Trip Planner

We’re offering a list of tips, tricks, guidelines, suggestions
and things to remember as you plan you trip.
+1. Planning your paddle trip….

  • Call ahead to check weather & river conditions, it may be raining where you are but may not be where we are! Our website and FaceBook pages keep the water level information posted.
  • Reservations are required for all overnight trips, holiday weekends, and Saturdays. The best time to call is after lunch. In the mornings, staff is busy checking customers in. The worse time to call is just before the departure times, you may get the answering machine or a staff member busy with check-in and they can’t give you their full attention.
  • If calling to change a reservation, you must be the person who made the reservation. Only the person who made the reservation can make changes.
  • Kayak rentals require a reservation. We have a limited number of kayaks but plenty of canoes. Check out the kayak page so you can determine what kind of kayak you want before you get here.
  • Prices are per canoe/kayak with two people. Solo and tandem kayaks are the same price. Price is the same if there is only one person. All prices are plus 7.5% sales tax. Extra people in the middle cost extra. Folks, 13 and older, are an extra $15 per person per day. Kids, 12 and under, are free. We charge by the boat and by the day, not the length of the trip.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to Arcadia. There always seems to be construction on one of the highways leading to Arcadia. Some of the roads are only two lanes, depends on which one you choose. If coming from the east on SR 70 plan extra time, the lure of the Super Wal-Mart is a proven show stopper. Arcadia is also a small town; speed limits are lower in the downtown area.
  • Do not use MapQuest. You will get a tour of the landfill. MapQuest does not work in rural areas. They have told us our location is wrong and we’ve been in the same spot since 1969. Use our directions on the website, Google Maps, or GPS. If you do get lost, just call. Before you call, pick out a landmark because if you can tell us what you see or the last place you passed, we can usually figure out where you are and get you on the right road.
  • Please, no glass. Broken glass is dangerous in the river and in the trash. People can get hurt. We do not have glass recycling and our county does not even have regular recycling. Residents and businesses have to personally drive to the landfill to recycle and the recycle products are shipped to a different county for processing. Canoe Outpost recycles plastic bottles and aluminum cans only. If you insist on bringing glass, take it home with you please. Broken bottles in the trashcans make it hard to sort the trash.
    Please bag your recyclables separate from your regular trash.
  • We’re pet friendly. All dogs must be friendly and on a leash. Our canine concierges will be running around greeting everyone and will be interacting with your pet. Please do not bring aggressive dogs. If any of the canine concierges act up, let a staff member know and we’ll bring them in the office. Warning: if you start throwing a Frisbee, a football, or any other sort of ball around, Ziggy will grab it and run. He can flatten any ball, footballs included in a matter of minutes.
  • Fossil equipment is available to borrow or for sale. The equipment to borrow is on a first come, first serve basis. The later you show up, the less your chances of getting a shovel and/or sifter. Sorry, you cannot reserve fossil equipment.

+2. Once you’re here…

  • Departure times can vary, best to call ahead. The Arcadia office is the main office. Overnighters pre-paying for the runs ending in Gardner can pre-pay and go straight to Gardner and wait for the bus there. Always plan on checking in at Arcadia.
  • Our buses and vans are on a schedule. We try our hardest to keep to the schedule. After almost 50 years of outfitting, we know how long each bus ride is, the time to put the canoes out, and time to get set back up for the next group of paddlers. If we don’t leave on time, we jeopardize the whole schedule and the departure times of the next group of paddlers. Please be on the bus at the departure time.
  • Standard departure times are 8:00, 10:00, and 11:30. Depending on the season or the group size, departure times can vary.
  • If you arrive while the buses are loading, please do not ask the driver to hold the bus. You will have to wait for the next scheduled departure. You still have to check-in, use the bathroom, and unload your vehicle.
  • Please be checked in by the times suggested under “Check-in”. We know you’re in vacation mode, but others got here on time and are on the bus, it’s not fair to make them wait. Just like airplanes and trains, we can’t wait if you are late.

