Address: 500 Pawtucket Blvd. Lowell, MA 01854
The Kayak Center utilizes the outdoor space of the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse. During open hours, Kayak Center staff can be found near the dock area or at the far right open bay door. On rainy days, the table is moved to the nearest open bay door.
Parking: Free parking is available in the adjacent parking area for the Vandenberg Esplanade along the shoulder of Pawtucket Blvd.
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Rain doesn't stop us! We paddle in the rain! Rain is actually a really great time to be on the water, it's typically very calm and can be super memorable to spend time outside in the rain! If you are thinking about it, we encourage you to try it.
In more significant adverse weather, the Kayak Center may postpone rental or program activity. Adverse weather that will interrupt our activities includes: wind is above approx. 15 mph; when white caps are visible on the water; before, during or after severe storms; when water levels and current are expected to rise significantly; and when thunderstorms threaten the area.
When conditions are questionable, please call the Kayak Center to inquire if we are operational.
When we have to cancel a program due to adverse weather, we will make every effort to re-schedule the program or we will fully refund participants.
We offer paddling opportunities for people of all ages. Please see the guidelines below or talk with one of our staff to make sure the child has the best possible experience on the water! Please keep in mind that weather, wind and water conditions may effect children significantly more than adults. Children under 12 and sometimes older are not recommended in winds above 7 knots. It is very important that children (and adults) are not strapped into the boat in the event of a capsize. All children must have a valid minor waiver on file before they are allowed to boat.
- Infants 6 months old and older, toddlers and young children up to 7 years old are best suited to paddle in a wide cockpit kayak, tandem kayak, or canoe with at least one adult in the same boat. We recommend a second adult to attend to the child. Our infant PFD’s require a minimum weight of 20 lbs.
- Kids 8-11 years old depending on their level of comfort may paddle their own boat under the direct supervision of an adult on the water with them. One adult may supervise no more than 3 children of this age at a time on the water.
- Kids and Teens 12-15 years old may paddle their own boat under the direct supervision of an adult on the water with them. One adult may supervise no more than 5 children of this age at a time on the water.
- Teens 16 years old and older may paddle unaccompanied from the boathouse with the permission of their guardian. Any teen renting a boat offsite must be accompanied by an adult on the water with a maximum ratio of 1 adult to 8 teens.
- Adults 18 years old and older are able to participate in our full programs and rentals as stated.
We do not allow participants to bring pets into the boats.
bring-your-own-boatBring Your Own Boat
For those who own their own boat, there is a $5 fee to launch out of the Kayak Center dock. To use our shuttle service, the $15 shuttle fee applies, but you will not be charged a rental fee. If you have a rowing shell you would like to launch at our boathouse, we encourage all adult rowers to join the Merrimack River Rowing Association for access. Our site is not suitable for launching motor boats.
Paddle Safety Guidelines
- Breathe independently (i.e., not require medical devices to sustain breathing)
- Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water
- Independently hold head upright without neck / head support
- Manage personal care independently or with assistance of a companion
- Manage personal mobility independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance
- Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently or with assistance of a companion
- Independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket
paymentPayment, Cancellation & Refunds
All credit card payments will appear as "UML Campus CTR" on billing statements. Payments are due in full before the start of services unless otherwise agreed upon in writing. Due to needs of trip planning and reservations, cancellations must be made 14 DAYS PRIOR TO TRIP DEPARTURE to receive a full refund for instructional programs, trips, and tours. Cancellations that occur within 14 days of trip departure will receive no refund, unless another participant on the waiting list can be found to take the open spot. 100% of your payment will be refunded if a trip is cancelled by Kayak Center staff (sometimes due to weather). Some longer and specialty trips/events may have separate cancellation and refund policies, which will be outlined at the time of registration. Participants are expected to be responsible for arriving on time and prepared for trips. Those who register for a trip but do not show up on time for a trip cannot receive a refund.
Management of Trips & Services
The Kayak Center reserves the right to cancel any trip before departure or shorten any trip after departure due to safety consideration or other factors. In addition, the Kayak Center reserves the right to change the itinerary of the trip for reasons that include, but are not limited to: weather, group experience, emergencies, safety considerations, etc. The Kayak Center reserves the right to send home early any participant who cannot withstand the rigors of the trip, who violates any program policy or law, who is deemed to be a danger to him/herself or others, or who requires medical attention during the trip and is deemed ineligible to continue participation. NO REFUND will be provided for early departures. Accommodations and transportation back to campus will be at the expense of the participant.
Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco
It is our mission to provide healthy and safe outdoor recreation experiences. Alcohol and drugs are PROHIBITED. We represent UMass Lowell on our trips and we need to follow the university's zero tolerance policy even while away from campus. Consumption and/or possession of alcohol or drugs while attending an Outdoor Adventure trip or event will be handled through the appropriate UMass Lowell authorities. We encourage participants to refrain from use of tobacco products during trips and rentals. Smoking in the boats is not allowed. If you do use tobacco products all related trash must be properly disposed of to protect the sensitive areas we travel.
Harassment & Discrimination
No harassment of any kind will be tolerated by participants or staff during any Outdoor Adventure trip or event. The Outdoor Adventure Program strives to be sensitive and supportive of cultural and individual differences—specifically those differences due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status. We encourage respect and appreciation for the diversity of all participants and staff and we hope you will do the same. It is your responsibility to report any misconduct to Outdoor Adventure Program staff or the Program Coordinator immediately.
The Outdoor Adventure Program seeks to provide what trip equipment we can to participants in order to provide a safe and fun trip experience. Participants are responsible for equipment rented to them by the Outdoor Adventure Program. Participants will be responsible for paying for any damaged or lost equipment as assessed by the Outdoor Program Coordinator.
If you have any questions, you may contact: Kate Ford, Outdoor Programs Coordinator and Boathouse Manager by phone: 978-934-1549 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.