This section is devoted to our most frequently asked questions about anything and everything related to your river trip. If you do not see the question you want answered here, simply call us and we will be glad to help at 513.353.4770. You can also send us a message on our Contact Page.
Q: What about reservations?
A: We do not require reservations nor do we charge customers an additional fee for not having one. If you are bringing a large group (20 or more) then it is helpful to give us a “heads up” so we can be well prepared. We pride ourselves in no one needing a reservation to get on the river. However, on holidays or on holiday weekends, we can be busy so there are no guarantees as to style boat you get. It is recommended to arrive “earlier vs. later” to get exactly what you want.
Q: When is the best time to bring Children?
A: For a peaceful, quiet time with the family, we suggest taking family river trips on weekdays or early mornings if on a weekend. Weekend afternoons and holidays tend to be our busiest time and it may not be so peaceful due to a higher volume of customers.
Q: Do you have river-trip activities to help entertain children?
A: Green Acres has a scavenger hunt available for children. If they return with litter, Green Acres will give them reward!
Q: Do you have Group Rates? What about non-profit groups?
A: We offer group rates to groups of 20 or more paying rental persons. To qualify, there must be a group leader that collects ALL of the cash and signed waivers and pay for the group in one single cash transaction. Upon doing so, each rental person will receive a $1 discount. Non-profit groups may receive additional savings but need to call for this information. To qualify for a discount, payment cannot be by credit/debit card due to the merchant fees that would be put upon Green Acres. Personal checks are not accepted but non-profit or corporate checks are. Group rates are NOT accepted on holidays or holiday weekends.
Q: Can I bring my own equipment and have you shuttle my boat? Can I use Green Acres’ property for river access if I have my own boat?
A: No, Our Passenger Buses Do Not Pull Trailers. Due To Bus Transportation State Regulations And Insurance Reasons, We Do Not Provide Transport Service Of Private Owned Watercraft. Our properties are privately-owned and are NOT available to use for free river access and/or parking for non-rental people. There is a public access at 5180 Lawrenceburg Road (near Bond Road) and is a great access for getting off of the river.
Q: How often do the buses transport customers upriver?
A: Shuttle buses run continuously. There are no set departure times. The buses will come and go as the customers do. All you have to do is show up and the rest will be taken care of. Just remember that the LAST shuttle bus for the 8-mile trip leaves at 1:00 and the last 3-mile bus leaves at 4:00!!
Q: What are the age limits and restrictions?
A: Four years old is the minimum age to participate. Children MUST also be at least 40lbs. We reserve the right to restrict anyone due to our own safety judgment. (Children are weighed prior to check-in).
Q: Do you have single and tandem kayaks, Old Town canoes, rafts and tubes?
A: Yes! We offer all of these for rental on a “First Come, First Choice” basis. We cannot guarantee a particular style of boat upon your checking in so if you have a favorite, we suggest that you come early.
Q: Do you charge per boat or per person? Do children cost the same as an adult?
A: We charge per person with all of our canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes available to you for the same fee per person. However; canoes and tandem kayaks require a minimum of 2-paying people. Rafts require a minimum of 4-paying people. Single-kayaks and tubes require a rental regardless of the customer’s age. If a child is occupying a seat, then they require a rental fee the same as an adult.
Q: How many people can ride on a raft?
A: Our rafts seat 4-8 people. Rafts comfortably seat 6 adults or up to 8 people if some of them are children. There is a minimum of 4 paying people regardless of their ages.
Q: How much money should we bring? And do you accept credit cards?
A: Check out our pricing page to determine how much you will need. You should always bring enough money in case of any emergency or unexpected purchase. Cash is accepted and preferred since credit merchants charge us a substantial sized fee for processing. Cash paying customers will receive a FREE bag of Grippo’s chips in return for saving us merchant fees! All major credit cards are accepted. We do NOT accept personal checks but will accept checks from non-profit or corporate organizations.
Q: Are we allowed to bring coolers?
A: Coolers are permitted on our canoes and kayaks. Large, heavy coolers or ones with wheels are not allowed in our rafts due to potential damage to the rafts. Please do not bring Styrofoam coolers because they will break and may get into the river. Please don’t bring glass bottles on the river. It is our policy that alcohol and boating do not mix. We have the right to deny rental privileges to any intoxicated person and to refuse transportation in our vehicles as well. You should expect the river to be patrolled and it is possible to receive a warning, be fined, or arrested if you become unruly.
Q: Have any tickets been written on the river?
A: Yes, generally to an unruly person that is not “minding their manners”. Unruliness towards other customers or land owners may be issued disorderly conduct tickets or arrested by the Hamilton County Police and will also be banned from Green Acres for the remainder of the season. Tickets for littering and possession of marijuana have also been written by Hamilton County Park Rangers and/or by the Department of Watercraft, who do at times “police” park property along the river. The ODNR state watercraft officers may also at times patrol the river and issue citations to unruly persons. It is illegal to have opened, alcoholic beverages on a state right-of-way such as a river.
