How many miles per day

I’m new to canoeing and am planning a river trip and was hoping some of you could help me out. I’m trying to determine about how many miles myself and one other person (same boat)can reasonably expect to paddle in one day. This trip will be on a slow moving calm river (down stream :slight_smile: and I want it to be a leisurely trip, i.e., I don’t want to be busting my butt to travel as far as I can in one day. For those of you that have made such trips, about how far should I be able to go, 10 miles, 20, 30??? On a similar note, about how fast (MPH) can one average on such a river with two paddling? Thanks for any and all help.

On a slow moving river in the summer

– Last Updated: Aug-02-06 2:48 PM EST –

with a boat load of gear I normally figure on no more than 10 to 12 miles a day, less if I plan to fish my way along. If you can keep an average moving rate of around 3mph, thats pretty good.
I have done as much as 20 and it starts to be more like a death march. That being said ,thanks to a rain swolen Kiamichi River this past April we ended up doing 42 and some change in about 7 hours.
If you have never paddled a stretch and are planning to camp on the river, figure 10 a day.

Agree with 3mph.
You can paddle with the current and go faster, but there are always portages, log jams, sweepers, strainers, etc. to slow you back down. I wouldn’t realistically expect any more than around 20 miles a day on a popular river stretch (where there are houses and/or canoe rentals). A couple years ago, my friends and I did some headwaters exploring and only made a half mile of progress in four hours. So, it depends more on where you’re going than how many engines you have.


For an enjoyable day…
figure 12 to 18 miles.

That is putting in your lunch break and several pit stops.

If you haven’t done much paddling you are going to get “canoe-can” and even 15 might be too much.



What is
"canoe-can"? Guess you can tell from that I haven’t done much paddling. :slight_smile:

I live in central Georgia, and this is a lonely stretch of river, no houses, etc. Weak to moderant current depending on how much water they release from the dam up river. Lots of turns, curves, etc., almost snake-like. I was actually hoping I could get in more miles per day than what you guys have suggested, but it looks like I’m going to have to go back and do a little re-planning.

I think it’s when your bum starts getting those little tingly, itchy, crawlies from sitting all day.

You can do more
Last year we did the Lumber river 40 mile race in a little over six hours, but you said you wanted to go slow.

To me a perfect nature watching day on the river would be between 15 and 20 miles, (with 20 on the high side)

Ah yes, “Canoe Can” is the same as “kayak can”

or “bike butt”. In other words a pain in the a-s.



Heat, health and soft hands
need to be factored in as well. Maybe it would be better to start taking some out and back trips before heading down river. That way you will have a pretty good idea about how long you can paddle and how hard it’s going to be on you.

Lumber River…
I seem to recall going across the Lumber river in Lumberton, NC, just south of Fayetteville way back in my army days at Ft. Bragg. Never been on that river, but from what I could see from the road, it looked to be a very pretty river. Same one?

Good advice
and I think I’ll take it. :slight_smile:

It is fantastic !
White sand bars around every bend that are perfect for camping, and much of it is pristene wilderness.

The first time I ever paddled it about 25 years ago when I was a transplant from the north, I was warned by my Charlotte non paddling native friends that the Lumbee indiands didn’t take to outsiders since a lot of them were growing weed in the woods on the sides of the river.

I fortunately ignored them and found out that if we didn’t roam too far off the beaten path they were as friendly or more so than many people you meet on a local lake.

Since that time the Lumber River has been made a designated state canoe trail.