Kayaking on the Arkansas River

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided a discount in exchange for an honest review of my experience kayaking on the Arkansas River with Rock Town River Outfitters.

On the last weekend of spring break, I surprised the Hubs with an adventure of kayaking on the Arkansas River.

But here’s the thing –

I don’t do outside activities.

Like ever.

I’m a total inside kind of gal.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

To this day, I have no idea what possessed me to call Samuel at Rock Town River Outfitters and arrange a morning tour with him on his kayaks. All I know, is my friend Lori from Lori Sparkman Photogaphy raved about him in a post on Facebook, and I was immediately intrigued. It seemed the perfect activity to surprise the Hubs with since I knew he would never in a million years guess that I had planned a morning on kayaks.

A) We had the unusual luxury of childcare for several days since the girls had gone to stay with my parents for part of spring break.

B) I’m full of adventure, despite what all the naysayers will tell you.

After I made arrangements with Samuel, I told the Hubs to reserve Saturday morning but told him nothing more.

Did I mention that Samuel also happened to be the fiddler for our wedding and his parents own the amazing venue where the Hubs and I got married? It truly is such a small world!

When the Hubs saw the kayaks at Rockwater Marina, he was in disbelief that I had scheduled such an adventure. Once he realized, I had, indeed, scheduled this, he then figured that the two kayaks he saw were for him and Samuel and that I was not going in the water.

Nope.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

We learned the seating positions are really important as leg/knee placement is an important factor in keeping your kayak from tipping over.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

Samuel, who worked in outdoor adventures for several years in Colorado, joined us in the water in his own kayak, which he has decorated with memorabilia from his travels and fun times over the years.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

Keep in mind that I have never been in a kayak and have not even been in a canoe or any type of small boat since I was a kid. And I think it might have only been once. Like I said – inside girl.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

The wind kept the water pretty choppy at 9:30ish near the marina. I had a bit of trouble getting my paddle to work in my favor in the choppy waters.

Samuel gave me some simple yet effective instructions for how to hold the paddle and how to place it in the water. He assured me that once we got further away from the marina, the water would become more calm. And it did.

Once we were just a few minutes in, I felt quite calm and secure in my kayak. I never felt like I was going to fall out or tip over beyond the first couple of minutes. Of course, most of those initial feelings were simply from trying something new and different.

We paddled out into the main body of the Arkansas River. Who would have ever thought I would be paddling myself around in the Arkansas River, crossing under a railroad bridge, the new Broadway Bridge, the Main Street Bridge, and the I-30 Bridge?!

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

It. Was. So. Cool.

We also passed the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum which is a historic submarine parked in the Arkansas River.

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

In total, we completed a two-mile paddle, ending near where we had parked our car earlier in the day at a parking area near I-30. I was having so much fun that I didn’t want the tour to be over!

 

Kayaking on the Arkansas River - Explore Arkansas - Rock Town River Outfitters - Little Rock - Kayak - The Gifted Gabber

Check out our video to see more kayaking on the Arkansas River.

 

Samuel offers different tours. I’m really intrigued by his sunrise and sunset tours that he offers occasionally.

For someone like me who is not overly adventurous and is a true beginner at nearly everything outdoorsy, a kayak tour with Rock Town River Outfitters was the perfect experience. Samuel is very patient and gives simple instructions on what to do and what not to do. He is nearby in his own kayak and seems to have a great knowledge of the river.

For someone like the Hubs, who has a lot of experience outdoors and on water, this is still a great opportunity to do something enjoyable and familiar but in a new territory as many don’t have much close-up experience with the Arkansas River. Not that many can say they have been kayaking on the Arkansas River.

If you are interested in kayaking on the Arkansas River, check out Rock Town River Outfitters on Facebook.

4 comments

  1. Ashley says:

    This looks so fun! What a great date idea. Going to have to try this near me. There’s a huge lake and we haven’t even been on it yet. Good job getting out there!

  2. Working Mum says:

    Sounds so much fun and what beautiful photos! We have kayaked in some random places – sea kayaking in South Africa, along a river in France, across Lake Malawi…and I always find it such a relaxing way to take in breathless scenery and a great way to unwind. Maybe I find it relaxing because long suffering husband always complains I only do about 20% of the work whenever we share a double kayak lol. Now that you have started you will have to keep it up! 🙂

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