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Guide to Kayaking in WNY: Rent, Launch, Tour

City Guide, Fitness, Things to Do

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Written by Patrick Koster

Published on June 18, 2021
Elevator Alley Kayak, kayak launches buffalo, kayak tours buffalo, kayak rentals buffalo
Photo courtesy of Elevator Alley Kayak

Perhaps biking around The Queen City isn’t for you. Perhaps walking makes your feet hurt and your complaints about walking around all day are answered with a long, irritated eye roll from your significant other who’s having an equally unpleasant time.

Maybe rollerblading through Delaware Park isn’t your cup of tea, either. Boats can get a little pricey, and you’re trying to save some money. You could get a hoverboard, but there’s no guarantee that a guy named Biff won’t try to beat you up for it. It seems like there’s no other options. But wait! There’s one more. Kayaking.

In Buffalo, it’s the new norm. You can rent a kayak, take kayak tours, or if you have your own, you can launch it from various places in Western New York. But where exactly can you go? Say no more, we got you covered.

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

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Kayak Rental and Tour Businesses


Elevator Alley Kayak

65 Vandalia St, Buffalo / (716) 997-7925

Located in the Old First Ward in The Barrel Factory, Elevator Alley provides rentals, tours, and lessons for kayakers.
Guided tours that take kayakers to see wildlife and historic boats, ships and silos are widely available. “Towering Silos, 115 year old Fireboats, rare White Deer, ships of all sizes, and a variety of wildlife are just a few things you’ll see on a tour with us.” If you’re compelled to experience the ambiance of the city of Buffalo on the cool water front check out Elevator Alley Kayak!

BFLO Harbor Kayak

1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo – Canalside / (716) 288-5309

Although it may be nearly impossible to get bored with all that Canalside has to offer, you might get sick of being a land lover and feel a sudden urge to place your sea legs into a kayak. We feel you. Come check out Buffalo’s #1 Kayak Rental and Tours! Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., BFLO Harbor Kayak provides rentals and guided tours for visitors to Canalside. Three types of guided tours (Silo City Paddle Tour, Silo City Sunrise Tour and Sunset River Tour) are available. BFLO Harbor Kayak also offers standup paddleboard rentals Monday through Wednesday.

More Info

Longboards Paddle Co.

Locations:

  • Hamburg Town Beach – 4420 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg, NY 14075More Info
  • Woodlawn Beach and State Park – S-3580 Lakeshore Road Blasdell, NY 14219More Info
  • Wilkeson Point on the Outer Harbor – 225 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo, NY  14203
  • Buffalo River Launch (By reservation) – 301 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY More Info
  • Lake Erie Seaway Trail – 4968 Lake Shore Rd, Hamburg NY 14075More Info

This company has established itself at several different locations from Hamburg to the Outer Harbor. Plus, they have tons of rental options like single and tandem Kayak rentals, Stand Up Paddleboard Rentals, Hydro-bikes – single and tandem, and Turbo Paddle Boats for kids.

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Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

721 Main St, Buffalo / (716) 852-7483

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is a nonprofit organization that offers paddle tours on the Black Rock Canal, Buffalo River, Cayuga, and Scajaquada Creeks. They have their own fleet of kayaks available for free to rent, or you’re welcome to bring your own.

To register for a tour, go to their website listed in the more info. Kayakers must be 12 years or older, and if they are 16 years or younger, they must register for a tandem kayak. Some events may have a cost to register, but the kayak rental is free.

Check out buffaloblueway.com for info on the Blueway and an interactive trip planning feature.

More Info

Buffalo River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters

880 Harlem Road, West Seneca / 716-771-2995

Take a two to three-hour, 6.5-mile trip down the Buffalo River from West Seneca to Buffalo or vice versa with Buffalo River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters. This Buffalo River Urban Trail Tour presents an enticing opportunity to experience the wonderful, natural beauty our city has to offer! You should know that you will need to provide your own transportation back to your starting point. Furthermore, children under the age of 13 are required to wear a flotation device.

They offer daily and weekly rates which can be found on their website listed in the more info.

More Info

Paths, Peaks and Paddles Inc.

1000 Ellicott Creek Rd # 1, Tonawanda / (716) 213-0350

Paths, Peaks and Paddles have offered preselected tours for kayakers in Buffalo for thirty years. They can help you plan your own customized trip with certified assurance. Everyone who works for this company is a New York State Licensed Guide. They also provide rentals for kayaks and canoes, ranging from hourly to a full week. Furthermore, they offer a wide variety of extra rental equipment, seminars, training and repair services.