+3. Check-in…

  • As the most popular outfitter on the Peace River, we get extremely busy and check-in lines can get long. To help move things along, please follow the following guidelines.
  • Complete parties only please. Starting the paperwork then having to run back to the parking lot or having to call your friends and family to come to the office only slows down the check-in. You may have to wait in line to get back to the check-in window.
  • If you are with a large group, check in with your group leader. Large groups only need to send the group leader with the completed sign-up and payment.
  • If office staff gives you a clipboard and sign-up sheets, please move away from the front window. There are picnic tables to the left of the office towards the river where the group can gather to sign in.
  • If paying regular price (don’t qualify for a group or mini-group discount) you can pay per canoe. We just ask everyone to sign in together on one form to help save some trees.
  • Everyone who can read and write must sign our waiver. You can also download the Waiver and Release (Adobe PDF).  See the forms section. All persons who can read and/or write are required to read and sign the release at time of check-in and before getting in a vessel or on a bus. There are also copies of the release posted in the restrooms and dressing rooms. Parents cannot sign for the kids (unless they can’t read or write); spouses cannot sign for each other. Everyone has to sign if they can read and write. If you have “power of attorney”, you must present a copy of the letter granting you that authority. Refuse to sign and we can’t let you go.
  • We take business checks, credit cards and cash.
  • Overnighters need to check in at least one hour prior to their departure time during busy season, Saturdays, holiday weekends, and when instructed to when reservation is made. At all other times, plan at least a half hour to check-in prior to departure. You need to check-in, load the bus, and depending on the trip, park your vehicle. Please have your camping gear packed and ready to transfer to the bus or gear trailer before getting here.
  • All day trips need to plan on checking in a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure during the week.
  • Those wanting to rent kayaks must be checked in a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure to allow us time to get the kayaks on the bus or on the trailer. If you show up with less than 15 minutes before departure, you’ll have to take a canoe. The buses and trailers with canoes are already set up and ready to go, kayaks require additional setup and may hold up the departure. It’s not fair to those already checked in and waiting. If you reserve kayaks, we still wait until you check in to make sure we have the right amount or right model for you before loading them.
  • Please, no smoking at check-in. Ashtrays are located on the building columns and by the dressing room steps  for your use.
  • Please watch your language; you are not alone while in line or in the parking lot. This is a family oriented establishment.

+4. Final steps before getting on the bus….

  • A lifejacket & boat cushion are included for each person. It’s the law, everyone has to have a lifejacket. Kids, under six, must wear lifejackets while the boat is underway and all kids, 90 lbs. and under, must be fitted with lifejackets. The Outpost supplies fitted/ski vest lifejackets in all sizes. Fitted lifejackets must be picked up at the office prior to departure. The orange “horse collar” types are on the bus if you don’t want a fitted one. All lifejackets, cushions, and paddles are already on the bus or at the put-in. We recommend that everyone wear their lifejacket.
  • Staff will load overnighters first and usually around 15 minutes before departure. Day trippers load last because they have less gear.
  • 5 to 10 minutes before departure, staff will start calling names and directing you to your bus.
  • Do not load on a bus without instruction from a staff member. Not all buses go to the same spot. Sometimes there are up to six buses loading. Just wait by your vehicle for instruction. Someone will call your name or point your bus out to you. With groups, there may be more than one bus, so if your gear is on one bus, you can ride another.
  • We suggest you carry your seatbacks with you if you rented them so there is no confusion about who rented what. Fishing poles should be carried too so they don’t get broke. We also suggest you mark your gear. You can carry small personal coolers with you but coolers larger than a six pack size need to go in the back of the bus. Fossil equipment goes in the back of the bus too.

+5. Departure Times….

  • A lifejacket & boat cushion are included for each person. It’s the law, everyone has to have a lifejacket. Kids, under six, must wear lifejackets while the boat is underway and all kids, 90 lbs. and under, must be fitted with lifejackets. The Outpost supplies fitted/ski vest lifejackets in all sizes. Fitted lifejackets must be picked up at the office prior to departure. The orange “horse collar” types are on the bus if you don’t want a fitted one. All lifejackets, cushions, and paddles are already on the bus or at the put-in. We recommend that everyone wear their lifejacket.
  • Staff will load overnighters first and usually around 15 minutes before departure. Day trippers load last because they have less gear.
  • 5 to 10 minutes before departure, staff will start calling names and directing you to your bus.
  • Do not load on a bus without instruction from a staff member. Not all buses go to the same spot. Sometimes there are up to six buses loading. Just wait by your vehicle for instruction. Someone will call your name or point your bus out to you. With groups, there may be more than one bus, so if your gear is on one bus, you can ride another.
  • We suggest you carry your seatbacks with you if you rented them so there is no confusion about who rented what. Fishing poles should be carried too so they don’t get broke. We also suggest you mark your gear. You can carry small personal coolers with you but coolers larger than a six pack size need to go in the back of the bus. Fossil equipment goes in the back of the bus too.

