Canoe and kayak rental companies off to a slow start due to weather

Posted at 3:41 PM, Apr 14, 2019

KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn. (WTVF) — The canoe and kayak rental business is off to a slow start as rain continues to fall this spring.

Usually on a nice day, the river is full of paddlers. This weekend, it was so quiet you could hear the birds chirp.

David Spear said, "This is very abnormal."

So far this season, business is slow at Tip-A-Canoe.

Spear said, "Normally we shoot to open up around March 1st, we've opened as soon as February 20th before, and this year so far, we've been open a total of 3 days all year."

Rainfall in 2019 has been above average in Middle Tennessee.

Spear said, "It's normal to get rain in the springtime, it's just very frequently we've gotten a lot of rain."

The access sites were closed by park rangers as the river raged.

Spear said, "At a certain point it's just too high, a lot of the times they're just protecting people from themselves."

For kayak and canoe rental companies, mother nature has put a dent in their bottom line.

There was record rain and flooding in February as well.

Spear said, "It was 27 feet, the flood we got at the end of February, and that ranked like the 19th highest flood on record."

On Sunday morning the river peaked 8 feet which can be dangerous.

Spear said, "The water doesn't look crazy to someone today, to someone who doesn't know better, because it doesn't look like a white water river, but if you flipped over or somethingb and your boat got pinned, you're not getting your boat out at this water level, and if you got pinned, between your boat and whatever it got pinned on, good luck to you getting out of that. They may not get you out."

For now, the family businesses are crossing their fingers and hoping the good weather comes soon.

Spear said, "Ideally we'd have a good summer."

Both Tip-A-Canoe and Foggy Bottom will post on their Facebook pages if they're open or closed due to weather.