365 Things to Do in Memphis #144: Race Your Canoe (or Kayak) on the Mississippi

365 Things to Do in Memphis #144: Race Your Canoe (or Kayak) on the Mississippi

Updated May 2018

Grab your canoe or kayak and get in the water during the Outdoors, Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race. The annual race is assignment #144 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis.

In 2018, the race is cancelled because the riverfront area parks are closed for construction and redevelopment, which is a bummer. I'll be sure to update this once we figure out when the 2019 race will be.

More than 500 people dip their paddles in the water in mid-June every year, which makes this one of the largest canoe and kayak races in the Southeast.

The races are open to anyone, but expect some hardcore competition. In the past several years, the race has drawn Olympians, world champions and amateurs from all over the world to compete for cash and prizes.


The start of the race will be at the mouth of the Wolf River. The course will take us out of the Wolf River into the Mississippi River; down under the I-40 bridge; past Mud Island Park and up into the Memphis Harbor to finish. See more here.

During the race, the coast guard will have all barge traffic stopped and the harbor patrol will be on duty.

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If you're planning to participate, you have to register ahead of time at an Outdoors, Inc. location. It's usually about $60 per person. Check in is usually around 7 a.m. at the north end of Greenbelt Park, and if you just want to watch, be sure to get down there by 10 a.m.

Go there:

Annual Outdoors, Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race

June 2019
Green Belt Park (on Mud Island)
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

This post was originally published in May 2012.

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