Q: How can I gauge my time or know where I am?
A: Take a free river map. The map shows landmarks such as our 3-mile launch site, the ‘Big Island’, creeks, Hamilton County Park property signs, gas lines, bridges, etc.
Q: What should we bring with us on our trip?
A: Check out our Helpful Tips to find out what is necessary and suggested. Just remember to wear comfortable clothing and footwear that can get wet. Bring a change of clothes and some extra money for snacks and souvenirs!
Q: What is the average water temperature?
A: This varies but rest assured, we will not be opened for rentals if the water temperature is too cool for your safety.
Q: What are normal hours of operation?
A: We are open 7 days a week starting sometimes as early as April but generally in May and operate thru late September or early October, depending upon the weather. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily reports.
Q: Is there much wildlife along the Whitewater River?
A: Most definitely!! Arriving in the mornings will increase your chances for enjoying a peaceful, quiet day on the river. Keep in mind that weekends and holidays may be less peaceful due to the higher volume of customers. Expect to possibly see American Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Osprey, Hawks, Kingfisher, Cliff Swallows, and Beaver, maybe an otter or muskrats among much more.
Q: How long in distance is the river trip? How much time does it take to complete?
A: The short trip covers a distance of 3 miles. On a tube or raft, it usually takes about 2-3 hours to complete. If you rent a kayak or canoe, the trip will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. The longer 8 mile trip takes canoes or kayaks an average of 3-5 hours of leisure paddling. Trip times will vary and change on a daily basis based on wind/water conditions and each customer’s amount of paddling versus floating preferences. There are also numerous beaches for resting & socializing. River maps are available so you can gauge your time. On either trip, take as long as you want, so long as you are off the river by 7:00pm.
Q: Is there security present at Green Acres?
A: Green Acres oftentimes has Hamilton County Police Officers hired for added security. The police may also be present to remind folks to “Mind Their Manners” while on or off the water. Green Acres will NOT tolerate unruly behavior.
Q: Do you have lockers or what do we do with our keys, etc.?
A: Sorry, we do not have lockers, please lock your valuables in a hidden, concealed spot in your car or leave your precious personal items at home for extra safety. We advise not taking anything on the river that you can’t afford to lose or get wet. For your convenience, we have a variety of dry boxes and dry bags available for sale at an affordable price. (Green Acres is not responsible for lost, stolen, or misplaced items).
Q: What physical shape should I be in?
A: You should be in good physical condition to participate. Those with serious health concerns or other issues should consult with their physician prior to coming. For safety reasons, those with heart conditions, those who are in their final weeks of pregnancy, and those who have other serious conditions should not participate. This is for your safety! Please call us with your concerns if you have any questions.
Q: What’s the average depth of the river?
A: The River averages at 2-4 feet deep for most of the trip. However, some spots can exceed 8-10 feet deep. On average water level days, you can literally walk most of the trip in knee deep to waist deep waters.
Q: Are there any rapids? What “class” are they?
A: Yes, there are spots with rapids during the upper half of the 8 mile river trip. The rapids are classified as Class I, which is the smallest class out of a 5 class scale. They are great rapids for beginners and still fun for the river veterans.
Q: Should I wear shoes?
A: Foot protection is very important. “Flip-flops” can easily fall off so the best are any water shoe, sandals with a heel strap, Croc-style shoes, or old sneakers. If you don’t have foot protection, we sell water shoes at our Store. The river bed oftentimes has rocks or shells that can be sharp or jagged. There can also be the possibility of broken glass or pieces of old metal. Foot protection will save your feet and make your trip more enjoyable.
Q: Do you have a clean-up area or changing rooms?
A: Yes, we have changing rooms available. We also have a customer clean-up area but do not have showers.
Q: Do you have life guards along the river trip?
A: No, this is an unguided river trip and you are choosing to participate at your own risk. We suggest that you wear your life jacket at all times and have someone in your group that knows how to swim.
Q: Do you provide life jackets?
A: Yes, life jackets are issued to all persons and are included in the rental fee for your boat. Our life jackets are also sanitized after each use and hung up to dry.
Q: Do you allow minors without the presence of an adult?
A: Yes and no, it depends on their ages, river conditions and other possible factors. Our policy is that if a minor has a vehicle operator’s licenses then they are old enough to do a river trip without an adult. We will need to speak with a parent/guardian if non-teenage minors are present in a group of teenagers. All minors (less than 18 years old) must arrive with a signed release of liability form, which can be downloaded from our website. If they do not bring it with them, we will call their guardian and get their permission via telephone. Groups of minors are suggested to take a cell phone with them so a concerned parent can easily get a hold of them. (We sell waterproof dry boxes).
