What better way to start off your kayak or canoe river trip than viewing the awesome Natural Rockbridge? Our river access is directly across from the magnificent Natural Rockbridge.
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The Hocking river was named from the Indian name Hokhochen, which meant “bottle-shaped” and referred to the configuration of the river at the present-day Rock Mill in Lancaster Ohio. The name Hokhochen carried on until the 1800s in which it became shortened to “Hocking” river. More than likely it became Hocking because of the difficulty of pronouncing Hokhochen. The area eventually took the name of the river as today the surrounding area is known as the Hocking Hills.
The Hocking River starts in Lancaster Ohio and flows south east until it reaches the Ohio River. It has an average depth of 3-4 feet, but there are areas up to twelve feet deep. The Hocking is calm class I river with very few big rapids or rocks to be worried about. No matter what vehicle you choose to explore the river with, you’re sure to have a great time! To find the best option for you, click to learn more about each boat option below.
Canoeing has remained popular since the days of Native Americans who used canoes to travel across lakes and rivers. Although canoes back then were used as a necessity than a form of leisure, canoeing has stayed popular for several common reasons. One it can require as much effort or little effort as you want. If you looking for a good workout you can paddle fast but if you are looking to relax, by all means you can do that too. Ultimately it requires very little skill to maneuver a canoe on the Hocking River. The person in the stern (back of the canoe) steers the boat and the person in bow (front of boat) provides the power. If both partners are paddling in union and on opposite sides the canoe will go straight, if not the canoe will zig zag (believe us this happens often!). The worse case scenario would be to paddle slow and enjoy the scenery as the river takes you back to the canoe livery where you car is parked. Finally canoeing allows you to connect with nature. Since you are encouraged to paddle at your own pace you are able to stop along the river for whatever you find interesting. All together canoeing promotes togetherness and creates lasting memories with your family and friends.
Canoe or Kayak?
Having trouble deciding between a canoe or kayak? Here’s a chart based on our opinion only, on the advantages of each:
Advantages of Canoes:
- More Space– The options are pretty much unlimited on who or what you can put in a canoe. You can get two adults and two children in a canoe, or three adults and three pets, or two adults three coolers, your lazy boy recliner the and the kitchen sink. (You get the idea). Old Town and We-no-ah canoes vary from 15 to 17 feet in length. They can carry an average capacity of 850 pounds.
- More Stable– The bottom line is that a beginning kayaker can get around fine on calm water, without instruction. Canoeists may need a little training. Without it, they might just go around in circles until they learn to paddle right. On the other hand canoes are more stable allowing for comfortable practice until the craft is mastered.
Kayaking has become an increasingly popular recreational activity over the last 10 years. There are a number of reasons for the growth of kayaking. One is that even a complete novice can quickly master a kayak stroke. Another is that kayaking gives you complete control over your own boat, while canoeing require partners to paddle in conjunction to successfully navigate. Finally kayaks have evolved to become specialized for their use. Kayaks are categorized under sea kayaks, whitewater kayaks, surf kayak (Stand Up Paddle Boards), racing kayaks, fishing kayaks and recreational kayaks. We specialize in recreational kayaks and you find several different model ranging from Old Town, Jackson and We-no-nah brands to choose from. Kayaking is great because little training is required for the Hocking River, you can paddle your own boat and you can pick a kayak that is better suited for your skill. Like canoeing, kayaking is a great way to create lasting memories with family and friends.
Advantages of Kayaking:
- Easy Paddling– Use a double bladed paddle which is more efficient than a single bladed paddle. To get the kayak straight requires putting each blade in the water in a continuous motion.
- Show your Style– Red, Green, Pink, Blue.. what is your favorite color? Odds are we have it! If you are not concerned about color you can pick between closed deck and sit-on-top kayaks from the best brands: Jackson and Old Town kayaks. And if you just want something that floats, we can do that too. If you decide you want to take the kayak home, you can apply the rental price towards the purchase of the kayak. Kayaking at ADVENTURES is a great way to get introduced to the sport.
- Get your own Boat– Canoeing usually require two people working together. If you are not into “partnering” , well that is fine because that is why we have kayaks. Not to mention it has been our experience that sometimes couples work better without the stress of navigating the river in the same boat. Nonetheless you will find having your own kayak offers a level of control and solitude that canoeing can not offer.
Paddling is more fun with more people! For that reason rafts are becoming more popular. You can fit up to six people in one raft. Be advised to take water and snacks when rafting. Rafting usually takes twice as long as a canoe or kayak. We only do rafting trips on Crocketts Run. The average trip is about 2-3 hours depending on water levels. Rafts are not rented when water is to low, this is common in late July or August. Contact a staff member for more information. Hard coolers and pets are not allowed on rafts. You will not find any whitewater or massive waterfalls on the Hocking River. Unlike whitewater rivers, the Hocking is a class I, meaning few rapids. A guide is not necessary (although one can be provided if you wish). Without a guide you will be able to stop at the rock formations and sandbars that you find interesting. Rafting on the Hocking River is perfect for young kids, inexperienced paddlers and groups. A raft may be your best option if you have young kids and are worried about them moving around in a canoe. A raft has more room, so kids can move around without encountering the possibility of capsizing. The flat bottom on the raft provides stability for inexperienced paddlers. One final advantage is a raft can hold 4-6 adults as opposed to canoe or kayak which can only hold 1-2 people. Rafting on the Hocking River is dependent on river conditions. Since rafts are larger more water flow is needed. Traditionally in the late summer water conditions are too shallow for rafting. Please check online for availability or call us. Rafts are by reservations only.
Advantages of Rafting:
- Stay Together– Promote family togetherness or group bonding with these large six person rafts.
Looking for something fun to do while in the Hocking Hills? Well grab a tube and head out on the river! Tubing is arguably one of summer’s most refreshing activities. We make tubing convenient and easy. Be prepared to relax the entire day as you float leisurely downstream. Depending on water conditions the trip will either starts at Crocketts Run and concludes at the Canoe Livery (typically spring and earlier summer) or start at Riverside Campground and conclude at Crocketts Run (typically late summer). The trip is approximately 5 miles and time varies greatly depending on water level. If water conditions are high it could take 2-3 hours, if water conditions are lower it could take up to 5 hours. The best advice is to check our river conditions page to see what the water conditions will be during the day of your trip. Tubing can be a strenuous activity. When choosing a tubing excursion it is important to keep these things in mind. Weight limit is 200 pounds for a tube. Anymore weight could cause the tube to burst on the river’s rocky terrain. It is highly recommended that you are in reasonable physical condition. You do not take a paddle on a tube and may be required to swim for an extended period of time. Tubing season is Memorial Day to Labor Day depending on the water temperatures and weather. Call ahead for availability. Reservations are required. We are currently only taking reservations for groups of ten or more for tubes due to the social distancing necessary on our transports. Please call a reservation specialist. Cost is $20 per tube.
Advantages of Tubing:
- Leisure– If you have the entire day to simply relax then tubing is the way to go! Float all day in the river no paddling needed!