Take a Canoe trip at Louisville’s Shawnee and Riverview parks

Louisville, Ky., – The “Canoemobile” is making its annual stop in Louisville on October 2-3, bringing fun and exploration through free trips for all ages on 24-foot Voyageur canoes on the Ohio River. The program, locally in its fourth year, is organized by Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division based at Jefferson Memorial Forest in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, Inc. of Minneapolis.

Funding for this year’s event is being offered by Metro Council members Rick Blackwell, Cheri Bryant Hamilton, Jessica Green , David Tandy, Vicki Aubrey Welch, Cindi Fowler, and David Yates.

metro parks logo


Additional funding support is being provided by the National Park Service through the Outdoor Foundation. The Canoemobile will offer rides from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Shawnee Park on Friday, Oct. 2 and at Riverview Park on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, schoolchildren from The Catalpa School (formerly Maupin Elementary) and West End Middle School will be taking canoe rides and participating in hands-on environmental science activities as part of Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors environmental education initiative.

As part of this education day, staff from the Forest and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will set up education stations for items such as fishing and water quality. This is the first year that an education day has been added to the program and program partners intend to expand this component to additional schools in future years.

kids in canoe

 “The Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program is a fun and safe way to introduce kids to the outdoors and part of our mission to expand outdoor recreation opportunities in the Louisville area,” said Seve Ghose, Director of Metro Parks and Recreation. “We encourage everyone who is interested to come and take advantage of this great opportunity.”   

The Voyageur canoes are safe, stable and can carry 9 participants per ride. Safety equipment and trained staff will be provided.  Organizers suggest wearing comfortable outdoor clothing that can get wet, but no flip-flops. Water coolers will be available, so bring a refillable water bottle. Food also will be available for purchase.

Pre-registration is not required, and all trips will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Trips will leave every 30 minutes. All participants must sign a waiver, and those under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Forms can be found at memorialforest.com. Metro Parks is monitoring river conditions due to the algae bloom and will post updates on its effect on the Canoemobile program at memorialforest.com and on social media.


10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Shawnee Park 4501 West Broadway 40211

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Riverview Park 8202 Greenwood Rd 40258

About Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division

The 6,681 acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war, is Jefferson County’s largest nature preserve and one of the largest municipal urban forests in the nation.  The Forest is the flagship of Metro Parks’ Natural Areas Division which is entrusted with providing stewardship, nature-based educational programming, and outdoor recreation within nearly 7,000 acres of forest, meadow, and riparian habitat across Louisville Metro. Jefferson Memorial Forest offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, Horseback riding trails, picnic areas, and the new Go Ape! treetop adventure course. For more information or to volunteer, go to www.memorialforest.com.

About The Canoemobile

The Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six, 24-foot Voyageur canoes that travels across America to bring environmental literacy to urban youth. Started in 2010, the Canoemobile is the national extension of the highly successful Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA). From San Francisco to the Bronx, communities across the United States have welcomed Canoemobile on their local rivers and lakes, serving thousands of youth and adults of all backgrounds and abilities along the way.