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Kayak and Canoe Trip options in southeast Iowa are many and varied. 
River Basin Canoe & Kayak provides river trips on area rivers for large and small groups. Available rentals include single recreational kayaks, single touring kayaks, double recreational kayaks and 17 foot aluminum canoes that will seat three adults. Rentals include paddles and lifejackets. We also have a limited number of two person kayaks for rent. Rentals are by advance reservation. River Basin can provide shuttle service or you can arrange to pick up the boats.
Water level gauges for Iowa Rivers.
Geode State Park Lake features a quiet lake, swim beach, camping, modern shower facilities, hiking and biking trails. We can meet you at Geode and help you launch your boats and when you finish you give us a call and we pick up the boats. You may also pick up boats from our shop and take them to Geode yourself. 
Please contact us about updates and meeting places.
Geode State Park info

Big Hollow is a 178 acre lake offering hunting, fishing, camping, archery, shooting range, a model airplane field and an operating observatory. River Basin can provide canoe or kayak delivery to Big Hollow or you may pick up rentals at our shop. 
The kayak launch is a short hike downhill from the campground restrooms.  Please park in the campground area and walk to the launch.
Big Hollow Recreation Area info

Odessa Water Trail is a mapped area of circular routes in the Mississippi backwater area that makes up Odessa Wildlife Management Area and Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge.  There are 6 canoe access areas, hike and bike trails and one camping area. Water levels vary during the year so visit the website for the latest information. River Basin can provide canoe or kayak delivery to your starting point or you may pick up rentals at our shop. 
Louisa County parks info
Odessa Water trail info & Lake Odessa kayak trail map

Skunk River info.  The most popular Skunk river route is from Faulkner's Landing near Oakland Mills to Stephenson's park in Lowell.  River routes require you to have shuttle service or park your own shuttle vehicles at both end of the route.  
Henry County parks info
Skunk River level at Augusta (south of our usual route)

Iowa River info.  The most popular route on the Iowa River is from Schwob Access in Wapello to Cappy Russell Access at Oakville. River routes require you to have shuttle service or park your own shuttle vehicles at both end of the route. 
Louisa County parks info
Iowa water level at Wapello
Iowa water level at Oakville
RENTAL RATES per day.  Canoes and kayaks may be picked up at our shop or we will provide shuttle service to area lakes and rivers.  
* all rates are before tax

Canoes: $37/day including paddles and lifejackets for two people.
Capacity is three adults or two adults and two children. There are two fixed seats in a canoe. Extra passengers will sit on the floor (we suggest you bring a seat or pad).

Kayaks: $37/day small recreational or sit-on-top kayak for one.
$47/day for recreational kayak for two.
$47/day for one person touring kayak.
Note: a recreational kayak is a wide, stable craft that usually takes very little experience to feel comfortable paddling.
Rental rate includes paddles and lifejackets

Inflatable SUP boards: $37/day
Rental rate includes paddle and lifejacket

SOL Party board - call for a quote
Stand up paddle board holds up to 6 people (or coolers, or dogs - your choice)
SOL Party board requires set up and pick up by River Basin staff and is limited to Lake Geode and Big Hollow usage.

Shuttle service: Rates for local rivers and lakes vary by round trip distance from our shop. Shuttle service includes delivery and pick up of boat and gear and people shuttle as needed. This rate is per car or per trailer that we provide and depends on the size / efficiency of shuttle vehicle used. 10 boats can be transported on one trailer. Shuttle charge is a fuel cost charge, and due to volatile oil pricing, is prone to change with market fluctuations.

Help Us Help You!

The following information can help us plan the most enjoyable paddle for you:

Frequently Asked Rental Questions

Do I need shuttle service? 
You may pick up canoes and kayaks from our shop at no extra charge. A pick-up truck with an open bed is usually required. We also rent some car topping equipment. If we transport canoes, kayaks and/or people the shuttle fees apply.

How long will I be on the water? We can give you a good idea of how long a river trip will take based on current water conditions.  If you go to a lake and we provide shuttle service we arrange the time to meet you and to pick up.  It's really up to you.

Are there rapids or whitewater? All of the southeast Iowa rivers are calm water with current that varies with the water level. We do not allow rentals to go out if the water level is too high or fast to be safe. There is no whitewater available in this part of the state.

How will we get back to our vehicle? Do we paddle up-river? Shuttle service is available for canoes or kayaks and the people who rent them. In most rental situations your vehicle will be parked at the take-out (end) of your paddle. You and your boat will be shuttled to the put-in (beginning) of the paddle. While you can paddle up stream it takes much longer and is not nearly as enjoyable as paddling with the current.

Is it safe? How deep is the water? With the exception of the Mississippi, most of the area rivers average 3 - 5 feet deep. As in any sporting activity, your behavior determines your safety. You will be supplied a lifejacket which we request you wear throughout your trip. You can swim in any of the rivers. To do this your canoe or kayak should be secured on shore before you enter the water. The waters and region we paddle are very peaceful and not challenged by power boaters as a rule.

How do we make a reservation? Reservations are on a first come first serve basis any day of the week. Call us at 1-800-RIVER-12 or e:mail us at

River Basin Canoe & Kayak

13038 Hwy 61 North 
Burlington, IA
319-752-1857 or 1-800-RIVER-12
Fridays 1 PM - 6 PM
Saturdays 10 AM - 6 PM
Sundays noon - 4 PM

Calls taken outside of open hours

All other times by private Appointment. Give us a call!
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