Watch CBS News

Kayaking Pittsburgh

(Source: KDKA)

By Jessica LaRosa

Let's face it – not everyone can afford the luxury of a boat this summer. Luckily, boating isn't the only way to enjoy the awesome rivers and lakes of our city. Kayak Pittsburgh offers a great, affordable alternative allowing adventurers of all ages to enjoy our city's beautiful rivers – kayaking! Even National Geographic agrees that Pittsburgh is the perfect place to kayak, ranking the 'Burgh 3rd on its list of the Six Best Cities to Kayak. With two locations currently open for business and a third set to open in the near future, Kayak Pittsburgh provides the perfect opportunity for beginner and experienced kayakers to get out and explore! There's absolutely no experience necessary, as most people get the hang of the specially designed flat-water kayaks after just a few minutes of being out on the water. Even so, all participants are given safety and paddling instructions before launch, and everyone is required to wear a personal flotation device to ensure safety. There's pretty much no excuse for not trying it out!

Kayak Pittsburgh - Downtown

Under the 6th Street Bridge (Roberto Clemente Bridge), near PNC Park
Phone: 412.969.9090
June – September
Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM – Dusk
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – Dusk
Monday – Friday: Closed
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – Dusk

Kayak Pittsburgh's downtown location is the most popular destination for kayaking around the city. You can ride solo or tandem, making this trip either an adventurous afternoon with friends, a fun day trip with the family, or perhaps a romantic evening for two! You'll begin your journey in the Allegheny River, right alongside the scenic North Shore. From there, the course is entirely up to you! One popular destination is Point State Park, where the up-close views of the city and the famous fountain at the Point are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Or, for a total of 3 miles roundtrip, you can head up the Allegheny River to Washington's Landing. No matter your company, kayaking is bound to be a new adventure for everyone – and you won't even realize that you're getting a great work-out at the same time!

Kayak Pittsburgh - Lake Elizabeth

599 W North Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA
May 28 – September 5
Thursday – Friday: 4:00 PM – Dusk
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – Dusk

Located on Pittsburgh's North Side, in the historic Allegheny Commons, Kayak Pittsburgh's Lake Elizabeth location offers beginners and families a more relaxed environment for kayaking. The lake is only 3 feet deep and its waters are consistently calm, so this is a perfect spot to try out kayaking before testing your skills on the river. Not only will you get practice your paddling, you'll also be treated to fantastic views of the city and the surrounding area. Speaking of the area, while you're here, feel free to check out the National Aviary – a short walk away from Lake Elizabeth. And for the art enthusiast, the Mattress Factory will be showcasing hands-on art activities every Thursday from 4-7pm. Need more incentive to try out this location? Rental rates on Thursdays and Fridays are free!

Kayak Pittsburgh - North Park

North Park Boathouse
North Park Lake
Allison Park, PA
Hours: Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – Dusk

Kayak Pittsburgh's 3rd location at North Park is currently closed due to the dredging of North Park Lake, but as the project is estimated to wrap up soon, kayakers may be able to get out on the lake before the end of the month. This is another great lake option that offers calmer waters and added convenience to our readers to the north.

Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently residing in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.