Kayakers on Lake Lanier

Anyone can get on the water at Lake Lanier Olympic Park by renting a canoe or kayak

The Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club can put a paddle in your hand and set you out on a relaxing 2-hour tour or launch you into an on-the-water adventure this summer at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.  On May 29, the paddle club opens its recreational rental season, offering canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats, and dragon boats for walk-ups and reservation holders.

LCKC spokesperson Jim O’Dell said families and friend groups started making reservations for dragon boat rentals back in February. “We’ve had at least one reservation made nearly every week,” he said. The 10- and 20-person boats are a popular choice for family reunions and friendly celebrations. The boat party also gets an LCKC coach/steersperson. “This is only by reservation at least one week prior so we can get a coach lined up,” O’Dell said.

Although reservations are not required for the other watercraft, O’Dell recommends them to assure adventurers get the type of boat they want. “During those summer hours we have staff in the rental shack ready to assist those many, many walk-up adventurers showing up at the park.  Reservations are nice as sometimes we can be nearly sold-out unless we hold some aside for those who previously reserved,” he said.

An LCKC staff member asks each visitor about their paddle experience and if they have loaded from a dock before. They then demonstrate how to enter and exit the boat safely. LCKC athletes also instruct paddlers how to use offset blades to maneuver their craft of choice and fit them in a personal flotation device.

O’Dell said a common question regarding canoes is if they can hold more than two people. Two adults and two children ages 10 and younger can sit in a canoe, with the adults on both ends and the children in the middle.

O’Dell expects a busy season, similar to last year when many city dwellers sought outdoor experiences during the coronavirus shutdown. “Last summer and into the autumn we had families coming from as far away as Macon to get on the water with several having their first time out of their homes since the pandemic hit.  It was a real blessing to be able to offer that service for people to get out of the house in a safe, outdoor environment,” he said.

LCKC Paddle Craft Rentals

Boats available: Single and double canoes and kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, pedal boats and dragon boats.
Rental dates/time: Beginning May 29: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays; by reservation on weekdays.
Where: Lake Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd., Gainesville
Cost: Single kayaks, canoes, SUPs $20 first hour, $10 additional hours; double kayaks $30/$10; pedal boats $25 per hour; dragon boats 10-person, $180; 20-person $270 for 90 minutes.
Reservations: Required for dragon boat rental. Four-hour to full-day rentals of other crafts are available by reservation at least 48 hours in advance.
Reservations: info@lckc.org.
Information: LCKC.org, 770-287-7888