+6. The bus trip….

  • No smoking on the bus.
  • Consumption of alcohol is allowed on the bus and on the river, just not at the county parks (concrete boat ramps).
  • Keep hands and heads in the bus. Don’t throw anything out the bus windows.
  • If it is the first bus of the day, the windows will probably still be up. Feel free to open the windows. Our buses have 55 m.p.h. air conditioning.
  • If it’s a busy day, kids need to sit three to a seat. Otherwise it’s two per seat.
  • Dogs need to sit to the back of the bus, on a leash, on the floor. Dogs don’t get a bus seat.
  • Please watch your language; you are not alone on the bus. This is a family oriented establishment.

+7. At the Put-in….

  • No drinking at any of the parks or boat ramps that we use. The only put-in where there is no restrictions on alcohol consumption are at our private put-ins at the Gardner Outpost and Oak Hill.
  • There are trashcans in the front of the buses and vans. Leave your empties in the vehicle.
  • Pets must be on leashes at all put-ins.
  • Please use the restrooms at the put-ins and not the nearest tree. There are restrooms at almost every put-in. Also, be discreet while floating down the river. No one wants to see your you know what.
  • Exit the bus through the front door and proceed to the rear door. Staff will open the door for you. A volunteer to help pass out the coolers and other gear is appreciated or staff will help once the canoes are unloaded. Form a “bucket brigade” and start passing gear out. If everyone works together, the bus will get emptied in a timely manner.
  • Feel free to get the paddle gear you need also once the personal coolers and gear is unloaded. Each person gets one boat cushion. If you don’t have a fitted jacket you need to get a lifejacket off the bus. Each person must have a lifejacket. Each canoe gets two paddles. Kayak paddles on the back of the bus either belong to someone who rented a kayak or someone made a special request and paid for a kayak paddle. Kayak paddles are not standard equipment with canoes. Staff will check with you before you push off to make sure you have the right amount of paddle equipment.
  • Staff will usually unload the canoes and kayaks unassisted. If staff needs help, they will let you know. Some of our drivers don’t carry the canoes over their heads so they will need assistance. They will direct you in how you can help.
  • Canoe Outpost staff puts the canoe nose or front first in the water.
  • Once you have claimed your canoe, make sure you have all your belongings especially fishing poles. Many a pole has been left behind leaning on a tree or bench, out of harm’s way.
  • Once the canoes are laid down, one person needs to straddle the back of the canoe while the front person gets in. Once that person is seated, the canoe needs to be pushed out a foot or two, then any middle people can get in. If you lift up on the canoe, it will move easier than just pushing. Once any middle people are seated then push the canoe almost all the way into the water. You can push yourselves off or staff will assist you in a minute or two. Push off slowly and gently or you’ll go for a swim before you even get started.
  • Staff cannot push the canoe out if the back person is in the canoe. Back person needs to step out until canoe is almost all the way in. Please don’t try to jump in the canoe while it is in motion.
  • If middle people sit on top of your gear, a cooler, or the canoe bar, your chances of tipping are very likely.
  • If you are an outfitted overnighter, staff will assist you in loading your outfitted equipment. Let them finish unloading the canoes and they will be ready to help.
  • Please watch your language; you are not alone on the beach or the boat ramp. This is a family oriented establishm

+8. Along the way….

