Paddle with a Ranger Event Support

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ORGANIZATION: National Park Service

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is seeking experienced paddlers to support our Paddle with a Ranger events over the summer!

The Paddle with a Ranger series has two routes: (1) Vermillion River Bottoms (VRB) in Hastings and (2) Paddle Share’s City route that starts at North Mississippi Regional Park and ends at Boom Island Park.

Programs are offered Thursdays and Saturday-Monday with varied start times. See below for more details on each paddle route.

Volunteers are expected to support National Park Service staff in preparing boats for launch, resetting boats after the program, greeting participants, assisting participants in equipment use, promoting responsible recreation practices, communicating NPS staff of potential safety concerns, and providing informal interpretation to participants. We ask that volunteers average one paddle per week. All safety equipment and watercraft will be provided; we ask the volunteers use their own water shoes if available.

If interested in applying for this position, please complete this Paddle Volunteer Interest Form.


  • Previous experience with paddling
  • Previous experience in instructing others
  • Previous experience working with the public
  • Knowledge of park resources and its stories


1. Attend NPS Paddle Training

a. Location: Fort Snelling State Park

b. Dates:

i. May 13 (Mon) with a rain date scheduled for May 14 (Tue)

ii. Alternate date is June 10 (Mon)

2. Attend NPS Paddle Training for routes you’re available for (May 8-9)

a. Vermillion River Bottoms

b. Paddle Share City route: Heron Rookery


  1. Attend NPS Operational Leadership (OL) training

o Location: Park HQ

o Dates: May 2-3 (Thu-Fri)

o Time: 8:45 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.



Frequency: 1 per day, Saturdays and Sundays, approx. June - September

Length: 2-hours

Route Difficulty: Moderate

Program Run Times: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. or 4 - 6 p.m. Program Start/End Location: Vermillion River North Public Water Access (Hastings)

Meeting Location:

1. Park HQ (if riding with staff) or

2. Program start location

Route Description:

Explore a unique portion of this national park with a National Park Service ranger as your guide. This area in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is great for wildlife observation--come see bald eagles, great blue herons, prothonotary warblers, we might even be able to sneak up on a muskrat! Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided by the National Park Service.


Frequency: 1 per day, Mondays, approx. June - August

Length: 2-hours

Route Difficulty: Moderate

Program Run Time: 6 - 8 p.m. Program Start Location: North Mississippi Regional Park at Carl W. Kroening Nature Center (Minneapolis) Program End Location: Boom Island Park (Minneapolis)

Note: Vehicle shuttling required

Meeting Location:

1. Park HQ (if riding with staff; volunteer shift starts earlier than listed shift time) 2. Program start location Carl W. Kroening Nature Center or

3. Program end location (ride with park staff to program start location before program start time)

Route Description:

Kick off the paddle season with a kayak past the Minneapolis skyline! We'll launch from North Mississippi Regional Park, view the site of the future Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project and see the great blue herons nesting on their island rookery before landing at Boom Island Regional Park. Enjoy your urban national park and America's greatest river from a whole new perspective.

This four-mile paddle begins at 6 p.m. at Carl Kroening Interpretive Center / North Mississippi Regional Park and ends at 8 p.m. at Boom Island Regional Park. It includes a kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device rental from Paddle Share.

Start Date - 2024-06-01

End Date - 2024-09-29

Activities include: Fish/Wildlife;General Assistance;Tour Guide/Interpretation;Visitor Information

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