What We Do

Paddle Sports Porter Service

Want to enjoy an afternoon paddle without having to stage cars and haul equipment? Our Paddle Sports Porter Service provides flexible launch and pickup options, complete gear outfitting, and the assistance of our knowledgeable staff – everything you need to have a fun, convenient excursion on the Milwaukee River!

downtown canoeingEnjoy a fun new view of downtown Milwaukee!

How Does it Work?

Available to contributing members of the Center who have taken our free Watercraft Lending Orientation (formerly known as the Water Safety Course), the Paddle Sports Porter Service lets you create a customized Friday or Saturday outing by selecting from our available options.

  1. First, register and reserve your desired watercraft from the available dates.
  2. Once you've registered, contact us at (414) 964-8505 to schedule your launch and return times.

    Launch Options:
    Pick up your boat and equipment at the Milwaukee Rowing Club Boathouse (1990 E North Commerce St). Schedule a launch time during one of the following blocks of time on the day of your reservation:
    • 10:00–11:30 AM
    • 1:00–2:30 PM

    Return Options:
    Paddle a bit or paddle a bunch – it's up to you! Tailor your outing by choosing a return time from the following four options:
    • 10:00–11:30 AM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 1:00–2:30 PM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 4:00–4:30 PM at the Rowing Club Boathouse
    • 3–3:30 PM from the public dock on the Menomonee River under N. Emmber Lane at Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and returned to the Boathouse.
    Learn more about which option is best for you!
  3. Arrive on the day of your reservation at your scheduled launch time and the Urban Ecology Center staff will get you geared up and assist you in launching your boat.
  4. Enjoy paddling the Milwaukee River!

What does it cost?

The Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service is available to Urban Ecology Center members and costs $15 dollars per boat.

Not a member but want to use the service? Join or renew today!

What's included?

  • Canoe or kayak
  • Paddles
  • PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
  • Dock rope
  • Dry bag
  • A ride back to the Boathouse if that option is selected
  • The assistance of an Urban Ecology Center staff person to help you launch your boat and answer any questions you might have about the route.

Photo by Chris Winters
Let us handle the gear and work of launching your boat! Photo: Chris Winters

How long is the paddle?

To paddle at a leisurely pace from the Rowing Club Boathouse to the harbor and back to the Boathouse is about 5 miles, and will take most people about 2.5–3 hours paddling non-stop. Be sure to build in extra time if you plan to stop to eat along the way at one of the many riverside restaurants, or to take a mid-paddle break and stretch your legs at Pere-Marquette Park.

Paddling time from the Boathouse to the pick-up location on the Menomonee River is about 3 miles and takes roughly 1.5–2 hours. Again, be sure to account for extra time in your trip if you plan to make any stops along the way.

What happens if I miss my return/pickup time?

The Urban Ecology Center staff running the shuttle will provide you with a phone number to call if you need assistance on the day of your paddle. Anytime during your paddle you can call to switch your desired return option. If you miss the last return time, we will still pick you up, but you will be assessed a $25 special pick-up fee.

What if there's inclement weather on the day of my reservation?

If there is moderate to heavy precipitation, high winds, or temperatures lower than 60 degrees on the day of your shuttle reservation, an Urban Ecology Center staff person will call you to cancel the shuttle for the day. You will receive a full refund if the shuttle is cancelled due to weather.

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Our Community, Our Solution: Washington Park Job & Resource Event

Washington Park

Monday, March 19th

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

More Details...

Nature Rangers: Monday Series

Riverside Park

Monday, March 19th

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

Find event


Email Sign-Up

Which Emails would you like to receive?

Connect Now

facebook instagram twitter linkedin snapchat

Get Involved

Become a member today!

Copyright © 2016 The Urban Ecology Center. Website by Savvy Panda.