Located in the heart of Mendocino, families can rent a canoe or a bicycle, too, and truly explore the gorgeous landscapes of Northern California. Families can paddle down the clear waters of the Big River in a kayak, stand uppaddle board or a wooden, handmade canoe that takes more than 400 hours to construct! Local artisan Bob Cummings designs and builds each canoe from re-purposed redwoods and these unique boats are only available in Mendocino. These redwood, outrigger canoes are nothing like a kayak, so don’t mistake the two. These outriggers are very difficult to tip over, easy to steer with a foot-controlled rudder in the back and you sit higher up in a canoe (not like in a kayak with your legs out in front).
Along the Big River, you’ll spot plenty of birds, see remnants of former sawmills and hopefully spot some river otters or harbor seals sunning themselves on the river banks. Families can easily be accommodated in an outrigger configuration from two to seven people, and dogs are welcome in specified canoes as well.
But if your family would prefer to explore Mendocino by land, you can rent a bicycle. Bike along the Big River Trail or pedal through Mendocino Village.
Families can also book a private, guided tour on a Mendolea, which looks similar to a catamaran made from re-purposed redwood trees, but can accommodate between six and eight people.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Age or Height Restrictions
Children must be 10 years old to rent a bike, at least 2 years old to be in the outrigger canoe and at least 10 years old for a kayak.
Things to Know/Bring
Despite the sound of its name the Big River is a gentle, class 1 waterway and is definitely suitable for young children. The weather, however, can be chilly or windy so come prepared wearing jackets, not bathing suits if you plan to canoe. Life jackets and bike helmets are provided.
Limited parking is available.