Frequently Asked Questions
- How many passengers can fit in a boat?
- When should my group arrive to go canoeing?
- For how many hours do we get to use the boat?
- Is there an age or size requirement?
- Can I bring a pet?
- Do we need reservations?
- What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
- If there is an emergency what do we do?
- We have a large group. Is there anything we should know to make our lives easier when planning our trip?
- Alcohol - no hard liquor allowed at all, 4 alcoholic beverages per person, must be 21 to consume.
- Must sign a waiver
- Must have a life vest on at all times
- No swimming allowed- even in the lake area
How many passengers can fit in a boat?
Each boat in our fleet has a legal maximum occupancy limit (number of passengers) and/or a maximum weight capacity determined by the boat manufacturer. The maximum weight capacity is the total weight of all passengers and equipment. Our older aluminum canoes can hold no more than three (3) passengers with a gross weight of no more than four hundred and fifty (450) pounds. The newer plastic canoes have a flat 1150# weight limit and so can hold up to four (4) passengers provided two (2) passengers are adults and the additional passengers are small children under 90#. We may, at our sole discretion based on current water levels and weather conditions, allow only 2 passengers per canoe. Kayaks can hold one passenger, and tandem kayaks can hold two passengers.
When should my group arrive to go canoeing?
We recommend that you arrive one half hour (30 minutes) prior to your desired departure time. Please check-in at the office FIRST, and then proceed to the parking area. Waiver Forms should be completed prior to your arrival to expedite the check-in process. Waiver Forms can be downloaded in the FORMS section on our web site. You will receive your life jackets when you check in with our Staff at the shuttle loading zone, and you should have all members of your party ready to begin loading your shuttle no later than ten (10) minutes before its scheduled departure time.
For how many hours do we get to use the boat?
Every one of our rentals covers the entire day! We want all of our customers to take as much or as little time as they want on the river. With this in mind there is one RULE: Every boat and/or tube and all rented equipment must be returned no later than 6pm. Our latest departure times for every trip provide ample time for covering the trip distance before 6pm. Additional fees apply if you return later than 6pm, and if you miss the final evening shuttle at Wapahani Landing.
Is there an age or size requirement?
Yes and yes. The easiest part of this answer: we do not allow infants or toddlers who cannot walk unassisted on their own. If your child can walk under their own power but weighs less than 30#, you must bring their own life jacket rated for the child’s weight with a safety buckle that passes between the legs so it cannot be slipped over the head without removing the strap. This is a U.S. Coastguard Approved Type II vest. Our child life jackets are rated down to 30#- hence the reason for this requirement.
If you are under eighteen (18) years of age a parent or guardian must sign our Waiver Form on your behalf. The Waiver Form has a section at the bottom where the consenting adult can sign for a Minor(s). THE consenting adult who has signed for Minors must also be present at the time of check-in/payment whether they accompany the group canoeing or not. You must be 18 years of age with photo ID to rent a boat independently. We may, at our sole discretion based on current water level and weather conditions, alter this policy for reasons of personal safety. Please always call ahead and check weather and water conditions.
Can I bring a pet?
Yes- absolutely. What a better way to spend a day with a dog- frolicking on a sand bar in the middle of the river. Please have them on a leash, pick up after them, and be considerate of those around you who might not share your affection. If, on our busy days, it becomes necessary to use an extra shuttle to accommodate you and Fido, we will require an additional fee of $10 for the short trips (Potter’s Bridge/Rusty Oar/Wapahani Landing) or $15 for the long trips (White River Campground/Lafayette Trace/Perkinsville). We’ll always do our best to use the right shuttles and make this unnecessary, but keep it in mind because we won’t know ahead of time if we need to use an extra shuttle.
Do we need reservations?
Reservations are highly recommended, and we use the latest technology in our on line reservation platform. You can access the reservation system through our web site (BOOK NOW), or through our mobile app. The system was designed so that you can avoid the lines at the office for check-in, and take care of all the “business” of your trip prior to arrival- so you can focus on the good time intended. The system will also reduce the hi-volume phone traffic we experience on our busiest weekends. You can always see real-time availability in the on line system, reducing the need for call ahead reservations on the weekends when call volumes exceed our capacity. We still accept phone reservations, entered through the same on line system by our reservationist, Monday through Friday.
We do accept walk-ins, subject to availability, and at a $5 surcharge to our reservation rates. All prices including our walk-in surcharge, are shown with all taxes and fees included.
What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
Reservations may be cancelled with full refund up to 5 full days prior to your scheduled trip. The following guidelines apply for cancellations less than 5 days.
Refunds / Rain Checks ARE issued when we must shut down operations due to:
- Persistent, heavy, all-day rain occurring before 9am the day of your trip and certain by live radar view to affect our area through the mid-day hours
- Persistent waves of thunderstorms visible on live radar and certain to affect our area during our hours of operation
- River gauge levels outside or trending outside our internal standards for operations
Refunds / Rain Checks are NOT issued due to:
- Rain showers, pop-up storms, or cooler temperatures forecasted or occurring on the day of your trip
Refunds / Rain Checks MAY BE, at our discretion, issued due to:
- Rain or storms that develop during our hours of operation that cause us to delay departures and launches more than 1 hour or cease operations entirely.
We actively monitor weather and water levels using multiple forecasting services, live radar, and United States Geological Survey data for gauge height and discharge rates recorded at Noblesville, Anderson, and Muncie. We have internal guidelines for operating (or not) in foul weather and changing water conditions, and tools that allow us to predict gauge height 12-24 hours in advance.
We will, at our discretion, delay departures and launches to allow pop up storms to pass. We will not conduct rescue operations on the river due to foul weather, and charges for abandoned equipment will be enforced per our Equipment Rental/Waiver Form signed at check-in. All sales are final once you have checked in. Refunds due to weather are solely the discretion of White River Canoe Company and safety will be the first priority in every decision we make.
If there is an emergency what do we do?
Honestly, we hope that you and your group consider this possibility. Boating is a risk activity, regardless of the safety measures taken to minimize the danger. We always advise that at least one member of the group carries a cellular phone in case of emergency. If the situation warrants immediate aid, dial 911. We have very limited ability to get to you while you are on the river. We can offer this: Do not panic. Make sure everyone is safe. Get to a phone. Call 911 first and outline your situation, then call our office so we can assist you and the emergency response personnel in any way within our power. Stay calm and rationally consider the best course of action given your current environment.
We have a large group. Is there anything we should know to make our lives easier when planning our trip?
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide as much information as you have: date, desired time, approx number of people, and whether you’re considering having food before or after the trip. We’ll send an itinerary/invoice proposal that will help you organize your outing, and make changes as appropriate until we have a final copy that can be distributed to your group and our staff.
A large group should arrive 30-45 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The group leader should have the Waiver Forms for the entire group in a file folder to hand us at check-in so we can account for every person in the group. You must have a single payer- we will not honor group discounted pricing when the group pays individually. We recommend car pooling or arranging transport to us in a bus/shuttle to avoid parking issues. Consider scheduling your large group on weekdays or early/late season to avoid otherwise large weekend crowds. We do not offer our normal group rates for Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, or for the holiday weekends.