Home » Trip Schedule » Kayaking


Kayaking trips utilize touring kayaks for one person to paddle, generally down a river or around a lake. We offer day trips on Class I rivers. These are easy-flowing rivers, and great trips for those who have never paddled a kayak before.  Participants must know how to swim.
We also offer a whitewater kayak trip, to Class II – III rivers. For whitewater, participants should know how to roll their kayak, at least in the pool. Kayak roll workshops are offered weekly at the Rec. Center pool. Our trips are designed for a group of 10-12 people. Each trip is led by Outdoor Rec. Trip Coordinators who are experienced in kayaking. Included in the trip price is the kayaking equipment, complete with kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, and other accessories. Participants must know how to swim.

Upcoming Trips

SEPT. 21 (Sunday)
Duck River, TN
Cost:  $41
Sign-up by: Friday, Sept. 12
Bring $12 cash, check or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 9/16 at 6:00 pm
The Duck River is a nice river with wooded banks and large, beautiful rock bluffs.   We will paddle a 7.6 mile stretch of the river, from Cortner Mill to the Hwy 41 bridge, just east of Shelbyville.  The mill provides a great place for swimming and playing in the water before we even start kayaking.  Beginners are welcome on this Class I river.  We may see . . . ducks!   Estimated trip duration:  7 am – 6 pm.
OCT. 11 (Saturday)
Hiwassee River, TN
Cost:  $73

Sign-up by: Friday, Sept. 26
> Bring $45 cash, check or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 9/30 at 6:00 pm

Tennessee’s scenic Hiwassee River is fantastic for boaters of all abilities to practice the fundamentals like eddy turns, peeling out, ferrying and reading water. This trip is designed for kayakers who have mastered the roll in the pool and are ready to try moving water and rapids.  It is preferred that you have some flat water kayaking experience before signing up for this trip. Paddling equipment, including a spray jacket, is included.   This trip is limited to the first 6 people who sign up. Estimated trip duration:  7 am – 10 pm.

Note: There will be two pool sessions available to participants of this trip to work with kayak instructors on your roll prior to the trip.  Participation in at least one of these sessions is mandatory:  Wed. Oct. 1 or Wed. Oct. 8 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

E-mail outdorrec@vanderbilt.edu to sign up for a workshop.


Cordell Hull Lake, TN

Cost: $36

Sign-up by:  Friday, Oct. 10
> Bring $11 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Wednesday, 10/22 at 5:00 pm

Kayak touring is easy to learn and fun.   We will spend part of the day paddling around the scenic Cordell Hull Lake, located a little over an hour away.  With any luck we’ll see some pretty fall colors along the wooded shorelines.  Beginners are welcome.  All paddling equipment is provided.    Estimated trip duration:  8 am – 5 pm.

Trip Information

Most trips are designed for a small group of people (10-12), and many of the trips require no previous experience. The fee for each trip covers the activity, transportation, in-camp food, camping fees, and group equipment. For more information, look for flyers around campus or stop by the Outdoor Recreation Center (at 2600 Children’s Way and behind the new Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center) during rental hours. This is also where trip sign-up takes place. Trips are open to all VU students, faculty, staff, and VRWC members. Alcohol is not permitted on any trip.

This is a great trip on the nearby Harpeth River.  We will paddle a beautiful 6.4-mile stretch from Kingston Springs to the Gossett Track.   This trip is designed specifically for the beginner kayaker.  The Harpeth River is a gentle, State Scenic River, and kayaking is a great opportunity to paddle your own boat.  We will use our touring kayaks.  All equipment is included in the trip fee.  Estimated trip duration:  8 am – 3 pm.


Sign-up by: Monday, June 9
> Bring $13 cash, check or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 6/10 at 5:00 pm