Kayaking in Dublin Reveals Hidden Natural Beauty

Kayaking in Dublin Reveals Hidden Natural Beauty

A true splendor in Dublin remains undiscovered by countless residents. But a local kayaking company is helping people realize what’s been quietly nearby this whole time.  

Dawn of Sunrise

Fast-forward to the spring of 2021. Chad was driving with his wife, Laurie, along the river when she suggested they start a kayak rental business. He quickly agreed and Sunrise Kayaking was born.

The Brennans liked the name Sunrise because it sounded positive, “outdoorsy.”

“We can literally provide rentals at sunrise,” he said, along with nearly any other hour of the day.

Sunrise Kayaking partnered with the Historic Dublin Business Association to “test the waters” by providing free rides. With a strong public response, Chad now wants to draw back the curtain on the Scioto’s inviting beauty to as many people as possible through his business.

A Wonderful Wilderness

In the last year and a half, Sunrise Kayaking has successfully accomplished its goal for thousands of riders.

“They’re really excited when they get down there,” Chad, whose main day job is running a non-profit, said. “People say things like, ‘I can’t believe this is down here. I’ve driven over this river a thousand times, and I had no idea.’”

The main route Sunrise Kayaking offers begins and ends in Downtown Dublin. Kayakers leave from Dublin Spring Park, located underneath the 161 Bridge. The trip begins by traveling upstream for about a half-mile, where kayakers paddle under the Link Bridge.

“The bridge is fun,” Chad said. “You go by all these people waving and watch the pedestrians walk by.”

Then the group turns to head a mile downstream, where they pass through a shaded inlet into “this amazingly scenic wilderness section,” Chad said.

“You kind of feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere,” he continued. “It’s quiet.”

Class-5 whitewater rafting this is not. It’s a serene experience.

Chad also likes to use the opportunity to remind riders of the value of the environment and how important it is to protect.

“I’m very excited about helping people recognize how the choices we make impact the ecosystem,” he said.

And that environment is currently changing with the seasons.

Falling In Love with Fall

With autumn having made its debut, leaves are beginning their transition, and now Dublin’s scenery is painted with a whole new brush. It’s an opportunity Chad is happy to take advantage of for the benefit of riders.

“That’s going to be extremely fun,” he said. “I’m excited to see all the pictures coming out there.”

As the leaves change, of course, so does the temperature. Fall riders should come prepared as getting in the kayaks requires walking into water that’s approximately one foot high. And the kayaks themselves take on a little bit of water.

Proper attire, including high boots or waders, is ideal as the water becomes chillier. But for those who are prepared, the trip should be a feast for the eyes.

Nighttime Adventures

Sunrise Kayaking also offers a memorable experience for when the sun goes down: neon kayaking. During this nighttime excursion, the team straps the boats with battery-powered neon lights, offering a completely new, fun visual experience.

“It’s turned out to be a huge hit,” Chad said. “You can literally see the kayaks a mile away.”

A Strong Partnership

Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without a partnership with Dublin. And it’s one the entire Sunrise Kayaking team is grateful for.

“So far, it’s been great,” he said of his collaboration with the city. “I think it’s a good match because we’re really committed to doing rides well with great equipment and great service.”

And Dublin officials have been sending the warmth right back.

“Sunrise Kayaking offers residents and visitors a great new way to see Dublin. Some Dublin businesses have even used the tours as a team-building exercise,” says Director of Economic Development Jennifer Klus. “We’re excited Chad decided to ‘launch’ his business here and offer this fresh perspective of Dublin.”

A Diverse Dublin Experience

Another thing Chad welcomes about his opportunity with Sunrise Kayaking: the diversity of people he’s been able to serve. He knows it aligns with the experience Dublin officials want to create.

Not only are people flocking to kayak on the Scioto from all over Central Ohio, but they’re also coming from all over the world.

“We have people coming who are visiting from Japan or Africa or Saudi Arabia,” he said. “And they say, ‘We’ve heard about this and want to give it a shot.’ And it’s just been incredibly fun.”

Endless Opportunities

Brennan recommends the experience for anyone: couples, families, or even businesses looking for a team-building exercise.

“If you want to go to a nice restaurant in Bridge Park and then come kayak with us afterward, that’s a really fun combo,” he said.

Sunrise Kayaking offers one-hour and two-hour excursions. For more information, visit www.sunrisekayaking.com.

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