  • As you’re paddling down the river, relax and enjoy yourself.
  • Almost all property along the Peace River is private property. Do not stop at any houses, docks, picnic tables etc. The only public facilities are at various parks usually near bridges or boat ramps.
  • Only Canoe Outpost-Peace River customers can use the facilities in Gardner, Oak Hill, and Arcadia.
  • You must stay down by the water at all times except at parks and Outpost properties.
  • In low to normal water, there are plenty of sandbars and beaches to stop at. In high water, stopping spots are limited, need to stick to the Outpost owned properties.
  • Do not approach wildlife, keep your distance, you’re in their house now.
  • Do not swim where you see alligators. Keep your distance. Stick to the shallower waters where you can see.
  • We recommend that you do not use any rope swings, jump or dive off any bridges or dock, or dive into the water at any time from land, any manmade structure, natural structure, or canoes. The water may be too shallow or there may be submerged hazards underwater.
  • Please keep your clothes on. There are kids out there and others who just may not want to see all of that.
  • Please keep the music down, not everyone may have the same taste in music as you. Listen to the symphony of nature instead.
  • Please watch your language; you are not alone on the river. This is a family oriented establishment. There are other paddlers, there are campers, and there are folks who live along the river.

+9. End of the Trip in Arcadia….

  • In Arcadia, pull up next to the dock and staff will assist you in getting out of the canoe. If there is no staff person present, someone jump out and ring the bell by the stairs or give a yell. Someone will be there in a minute to help.
  • Watch your fingers as you pull up to the wooden dock and don’t get them between the dock and the canoe.
  • The dock in Arcadia is a floating dock so walk carefully. Staff will hold your canoe while you unload your personal equipment. Leave the Outpost gear, we will take care of it.
  • If you need help in getting out of the canoe, ask staff, they will be more than happy to assist you.
  • If you have a dog, particularly a large dog, please remove the dog as soon as possible from the canoe and off the floating dock. Staff members have to be able to hold the canoe in the middle and it puts their faces close to the dog. Leashes have a tendency in such close quarters to trip people. Staff will also be able to hold the canoe once the dog is out of the way. We suggest you take the dog off the floating dock and secure it either to the bench on the right or up the ramp on the left.
  • For loose trash and small bags of trash, there will be a trashcan on the dock. Large bags of trash can be set next to the trash can.
  • On the weekends, a trashcan will be on the dock, at the base of the wooden ramp, and at the top of the ramp for your use. If you have a large bag of trash, just put your bag next to a can. Recycle cans for aluminum and plastic are at the base and the top of the ramp.
  • Exit the floating dock as soon as possible so staff can clear the dock of paddle gear and canoes. Staff needs room to pull the canoe onto the dock and flip it over their head to take up the stairs.
  • As you exit the floating dock, please move to the right or left. Move right if you plan on waiting for someone, move left up the ramp to the parking. Don’t stand in the middle of the large set of stairs or put your cooler there because there will be a staff person with a canoe over their head or a staff person with armloads of gear trying to come up that way.
  • At the top of the ramp, there is a platform or just across the drive there are picnic tables to set your gear on. If you have a lot of gear, you can drive to the ramp area to pick up your gear.
  • As you come up the dock ramp: if you are parked in the back parking lot, turn left to head for your vehicle. If parked in the front lot, continue straight ahead towards the office. Restrooms are located to the right of the office.
  • Please do not enter the work area at the dock to come back down the dock or to watch others come back. There are benches along the ramp and the large set of stairs for you to wait for others.
  • Two outdoor, cold showers are located across from the office by the bathroom and dressing rooms for rinsing off.
  • Potable water faucets are located in the picnic area in back lot, on the front of the office building, across from the office to the right of the bottle tree. All faucets in the work area (closest to the river) are river water. We are on a well system and it is sulfur water.
  • Please check with the office before leaving so they can check your name off as returned. If with a large group, we need the name of the group or the group leader.
  • Check your belongings before you head for home to make sure you have everything. We find fishing poles leaned against trees and buildings quite often. Don’t forget to check the roof of your vehicle too.
  • If in the front parking lot, just exit to the left to go to SR70. If in the back lot, drive towards the office. Just before the office, fork right to pick up any gear at the dock or go left to exit into the front lot.
  • All paddlers must be in at the dock by 5:00 p.m. in Arcadia.
  • Please do not be late, our staff have lives and family and will be tired from working all day and want to go home.
  • Drive safely and thank you for coming to visit us at Canoe Outpost-Peace River.