Seven Oaks invites you to experience the beauty of the scenic Des Moines River Valley. On a quiet afternoon you will see animals on the riverbanks, birds flying overhead, wildflowers growing in the wooded bluffs and a bald eagle’s nest just past the Kate Shelly High Bridge.
Here’s how our full service Canoe/Kayak and River Tube rentals work:
Seven Oaks offers float trips seven days a week. Monday through Friday we offer two floats, 10am and 12pm with an off the water time of 4pm. Saturday’s and Sunday’s we offer four float times, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 2pm with an off the water time of 6pm.
- We only offer the 2 pm weekend float for river tubes when the river has adequate flow, call ahead (515-432-9457) to check river flow if you’re planning on either trip.
- Make a reservation with us online or by calling 515-432-9457.
- Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled float time so you can stop in the ticket office to get signed in. We’ll leave the parking lot at your scheduled launch time.
- You’ll be taken to the river by a Seven Oaks bus or van. We’ll explain your trip to you and answer any questions you might have. We do not float with you on your trip. You may be taken to the river with others but that doesn’t mean you need to float with them or even finish at the same time as them.
- We list approximate times that the float may take you, but you are welcome to stay out on the river until the “off the river time” which is 4 pm Monday through Friday, and 6 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
- We’ll be at the take-out boat ramp to pick you up and take you back to your vehicle at Seven Oaks.
Children are always welcome to join in on the FUN on one of our river floats. Our recommended ages are:
Canoe- 2 yrs and older
Kayak- 8 yrs and older
Tube- 5 years and older
Please note that our kids life jackets fit down to a child 30-50 lbs.
It is recommended that everyone is able to swim before taking one of our river floats.
Are there places to stop along the way?
It all depends on river height. Normally, there are plenty of sandbars to stop at. When the river gauge at Stratford shows a height of 5’-6’ there are a bunch of sandbars to stop at. At a height of 6’-8’ there are sandbars about every ½ mile to stop at. At a height of 8’-9’ there will be about 1 sandbar every mile or so. At a height of 9’-10.3’ there will not be any sandbars to stop at. We do not float above 10.3’ river height. PLEASE DO NOT LITTER!
Click here for the current river height. Please know that the river height is measured in feet at the location of the river gauge which is approximately 20 river miles to the north of where you will start your float. We normally run about 2’-3’ less than what the gauge shows.
Click HERE for more FAQ’s.
Open for River Activities: June – Labor Day Weekend call for availability outside these dates.
Floats outside these season dates are subject to weather and at the discretion of Seven Oaks.
Off-the-river-time 4 pm Monday through Friday; 6 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
A late fee of $5 per person per quarter hour is charged after the designated “off the river” time.
Canoe/Kayak Rates (2022)
Add 7% sales tax to all rates.
Prices subject to change.
Floating rates include transporting watercraft, two paddles per canoe, one paddle per kayak, one personal flotation device per person and complimentary transportation.
Canoe Rates (Canoes hold up to 48-quart coolers)
Rates are based on 2 persons/canoe
Add $8 for 3rd & 4th person in canoe
Canoe Seat Cushion – $2 per day
Upgraded life jackets may be rented
One Person Kayak Rates (Kayaks hold up to 20-quart coolers)
Upgraded life jackets may be rented
For Group Rate Information Click Here.
Before you make a reservation for one of our river floats please visit our Important Summer Fun Information Guide. This will help you plan for the trip.
To ensure that canoes and kayaks are available, and to help us provide the service you expect, we encourage and recommend reservations be made as far in advance as possible.
Once you submit an online reservation a Seven Oaks Representative will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to finalize your request. A credit card is required when making a reservation. Your card is only to hold your reservation and will not be charged unless you do not show up- please bring your card or cash when checking in. If plans need to be cancelled or numbers reduced, you must notify Seven Oaks a minimum of 5 days before the date of the planned float. Any changes within the 5 days will be charged in full and a credit certificate will be issued for you to use at a later date.
Floating on Sunday through Friday will typically offer more solitude and be a quieter, relaxing float experience. Saturdays are generally busier with groups and more of a party atmosphere. Taking the first float of the day will help avoid some of that.
Call 515-432-9457 or make your canoe, kayak, or river tube reservation online.
Drinks, ice, candy bars, t-shirts, can koozies, wet/dry bags & other “oh, I forgot” items are available on site.
Canoe/Kayak Terms of Service
Canoes and kayak will not be rented to persons 15 years of age and younger without adult supervision. Persons aged 16 and 17 must have a parent/guardian indemnification signature on the rental agreement. The rental agreement must be signed onsite. All participants must also sign a Summer Activity Waiver. You may print the waiver to obtain required signatures prior to arrival.
- We charge for all lost or damaged equipment. Damaged equipment caused by abuse or carelessness is your responsibility; we do expect normal wear and tear.
- A retrieval fee of $25.00 per hour will be charged for canoes and kayaks abandoned or lodged.
- A late fee of $5.00 per person per quarter hour is charged after the designated “off the river” time.
- Please wear sandals or shoes on your river float. Most of the river bottom is sand, but there are rocky sections where you will need something on your feet.
- Glass containers and Styrofoam not allowed on river floats. No kegs.
- Seven Oaks prohibits ropes/twine for tying together river tubes. If you wish to tie river tubes together, use pool noodles or other break-away connections only. Seven Oaks does not allow any canoes or kayaks to be tied together.
Seven Oaks Recreation Water Trail Rules
Respect Property and Others
Do not tamper with private or public property. Respect staff doing their jobs and others enjoying the water trail with you, whether in your group or not.
Seven Oaks strongly encourages that all floaters know how to swim before taking one of their river floats. River users are required to have a Personal Flotation Device in the boat. Actually wearing it greatly increases your chance of survival if you capsize. River levels change and conditions change constantly. Exit river during thunderstorms. Avoid hazards such as snags and ALWAYS portage at low-head dams.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Intoxication on waterways leads to poor judgment and increased risk of drowning. This river is public property and subject to the governing laws. If you plan to drink alcohol on the river . . . please drink responsibly. Drinking alcohol increases your risks of drowning. Kegs are not allowed.
No Littering or Dumping
No glass containers or Styrofoam coolers allowed on float trips. Please protect and preserve the beauty of the Des Moines River by keeping it clean, do not litter. Leave NO trace. Volunteers work to keep this river clean.