Guide for Getting Started with Canoe, Kayak, River Tube Floats
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. We float a section of the Des Moines River Water Trail, launching from the lower ramp at Boone Water Works (E-26) and ending at Highway 30.
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.
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 kid’s 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.
If this is your first trip with Seven Oaks or you have small children we recommend floating with us when sandbars are present…it is much more beginner friendly. The lower the water…the lower the risks but please understand that there are always risks in floating any river.
We provide horseshoe style life preservers for all adults canoeing, kayaking or river tubing. You will receive these at the river. If you wish to upgrade to a 3-buckle vest style you will get those in the office when you check in for your float. Children from 30 to 90 lbs. will be provided a 3-buckle vest style life preserver at no charge. If you wish to bring your own life preserver you are welcome to do so. We do not have life vests for children under 30lbs.
Things to Bring
- Something to drink. It is important to stay hydrated. Remember that alcohol will dehydrate you.
- Sandals or shoes for walking on the sandbars. Most of the river bottom is sand, but there are some rocks sections where you will want something on your feet.
- A change of clothes. Canoes and kayaks are fairly stable on the water, but accidents happen and having a change of clothes at the end of the trip makes the drive home more enjoyable.
Click HERE for more FAQ’s.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
A river float is a relaxing opportunity to enjoy nature, soak in the sun, play in the cool water and have some fun with family and friends. We have thousands of people that float safely with us every year, but you have to understand this is not the lazy river at a water park. This is a free-flowing river float with moving water and some inherent risks that can be avoided by using common sense. The number one risk is log jams and fallen trees…please stay clear of these obstacles. You will have plenty of time to avoid these obstacles down stream of you…please be aware of your surroundings at all times. You are responsible for yourself on this trip…please wear your life jackets.
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.
Drinking alcohol increases your risks of drowning!
Please give us a call at 515-432-9457 for current conditions and visit our Facebook page for current pictures.
Reserve Your Spot
We recommend you make a reservation to go canoeing, kayaking or river tubing. Our floats are popular so to avoid a “sorry, we are sold out” when you arrive, call ahead.
Call 515-432-9457 or make your canoe, kayak, or river tube reservation online. Changes or cancellations to reservations must be made 5 days before the float.
Sign Waiver and Rental Agreement
All participants must sign a Summer Activity Waiver. You may print the agreement to obtain required signatures prior to arrival. Rental agreement must be signed onsite.
The Day of Your Float
Drinks, ice, snacks, t-shirts, sun screen, can koozies, wet/dry bags & other “oh, I forgot” items are available on site. Bring your 48 qt cooler or smaller and we will fit a cooler tube around it. Soft sided coolers and styrofoam coolers are not allowed.
We ask that you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled launch time for canoeing, kayaking or river tubing. Upon arrival we will check you in at the ticket counter and let you know which bus we will be taking to the river. You can load coolers and other supplies onto the bus. We will play a CD in all transportation vehicles with important information such as safety concerns, get-out locations, rules of the river, etc. All floats leave on time.
Once at the river Seven Oaks staff will have the boats ready with life preservers and will review directions/rules about the canoe/kayak/river tube float and the pickup. We will help you into the water.
River Float Policies
- 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. Click HERE for more detailed information on our river fees & charges.
- Cancellations must be made 5 days before your float or will be charged in full.
- 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.
Guide for Getting Started with Paintball
Our paintball fields are by appointment only, therefore reservations will be required. You can reserve online or by phone 515-432-9457 ext. 300. Seven Oaks offers paintball appointments seven days a week.
All participants must sign a Summer Activity Waiver. You may print the agreement to obtain required signatures prior to arrival.
Our paintball fields are located at the top of the hill. If you take the gravel road (222nd drive) past the main entrance to Seven Oaks and up to the top of the hill there is another entrance. Follow the signs to the fields.
Wear older clothes, the paint washes off, but to be safe wear something that can get dirty. We recommend wearing long sleeves (jeans and a long sleeve shirt) as getting hit does sting a little but covering your skin will soften that blow.
Bottled Water, Soda, Iced Tea, Gatorade and Energy Drinks are available for purchase.