Kayaking enthusiasts might be disappointed to learn that rentals will no longer be available at Aspinwall Waterfront Park.
After five years at the Freeport Road site, Pittsburgh Kayak will not return this summer, officials said.
âIt was a nice space but we didn’t have enough traffic,â said Ebony Montgomery, director of development and communications.
Kayak Pittsburgh is a rental facility where people, beginners or professionals alike, can get out on the water. Hourly rentals start at $ 16 on weekdays.
Operated by Venture Outdoors, Kayak Pittsburgh has two other locations, in North Park and on the North Pittsburgh Coast.
In Aspinwall, the kayak launch ramp was hidden behind the Norfolk Southern rail lines and was not easily visible to passers-by.
âIf you didn’t know he was over there it was a little hard to find,â Montgomery said.
Park general manager Susan Crookston said she was grateful for working with Venture Outdoors over the years to provide weekend kayak rentals during the summer.
Her team is looking for a new partner to offer and develop kayak rental, she said.
âOur goal is to make this opportunity to rent stand up kayaks and stand up paddleboards more widely available so that it’s just not weekends and can last until early fall,â said Crookston. âIn the meantime, the park offers a free place for people to launch their non-motorized boats, and we would like everyone to enjoy our beautiful river.
âHowever, it is important that people wear life jackets, row upstream, away from the dam and remain aware of currents and water levels. Sometimes the water looks calm when it is not. “
Aspinwall Riverfront Park is a 10 acre property located between the Allegheny River and the Aspinwall Trade Corridor. There is an outdoor pavilion, fishing pier, dog park and playground.
Last year, when covid-19 regulations were stricter, park leaders touted kayaking as a way to enjoy the river while easily obeying social distancing rules.
Anyone looking to get out on the water won’t have to wait long. Kayak Pittsburgh’s North Park opening weekend will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 22-23.
Starting on Memorial Day, hours vary throughout the week.
On the North Shore, the opening of operations is scheduled for June 5.
To find out more, or to book an appointment, visit ventureoutdoors.org/kayak-pittsburgh.