Voyageur Canoes in Louisville, KY Community Boat House River City Paddlesports


Voyageurs traveled the length and breadth of Canada and Northern United States on a network of lakes and rivers, the great highways of trade and discovery. These early travelers were the backbone of the developing economy: their canoes were the pioneer tractor trailer trucks. They used their voyageur canoes to transport trade goods into the wilderness returning each year with a bounty of furs and stories of this great land unfolding before them.

 In 1670,  René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle   made his way from the Great Lakes into the Ohio River Basin and according to his records made it down the Falls of the Ohio, and the future site of Louisville    The Voyageur Canoes explored much of the mid-west. The early trading routes and voyageur activities are actively interpreted by the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon Festival in Indiana on the Wabash River.   The Canoes were actively used by both sides in the French and Indian Wars and the War of 1812.    

Currently four of the Voyageur Canoes are operated by River City Paddlesports.  The first two Voyageur Canoes were purchased by the Jefferson County Public Schools System in 2002 with a grant provided by the late David Armstrong, then Mayor of Louisville.   Two additional voyageur canoe where purchased by Dare to Care to support the annual “World Voyageur Championships” on the last Saturday of July.    The boats are used in an urban Watershed program, including environmental education along the Ohio River and its tributaries.   The boats based out of the community boat house are also active with the Mayor’s Hike Bike and Paddle, a bi- annual celebration that brings together almost 10,000 Louisvillians.     

Come out and explore Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River with us! It is an adventure!

AFLOAT On The Ohio