Jun 8, 2021 - News

Des Moines to consider new river rentals program

People canoeing on a river.

Canoes like these would be available for rent at Captain Roy's later this month under a plan that goes before the DSM City Council Monday. Photo courtesy of Quarry Springs Outfitters

You might soon be able to rent stand-up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and bicycles at Captain Roy's under a plan that goes before the City Council next week.

Why it matters: Recreation is a big piece of the planned $117 million Central Iowa Water Trails project that's been in the works for years, and the rental program could pave the way for more water activities.

Details: Rentals will begin this month if the plan wins approval, Wade Thompson, an owner of CR's, told Axios.

  • A shuttle will be available to take people and equipment from CR's to an upstream starting point on the DSM River, near Euclid Avenue.
  • The equipment will be run by Quarry Springs Outfitters, the same group that began offering similar excursions down Beaver Creek from Johnston last year.

Be smart: This year's excursions will start small to avoid possible safety dangers associated with an upstream bridge project. But the route is expected to more than double in length in upcoming years.

  • A roughly two-hour trip will cost about $25 in rental fees.

The big picture: Water recreation is expanding on our local rivers, and metro officials are trying to make it better and safer.

  • DSM yesterday announced crews finished work on a bioreactor to improve water quality in the Easter Lake Watershed.
  • General guidelines to help motorists and paddle-boaters avoid accidents on DSM waters are in the works, Quarry Springs owner Greg Rhames told Axios.

What's next: The City Council will vote on the plan June 14.


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