The Waterfront Activities Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, located directly behind Husky Stadium on Union Bay and the Montlake Cut, offers canoe, rowboat, and kayak rentals to the general public seven days a week, from April through October.
Paddle around the Union Bay Natural Area admiring the wildlife such as Bald Eagles, Osprey (also known as Seahawks), and various types waterfowl. Pack a picnic and paddle to the Washington Arboretum and enjoy the protected waterways and hiking trails that provide spectacular animal and people watching.
Things to know before you go:
Who can rent: Must be 18 years of age or older with valid ID to rent a canoe or rowboat.
Who can ride along: Children must weigh at least 25 pounds and be able to walk on their own.
Boat occupancy: Single Kayak 1 Person. Double Kayak 2 Persons. Canoe 2 Persons (3 Persons if the third person is 90 lbs or less). Rowboat 4 persons.
Life jackets and paddles are supplied with every rental. Life jackets must be worn and buckled at all times.
What to wear: Boaters and personal items onboard will get wet, so plan accordingly. Dry bags are available for rent to protect valuables such as phones and wallets from splash damage. Dry bags do not float and will not protect items in the event of a capsize.
Hours: Daily 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, weather permitting. No reservations accepted. Rentals are always first come, first serve.
Updates: check their website for closure dates, or call 206.543.9433 during open hours to listen to recorded rental information.
2019 rental rates: Canoes and rowboats $12.00/hour. Single kayaks $16.00/hour. Double kayaks $20.00/hour. UW students, faculty, and staff can receive discount rental rates with valid ID.
Location: On the shore of Lake Washington, within a short walk of the UW Lightrail station, on the southeast side of Husky Football stadium parking lot. Waterfront Activities Center (WAC), 3900 Montlake Blvd. NE, Seattle, WA 98195.
Parking is available in the WAC Center lot or Stadium E-12 lot (subject to stadium events). Hourly parking is $3; free parking is available from noon Saturday until 6:00AM Monday. More info: https://facilities.uw.edu/transportation/park-self-serve.