PLEASE NOTE WE ARE A VACATION HOME RENTAL COMPANY, NOT A FLOATING, BOATING OR PADDLEBOARDING COMPANY. Please contact one of the businesses at the bottom of the page for more info on water activities.
Floating, Boating, Boarding and Swimming the Russing River...
When & Where: Boating in the Russian River Valley takes place on the Russian River, and the season runs from April through October, extended in years where there is little rain in the late fall and/or late spring.
During boating season, the Russian River has no white water, just a few currents here and there, an amiably gentle river for novices and a relaxing paddle for the experienced.
The winter river is another matter. Swift, dark, cold, and high, the river is unsafe and unsuitable for recreational boating.
How: Canoes and kayaks are the boats of choice, while inner tubes provide a lot of fun. All are available for rent or you can bring your own:
Boating to See Wildlife: The best way to see Russian River wildlife is by kayak. Birds are plentiful as dozens of species are found here, among them ospreys, red-tail hawks, kingfishers, kites, all types of herons, egrets, cormorants, swallows, crows, turkey vultures, ducks, and geese, along with brown pelicans at the mouth of the river in the fall. From Duncans Mills to the mouth of the river you may encounter harbor seals venturing from their nursery in the estuary. River otters slide down the banks and turtles sun on logs anywhere along the river; deer come down to drink, as do mountain lions although such a sighting is rare indeed. Bobcats are sighted on the hills above the river.
And Swimming! The Russian River is clean, safe, and swimmable from mid-May through September. There are public access beaches for swimming in Guerneville, Monte Rio, Forestville and Healdsburg, along with private beaches along the river. Many vacation rentals provide access to neighborhood beaches or have their own docks. Beaches tend to be a mixture of gravel and sandy areas, varying greatly each year as the winter river re-distributes the sand and gravel.
There is little to no current at the beaches and the river is generally shallow for some distance from the beaches. A channel with gentle current runs on the non-beach side of the river, switching from side to side along the way. Summer dams, installed in mid-June and dismantled in late September to early October, provide a stable water level for boating and swimming. Many homes on the river have docks which cannot be installed until the dams bring up the water level.
Note: Although children don't seem to mind the gravel at the beaches, adults might want to avoid the ouch factor and invest in an inexpensive pair of river shoes, available in stores on Main Street in Guerneville.
Bodega Bay Kayak
Burke's Canoe Trips
Monte Rio Public Beach
King's Sport & Tackle
River's Edge Kayak & Canoe Trips
Russian River Adventures