice who are fearful of getting wet or tipping over. Please read “The Boardman River” above for a further description of the river.
Tubing does tend to be easier than canoeing and kayaking because there is not as much of a threat of tipping over. This can be a great alternative to canoeing or kayaking, especially to those families with small children. Children under 5 years old can sit on a parent’s lap to share a tube for no additional charge. Typically by about age 5 or 6 it is more comfortable for both the parent and the child to put the child in their own “child size” tube. We never recommend tying the tubes together because with the various trees and downed branches in the river it can be very easy to get hung up in narrow or congested areas when tied together. It is much easier to simply have a parent rest their feet on the child’s tube to keep together, but to easily be able to separate with short notice if needed.
You will notice with regard to pricing we have a rental charge and a deposit. The deposit price is $20 per canoe, $20 per kayak, and $10 per tube. All deposits must be paid in cash and you get them back when you return all of your equipment and are within your time parameters.
Please note most trips are timed trips. For instance the 4-mile canoe trip averages 1.5 hours float time and we give you an extra one (1) hour on top of that. If you exceed your scheduled time back by more than one (1) hour, deposit not refunded. If interested in un-timed trips please see the Canoe and Kayak page for details.
Should you lose, damage, or fail to return your rental equipment, prices are as follows
- Kayak Paddle $40
- Canoe Paddle $20
- Cushion $12
- Life Jacket $12
- Tube $12
- Canoe/Kayak $300
Please note if you leave a canoe or kayak on the river we charge a $25 retrieval fee per unit.
For tubes, retrieval fees are $15 each.
As for what to wear, the choice is yours. Some people wear bathing suits and others wear shorts and t-shirts. Keep in mind you want something you can get wet in. If you are tubing you will be sitting in an open bottom tube-you will get wet. If canoeing or kayaking, there is always a chance of getting wet should you tip over. Whatever you decide to wear on the river, it is always a good idea to have a change of clothes when you return. The river does have a somewhat rocky bottom so a water shoe or sandal with heal strap might be a good idea. Please be advised the current is fairly swift so sandals without a back strap or flip flops could get easily carried away by the current. It is fine to go bare foot as well. And if you bring a beach towel with you we recommend leaving it in your car so you have something dry when you return.
We strongly recommend not bringing anything with you do not want to get wet or take the chance of losing. Items such as sunglasses, cameras, car keys, and jewelry have all been lost in the river at some point. We always recommend leaving these sorts of items in your locked vehicle and your car keys safely with us.
You can bring coolers on the river with you, but glass is not permitted. Please be certain that everything is in aluminum or plastic. Please help keep the river clean and beautiful by being certain nothing gets left behind in the river or on the banks.
If you are coming with a group, whether large or small, and you hope to stay together as a group on the river you will all have to choose either canoeing and kayaking or tubing. Canoes and kayaks travel at close to the same rate, but tubes float much slower. This means those in the tubes would never be with the rest of the group. An example of this is the 4-mile put in point lasts about 1 ½ hours by canoe or kayak but this same put in point lasts approximately 3 hours by tube.
Tubes: All of the tubes are open bottom single seaters. We do have both adult and children’s sizes available. For children under 5 years of age they can sit on a parents lap at no additional charge. Otherwise, it’s one person to a tube.
Kayaks: The kayaks are all single seaters, designed for only 1 person at a time.
Canoes: The canoes are all double seaters, designed for 2 people. If you have an odd number of people, you can sit an additional adult on the bottom of the canoe for an additional $10. Maximum of 3 adults allowed per canoe. For children under 12 years old there is no additional charge to sit in the bottom of the canoe. With children the maximum number allowed per canoe is 4 (2 adults and 2 children.)
Please note Ranch Rudolf is not a public launch site or landing site. You cannot park here to put in or take out of the river with your own canoes, kayaks, or tubes. The closest public site is down river 1 mile (Schecks) or up river 4 miles (Forks.)
We try to accommodate private transports for $6 per tube and $15 per canoe or per kayak. However, there are a couple of stipulations. First, we have to have a run (rental) going. In other words, we do not make special trips just to do a private transport. Second, we have to have room on our trailer meaning we would never turn away a rental to do a private transport. Third, we only transport up river from the Ranch. Only if you have paid for a transport can you leave your vehicle on-site for when you return. Please remember this is not a public launch or landing site. If you put in at the forks and need a ride back up to your vehicle upon return there is still at $6 ride fee per person-and this is only a service that is offered if we have a shuttle headed up river at that time. All of these arrangements must be set up with the general store beforehand.
Rarely do we spot vehicles as we do not have an extra staff member available to do this most times. On occasion arrangements can be made ahead of time. The cost for this service is $20 per vehicle and it can be done at either the Forks Campground or Brownbridge Pond.