Frequently Asked Questions
I don't have my own kayak. Can I rent one?
Yes! You can reserve a kayak online with our friends at Coastal Kayak. Visit coastalkayak.com for details. Reservations MUST be made in advance of Paddlefest. The crew at Coastal Kayak will deliver the rental kayaks to the launching point and a Coastal staff member will be present to check you in. 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 are required.
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.
Can I bring my canoe or pedal kayak?
We have had a few canoes complete our paddlefest course, but there are some areas that get very shallow during low tide which can be a struggle for those in canoes (low tide at Savages Ditch is around 1-1:30 p.m. on the day of Paddlefest).
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 you can only imagine that 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:
I've never been kayaking before. Can I still come?
We highly recommend having some paddling experience under your belt before partaking in Paddlefest. Four miles is A LOT for beginners. We would highly recommend signing up for one of our Kayak Eco-Tours prior to August 15. 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 28 shows up on the weather forecast! However, if the weather is uncertain, we will not make any major decisions until a few days out.
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:
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.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes! We have had dogs as passengers in kayaks in previous years and it was super cute! We do recommend taking your dog paddling prior to paddlefest if you've never done so before. Your dog is also required to be on a leash at all times on land, and never left unattended. For more details onn the state parks pet policy, please visit https://www.destateparks.com/Know/Pets
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.
I'm not local, do you have recommendations on where to stay that weekend?
Stay in the park!