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  • I don't have my own kayak. Can I rent one?
    Yes! Rentals are available through Coastal Kayak and Quest Kayak. Reservations MUST be made in advance of Paddlefest. The kayak rental companies will deliver the rental kayaks to the launch point and a kayak rental staff member will be present. They will pick up your kayak at the end of the course - no need to transport anything! Please note that you MUST wear your PFD at all times, closed-toe shoes that can get wet, and sun protection. Coastal Kayak Info: Website: Phone: 302-539-7999 Online Booking Link: Quest Adventures Info: Website: Phone: 302-745-2925 Email:
  • Can I bring a Stand Up Paddleboard?
    Yes! However, please be prepared to paddle 4+ miles, which can be much more challenging on an SUP than in the kayak. Please also note that our safety crew members are not trained in SUP safety and rescue, so you are truly paddling at your own risk. Additionally, this year’s event is occurring at low tide, which can mean a more challenging paddle for stand up paddleboarders.
  • Can I bring my canoe or pedal kayak?
    We have had a few canoes complete our Paddlefest course, but there are some areas that do get very shallow. This will be especially true this year. If you are in a canoe or pedal-drive kayak, you may not be able to follow the projected course.
  • Where do I park? Where do I launch? Where is the finish line? How does all of this actually work?!
    With a one-way paddling course, the logistics of Paddlefest can get a little bit goofy. But have no fear - park staff and volunteers will be eager and happy to assist you! Here's what your day will look like: Arrive at Savages Ditch (located 1 mile north of the Indian River Inlet bridge on the bayside). If you brought your own kayak: Unload your kayak in the designated area, check in under the picnic pavilion, park your car at Tower Road Oceanside, shuttle to Savages Ditch to launch. If you have rented a kayak from Coastal Kayak or Quest Kayak, park your car at Tower Road Oceanside shuttle to Savages Ditch, check in under the picnic pavilion, prepare for launch. Launch! Follow the course arrows, follow along on Google maps, enjoy the views, and chat with park staff along the way. The 4.25-mile course ends at Tower Road Bayside. Here, after you've relaxed for a moment, hop on the Delaware State Parks shuttle bus to get back to your car. Drive back to Tower Road Bayside, load up your kayak, and head to the After-Party! (You are also welcome to leave a second car at Tower Road Bayside to avoid using the shuttle service.)
  • How long will it take to paddle the whole course?
    The average Paddlefest participant completes the course in about 2 hours; however, we've had some experienced folks that finish in as little as an hour and 15 minutes. Please keep this in mind as you choose a launch time. If you are experienced and want to get a workout, we recommend choosing a later launch time, so you don't have any down-time between paddling and the party (11:00 am to 4:00 pm). If you are not as experienced and want to have a leisurely day on the water, choose an earlier launch time so you get to enjoy everything the after-party has to offer.
  • I've never been kayaking before. Can I still come?
    YES! But we highly recommend having some paddling experience under your belt before partaking in Paddlefest. Four miles can be a lot for some beginners. We would highly recommend signing up for one of our Kayak Eco-Tours prior to August 20. The Eco-Tour is 2.5 miles long and will give you a good idea as to whether or not you can handle the full, 4-mile Paddlefest course! For details on our summer Eco-Tours, please call (302) 227-6991.
  • What happens if the weather is bad?
    Our staff will be closely watching the weather as soon as August 26th shows up on the weather forecast! However, if the weather is uncertain, we will not make any major decisions until a few days out. If there is a strong wind out of the North, we will likely reverse the course direction (we did this in 2019 and it worked out well). If rain is in the forecast, we will still paddle. If thunderstorms are likely, we will probably need to cancel, but we may not make that call until Friday. Unless we have torrential downpours or a hurricane, the After-Party will still happen! If we need to cancel the course, you may choose to donate your ticket fee to the park, or you may receive a partial refund. The cost of t-shirts will not be refunded; however, they will be available for pick up. The location and time are to be determined.
  • Do you have a safety protocol in place?
    Safety on the water is of the utmost importance across all Delaware State Parks! Here's what we've done to ensure a safe day out on the water: We have marine event permits from the U.S. Coast Guard and Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife. We have park staff scattered throughout the course that are certified in kayak rescues and safety through the American Canoe Association and/or the American Red Cross. Almost all staff working Paddlefest are certified in basic First Aid & CPR. We have 2 designated emergency pull-out locations marked on the course for true emergencies. These are areas in which a vehicle can pull right up to the water's edge. All staff working Paddlefest are trained on the park's emergency-preparedness protocol.
  • Can anyone come to the After-Party?
    Yes! The After-Party is open to non-paddling friends/family, as well as the general public. Free Park entry is only available to Paddlefest participants.
  • Will there be a family course this year? Is there a minimum age to participate?
    Due to the vast majority of participants paddling the 4-mile course in 2019, we have decided to discontinue the shorter family course. However, if you are participating with young children, or you don't feel you're up for the 4-mile course, you are more than welcome to paddle to the first or second educational stop, and then turn around to head back to the beginning. Roundtrip, this is about a 1.5-2 mile distance.
  • I'm not local, do you have recommendations on where to stay that weekend?
    Stay in the park! We have beautiful waterfront cottages for rent on the north side of the inlet. Details can be found at If you'd prefer to camp, we have a campground with both tent sites, standard sites, and full hook-up sites. Details can be found at There are also campgrounds and cabins available at Cape Henlopen State Park (14 miles away) and Trap Pond State Park (32 miles away with BEAUTIFUL kayaking opportunities). If you'd prefer to stay in a hotel nearby, listings can be found at
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