How to Buy Your Own Canoe

Just like banjos and vintage trailers, canoes are back as the preferred mode of recreation for those with a penchant for all things old school. Originally crafted by Native Americans, today the designs and materials have been modified and reshaped. Still, whether you’re plunging down the McKenzie or enjoying a peaceful afternoon on Hosmer, canoes have a way of evoking the pioneer wilderness explorer within.

Here are the first questions to ask yourself when choosing a canoe:

What kind of paddling do you plan to do? Will you be fishing, exploring lazy rivers, or learning to whitewater canoe?

Will you be embarking on multi-day adventures or just Sunday afternoon jaunts to the Cascade Lakes?

Are you planning on packing the whole family (plus the dog!) in your canoe, or will paddling be a solo endeavor for you?

How much room will you need to bring gear or store your fishing supplies?


Canoe Types:

Recreational Canoes:

These boat are perfect for straightforward flatwater paddling. They are stable, fun, easy to control and hard to flip. This is a great choice for birders, photographers, anglers and people with young kids. These are for easy paddling, not for making miles or navigating rapids.


Multi-Purpose Canoes

This is the right boat for those who plan to paddle everything from Sparks Lake to the John Day River. They are built to handle both and offer great maneuverability and more capacity than rec boats. Included in this category are high-volume “tripping” canoes that can haul lots of gear for multi-day trips.


River Canoes

Whitewater canoers are a rare breed, but make no mistake; they are thriving here in Central Oregon. These boats are impact- and abrasion- resistant with lots of rocker.


We carry canoes by Wenonah, NorthStar and Oldtown.