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“"Must do!"”

Burke's Canoe Trips on the Russian River
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Forestville
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Attraction details
Owner description: Burke's offers canoe rentals for ten mile trips down the Russian River. No experience is necessary, but you must know how to swim.
Reno, Nevada
1 review
“"Must do!"”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

We had a fantastic weekend camping at Burkes and canoeing the Russian River last weekend!

The camp ground has a really cool set up -- it consists of several levels of flat camping areas admist enormous trees with a view of the Russian River. Most (or maybe all) of the camping sites have a fire pit and picnic table. There are also bathrooms and showers.

We had great weather and took our time canoeing -- it took us about 5 hours. There were sandy beaches to stop and eat lunch, and several rope swings along the way. The river is beautiful, and there's a bus at the take-out that takes you back to Burkes.

The staff was super friendly and helpful. They greeted us when we arrived and made sure we had an excellent time. I can't say enough wonderful things about this place and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a fabulous canoeing/camping experience! I will definitely be going back!

Visited September 2012
Thank Evie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Depends on the wind!”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was a return trip for the group I was with. We had been here 11 years ago for a bachelorette party float down the river. Obviously, it was memorable because we came back to do it again. The Burke crew made sure we knew the whats and wherefors of the river and what to watch out for and supplied us with either canoe or kayaks. We specified our desires and they were met with the appropriate boats. Had a good time, but because of the wind coming up in the afternoon, found we had to paddle to get downstream. However, we all had a good time and will definitely return.

Visited September 2012
Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Easy paddle, beautiful scenery”
Reviewed September 22, 2012

My wife and I were in the area on business and I had always wanted to paddle down the Russian River. We didn't bring our kayaks since we live in Southern CA, so planned to rent a double kayak for the day. I had checked out a couple places, but a friend of ours had recently used Burke's and had a great experience. They didn't have double kayaks (only a few singles), but the cost was less than the other places so we decided to go with Burke's.

We arrived around 11 AM on a Thursday in mid-September. We parked in the dirt lot under the redwoods. Only three other cars were in the lot! We checked in at an open shack nearby. The gentleman there gave us a 5 minute briefing/orientation on the does & don'ts and pointed us directed us down the hill to the canoes lined up on the river's edge. The fee included canoe, paddles, life vests and a cooler (limited availability). The only life jackets they had were the big, old orange life jackets. We had brought our own kayaking PFDs so we didn't use theirs.

We borrowed an ice chest and bought a bag of ice to keep our picnic lunch and drinks cool.

We walked down the short road from the bluff to the river's edge. About one hundred aluminum canoes were lined up there just a few feet from the river. We dragged one into the water, loaded our gear and headed downstream. The river here was only about 30 feet across and about 2 feet deep. The placid river seemed to be barely moving.

It was a perfect day! Sunny, but not hot or cold! Only about four canoes were on the river that day, so we didn't have to deal with any large rowdy groups. The river route was away from any nearby roads. The few cabins were mostly unseen on the bluffs above the rivers. There were several bends in the river with sand bars that allowed for easy landings. We passed by one river lodge, but at this time of during the weekend it was closed and vacant. It was quiet all along the river and we were able to see and approach closely to ducks, cormorants, herons, turkey vultures and few few song birds. The trees were just starting to turn their autumn colors.

We had a leisurely paddle until the very end when we had some afternoon breezes from the ocean blowing up river that we had to paddle against.

At the take-out beach we boarded an old school bus that was our shuttle back to our starting point. It was a great day and we would highly recommend it!

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Wayne N Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Take a cushion and water cannon. Enjoy the day and you WILL get wet”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Had a great day of Paddling on the river with 2 canoes and a party of 6 including one child of 8. The scenery is beautiful and the water clear in the shallows so is safe for kids to swim in and cool off in the slightly chilly waters. Take plenty of drinks and snacks as there are plenty of places to pull up and enjoy the day. Watch out for the few local drunks on the river banks and you will have some peace and quiet whilst watching others float past. If you choose the right spot you can have many a fun hour watching others badly navigate the currents, which are strong in places, and they end up in the trees!
Two recommendations, the seats after a 10 mile raft are very uncomfy and taking a cushion or something soft will save a numb bum! Also, the rules of the Russain River apparently mean that you HAVE to get wet whilst boating and there are a lot of local kids on the banks with very powerful super soakers. Take your own ammo, have fun and don't take any valuables which are not waterproof!

Visited September 2012
Thank petmadness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“slow river”
Reviewed August 30, 2012

It was a great day with my husband. They weren't kidding when they said the water moves slowly. There was no floating down that river. Had to paddle the whole way. Good teamwork for both of us. The bus ride homewas great and very vintage. Totally worth the price and more.

Visited July 2012
Thank kamalakhalsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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