FOMR's Paddle Trips
From about April to September, Friends of the Middle River offers monthly group or self-led, bring-your-own-boat paddle trips on Middle River (and occasionally on other local rivers) using FOMR volunteers who love to share Middle River with folks. Our goal is to help FOMR members and the public get introduced to the River which has no public access. Our hope is that once you have experienced access to Middle River, you will feel more confident and comfortable going back and paddling on your own through our River Access Program.
Sometimes the trips are thematic-- like fishing, birding, moonlight, bluebell or paw paw float trips. We vary the sections of the River we paddle. We offer occasional, alluring night float trips, and this year we are trying out an overnight Paddle and Camp Skill-Building trip! Some floats have no particular theme.
Required Skill Level
The Middle River is generally a very good beginner-level river to paddle. At normal water levels, there are no rapids that are greater than a category I. It is entirely possible to overturn in Middle River, but when someone falls out in a rapid, the water should not be too deep nor too swift for the person to self-rescue—at normal water levels. Our trips are designed to be easy-paced. Most trips last two to four hours on the water. Unless otherwise stated for any given trip, anyone with a canoe or kayak can participate.
Some of our trips—including our night trips—are more difficult. Trips on upper Middle River, night paddles, and camping paddles are not for persons who have never paddled in moving current before or who do not have basic paddling competency and physical strength and balance. On these trips, we require that participants ability to steer, stop, hold their boat still in moving water. Competent paddlers of all ages are welcome in our more challenging trips.
FOMR’s paddle trip program offers opportunities for "common adventurers” to come together to paddle. Our trip volunteers are not required to have any specific training—they are just FOMR members who are willing to help others experience the River. They are not group leaders or guides.
As a participant, you are responsible for determining if you are prepared for a particular trip on this river. Paddling can be quite dangerous. All trip participants assume full responsibility for their own safety. If you would like to discuss a trips suitability for your skills, feel free to contact Kate at email@example.com.
Also, we have a self-assessment tool at the button towards the left top of this page.
How big are the groups? Can anyone sign up?
On our group trips, the group usually contain between 5-15 boats. FOMR plans the trips, secures the landowner access permissions, recruits volunteers, and coordinates vehicle shuttles to put-in and take-out sites. Our trips are popular, and we maintain waiting lists when trips fill. All participants must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket and a whistle. No alcohol or recreational substance use is allowed prior to paddling.
What if the weather is lousy?
Canoe and kayak events— by their nature— are subject to change or cancellation due to high water, weather or other natural hazardous conditions. If there is any question as to whether any given float trip is on, stay in close touch with us, as we will do with you! We always schedule a back-up rain date for every trip, and we make the final call about whether to go or postpone usually the day before the trip. Any questions, please email the Watershed Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-609-8267.