Transporting solo

Am needing advice/info. How do you put in on river, and get back to car?

Seriously…have never done it.

I do it all the time
paddle up stream for a few miles,then coast on home.


Bicycle shuttle
This is my favorite method:

Go to take out, and secure bike to a tree. Drive with boat to put in. Paddle. Secure boat to a tree at take out. Bicycle to put in. Drive back to take out and retrieve boat. The drive back to the take out can be avoided if you have a boat trailer for the bike.

I once did a round trip without the car, but I still had to drive to the put in to retrieve the bike and trailer when it was over: Bike with boat trailer to river put in, paddle downriver, into the bay, and out to sea, then up the coast back to my house. A complete round trip with just bike and boat, but couldn’t avoid the apré paddle car trip.

I’m sure others will come up with other nice solo shuttle ideas.


I have done both of the ways…
mentioned above, but if it is a popular river for paddling that has outfitters around, check with them for a shuttle.

Most of the ones located on or near a river offer that service for a nominal fee.



paddling clubs…and other friends…
probably the single most reason that most river paddlers opt to go that route. Car shuttles alleviate the issue, and cars can be the the downstream takeout

Paddling upriver, then back, and the
bike method are best if no shuttle is available. But, if the current is such you can paddle upriver, then paddling downriver and back too works, though going upriver is easier when fresh and the current makes it better for paddling back when ready to come home. A willing spouse or friend who’ll meet you at the take out is also nice.

From the takeout to the put in with your kayak.

solo shuttle logistics
all excellent suggestions above …

If you’re doing the bike shuttle, & have room in your boat for the bike, & have to drive past the put in to reach the takeout (as opposed to coming from other direction where you’d 1st drive past the takeout) you can save a round trip drive between (& some time) by taking your bike along w/ you in boat during downriver paddle

I do this
several ways. Sometimes I can get the S/O to pick me up at the take out. Especially if dinner or good looking female friends are involved. Oil Creek and the Conewongo have bike trails that fun along side of them, making bike shuttles an option. I once took my rollerblades with me and fully intended to rollerblade the 10 mile Oil Creek trail back to my car. I pulled my kayak out of the creek at Petroleum Center and there were two men fishing off of the bridge who were very interested in what I was doing. Turns out they were kayakers from Erie and they were heading to Drakes Well. They threw my kayak on their truck rack and I was able to hitch a ride boat and all. If you are out there, thanks again guys. I had forgotten my socks, so that ride was more appreciated than you know. Make friends and keep family down river. I often paddle the Allegheny from the Buckaloons to Tidioute because I know I can always get a ride back to my vehicle from family or friends there.


Different Bike Shuttle
Wow a small world,I bike shuttle the conowango a lot.

I like to drop the canoe at the start,drive to and leave the truck at the finish,and bike back to the start.That way the vehicle is waiting for me at the end in case I am tired or wet/cold.Usually the roads that you have to bike are flat as they follow the stream.I have also done this in the ADKs-but the distances and hills are often a lot further.I bought some 5$ bikes at yard sales that I use for shuttles so I don’t worry about them,the canoe I hide and cable to a tree which is why I like green canoes.


Hitchhike back if you are in a safe area. Wearing your lifejacket lets traffic know what you are doing.

Consider the option of a folding bike.
Dahon makes a number of different models, including some with 16 or 20" wheels. With wheels that size, its much easier to strap them on to a kayak or carry in a canoe. This one may fit the bill:

Check a map for alterntive routes too. We float several miles of a lovely small trib that then enters the main stem farther away from the takeout then the distance of the shuttle. Seems like cheating getting a 2hr paddle with a 5 min bike ride back!