Lewis and Clark explored North America's territories by paddling canoes, deeming it much more awe-inspiring than squatting behind Thomas Jefferson's couch and pantomiming a paddle and canoe. Traverse similar waterways with today's Groupon to Bellbrook Canoe Rental on the Little Miami River. Choose between the following options:
- For $18, you get a canoe rental down the Little Miami River (a $36 value). At least one person using the canoe must have a driver's license, and only one Groupon is needed for each canoe.
- For $175, you get a single enrollment in Boys & Girls Kayak Camp (a $350 value). The camp is for children in grades 4–8, and takes place June 20–23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Optional overnight camping on June 24 starting at 5 p.m.
Waterbound adventurers captain vessels from Bellbrook Canoe Rental for a 2–3 hour jaunt through the babbling streams of Little Miami River, a State Scenic River with sprawling vistas of flora and fauna. Two canoers (a third can be added for $15, children under 12 are free) can paddle sans doggy technique through a 5.2-mile waterway, gliding past hemlock and juniper plants, cutting through dolomite bedrock, and observing various species of birds, including the majestic Larry, whose summer migration patterns include smooth layups and chirping after sunken jump shots. Trips begin at the top of the hour every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends at Bellbrook Canoe Rental, but canoe crews should arrive 20 minutes early so the staff can supply each paddler with a life jacket and transportation upriver for drop-off.
The Boys & Girls Kayak Camp immerses children in four days of kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. The camp's counselors teach safe water navigation and how to escape the grips of a blue gill's giant fishing hook. Each camper leaves with a T-shirt and a rich, indelible memory of exploring the outdoors. Parents need to supply their budding boaters with a lunch.
Bellbrook Canoe Rental
There's no speed requirement on the Little Miami River—drifting leisurely on a tube is just as respectable as cutting through the water in a sleek kayak. Both vehicles afford scenic views, as well as opportunities to rest and swim. Of course, there's always the canoe to consider. The large boats fit up to three people, making them the most social of the three options at Bellbrook Canoe Rental. Pairs and trios can take them on one of two jaunts down the river's path: a 3-mile trip beginning at Bellbrook Bridge, or a 5.2-mile trip that departs from Narrows Reserve in Beavercreek.
Regardless of the route, each adventure satisfies first-time paddlers and expert boaters alike. The family-owned rental company has 160 canoes and kayaks that they lend to small groups as well as schools, scouting organizations, and astronauts who would prefer to ease into the water portion of their weightlessness training. For gatherings off the water, there's also three shelter houses available to customers free of charge.
3234 Washington Mill Rd.
Bellbrook, Ohio 45305