More Info

Blue Water Marina

330 E River Rd, Grand Island / (716) 773-7884

Paddling with Blue Water Marina can give you a scenic tour of the Niagara River. Their 4.5-mile, 2.5-hour guided tours take guests past the childhood home of U.S. President Grover Cleveland and Motor Island, as well as a brief stop at Strawberry Island. There’s a chance you might see egrets and herons along the way as well!

Blue Water Marina also offers various boat services, parts and a launch ramp.

More Info

SUP Erie Adventures

1028 S Shore Drive, Irving, New york 14081 / (716) 868 2975

Sup Erie Adventures offers rentals, guided tours, and speciality classes. Take a SUP Yoga class and learn how to be a floating yogi on the water, or get comfortable fishing in your kayak on the lake. Whether you are looking for basic paddling instruction or advanced paddling technique, our instructors are the best in the business. We offer an abundance of classes suited for anyone at every level.

Guided SUP and Kayak Trip amenities include:

  • Two Hour Paddling Trip
  • Margarita Sunset Paddling Tour
    • Come explore Lake Erie’s incredible coast and after the paddle, enjoy a Margarita on the patio with us!
  • Overnight Paddling Trip
    • Camping gear and equipment provided
    • Includes 2 meals

Speciality Classes Include:

  • Intro to Paddling
  • Advanced Paddling
  • SUP Yoga and SUP Fitness
  • Regular Surfing and/or SUP Surfing

Two Hour Classes

  • SUP White Water Lesson
  • SUP Fishing and/or Kayak Fishing

More Info

Waterbike and Boat Adventures

11 Young St. Tonawanda, NY 14150 / (716) 316-3905

Located in Gateway Harbor in Tonawanda, Waterbike and Boat Adventures provides rentals of hydrobikes, kayaks, paddle boards, and electric boats. Amenities include:

  • Hydrobikes – First come first serve, but seldom a long wait (Not available for 2021 season due to construction)
  • Kayaks – First come first serve, but seldom a long wait
  • Double Kayaks – First come first serve, but seldom a long wait
  • Stand Up Paddle boards – First come first serve, but seldom a long wait
  • 18 ft. Electric Boat – 2 hrs. max. Seats 9 adults (Not available for 2021 season due to construction)
  • 26 ft. Electric Pontoon Boat – 2 hrs. minimum and 3 hrs. maximum,  Seats 12 adults (Not available for 2021 season due to construction)

No refueling fees! Life jackets provided for all.

More Info

Adventures in Fitness Inc.

24 Delray Drive, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 / (716) 983-5717

Adventures in fitness provides both kayak lessons and guided kayak tours on The Buffalo River.

  • Lessons – can be taught individually or in groups of 5 people maximum
  • General pricing varies depending on duration and amount of participants

More Info

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Launch Points


There are plenty of places to launch your kayak from in Western New York, which can be conveniently found at paddling.net/launches.

We encourage paddlers to follow directions on any signs posted at these launch points, and to use your best judgment when it comes to safety. Launch points in Buffalo include:

  • Canalside
  • La Salle Park
  • In front of Riverworks Restaurant
  • River Fest Park
  • Wilkeson Pointe
  • Erie Basin Marina
  • Gallagher Beach
  • Buffalo Urban Canoe Trail
  • The foot of Hamburg St.
  • Bird Island Pier
  • Niagara River – Aqua lane Park

Others outside the city include, but are not limited to:

  • Pierce Abe Launch at Buffalo Creek near Cheektowaga
  • Smokes Creek in Orchard Park
  • American Legion Put In in East Aurora
  • Amherst State Park
  • Niawanda Park Boat Launch in Tonawanda
  • Tonawanda Harbor
  • West Canal Marina in North Tonawanda
  • Niagara and Sweeney St launch in North Tonawanda
  • Ellicott Creek Park Kayak Launch in Tonawanda
  • Woods Creek Kayak Launch on Grand Island

WeKanu also offers skill classes for canoe, kayak, safety and rescue, as well as American Canoe Association instructor certification workshops. Their website provides a list of places to paddle around the area also.

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

Editorial Submissions (Lite)
Include name of business / organization / addition, website, and address if possible.
Are you directly affiliated with this businesses? (Owner, Manager, Staff etc.) *
Sign up to receive our Step Out Buffalo Business email newsletter about marketing and business tips
Subscribe to Step Out Buffalo’s daily newsletter about the best things to do, places to go, eat and drink in Buffalo & WNY.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/patrickkoster/" target="_self">Patrick Koster</a>

Written by Patrick Koster

Patrick Koster is from Buffalo, NY, otherwise known as the land of beer, bipolar weather and wings. He plans to one day rule the world. Whenever he isn't on his quest for world domination, Patrick enjoys talking in the third person and storytelling, with a passion for news, sports, culture and anything in between. Patrick is currently working on deciphering the new language of Emoji.
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