Q: When do we need to be off of the river?
A: You must be off the river no later than 7:00pm unless it was stated to you otherwise by a Green Acres staff member. There is a fee of $10 for every 15 minutes that you are late. If sunset arrives and you are still out, Green Acres may consider it an emergency and call for assistance. Green Acres has free river maps available for you to gauge your time. Remember that your trip ends at your car.
Q: Do you have food, beverages and ice available?
A: Yes, we now have “The Food Truck” that serves food during our hours of operation. We also have soft drinks, chips, fresh fruit, meat snacks & candies. Ice is also available in 7lb bags.
Q: Do you have canoe supplies available?
A: Yes, we have nearly anything imaginable in our retail store! Such as: water shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, t-shirts, eyeglass straps, can koozies, dry bags, dry boxes, super soakers, pain reliever, carabineers, bungee cords, hats, matches, etc. Visit our FirstStop store online!`
Q: Do you sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products?
Q: Do you have a picnic area, shelter or grills available?
A: Yes and are free to use for customers before or after they have enjoyed their river trip! The grills are charcoal so bring your own supplies. The shelter can be reserved for large groups that do a river trip. Call 513.353.4770 if you’d like a shelter to be reserved.
Q: Are there places to stop for food and restrooms on the river trips?
A: Our 3 & 8-mile put-in properties have port-o-lets; otherwise you “Go” to the woods and cornfields. As always, please be discreet and DO NOT relieve yourself within sight of others, especially children! There are no places to purchase food or drink while on the river so take it with you. Never do a river trip without plenty of cold drinks for everyone.
Q: What age can you be to go in a single kayak?
A: As long as water levels are ‘normal’, a child of any capable age can go on a kayak with parent’s permission. Parents should keep in mind that our shortest trip is 3 miles. The 8 mile trip can be quite tiring for children. Be prepared to have to stop and rest and possibly switch boats with young children kayaking on their own. Children should be kept within eyesight. Remember, kayaks tend to go faster than canoes, but are also MUCH easier to handle.
Q: Who has to wear life jackets?
A: Children 10 and under and non-swimmers MUST wear their life jackets by Ohio Law. We recommend that everyone wears their life jackets. Everyone must have a life jacket in the boat with them, which is also state law. In cases of high water, everyone may be required to wear life jackets at all times throughout the trip. We recommend everyone to wear their life jacket.
Q: Is the Whitewater River clean?
A: According to the Ohio EPA, the Whitewater River has exceptional water quality, one of just three rivers in Ohio, making it the cleanest river in the tri-state! This is one of the few large Ohio Rivers that has 100% attainment of aquatic life.
Q: In case of severe weather, what do we do?
A: There is an enclosure at our 3 mile put-in to be able to wait out a pop-up storm. We will also be more than happy to show you additional friendly areas on a river map that you can take with you. If you are in a desolate area we suggest you wait it out on an opened beach or remain in your boat on the water, staying AWAY from trees that may have falling branches. Please keep in mind that summer storms are generally over within a short time period and we cannot easily come and get you if you become frightened.
Q: What do we do if there is an emergency?
A: If it is a serious, life-threatening medical emergency call 911. If it is non-life threatening, please call us and we will help you.
Q: Is your Whitewater River swift with rapids?
A: We do not have any ‘thrilling’ rapids and the river does have a faster current than many local rivers. It is classified as a Class 1 river. However, during periods of high water our river can have swifter currents. That is why we monitor the river and have restrictions or close during high water. Check our Facebook page for updates.
Q: Are there hazards that we need to avoid?
A: There can certainly be hazards. You want to avoid strainers which are trees or branches that may be sticking out of or into the waterway. It is also advised to proceed with caution around bridge piers.
Q: What do I do if I tip my canoe or kayak?
A: Our kayaks are actually difficult to tip and are impossible to become entrapped in; this is why we recommend kayaks for all ages and especially for beginners. If you should tip your boat, you may in most cases simply be able to climb back on, however, if in deeper water, swim it to shore then climb back on after dumping out any water. If you tip a canoe, you will need to drag it to a shallow area then tip the canoe AWAY from the current and lift up to let the water out.
Q: For what reasons does the canoe livery close
A: The canoe livery closes for high water or in too cold of conditions. We may limit the types of boats or ages of participants if water levels are higher than normal without closing. To check on water levels and to see if we have restrictions, please visit us on Facebook for our daily updates.
Q: Are dogs permitted?
A: Yes, on our canoes or kayaks but please refer to our Pet Rules prior to coming for possible restrictions or charges. Dogs cannot go on a raft due to the possible raft damage.
Q: Is camping available?
A: Camping is only available to non-profit scout groups for free so long as there is a river trip included. Reservations are required. Camping is NOT available to the general public.
Q: Do you ever sell your used boats?
A: We had in the past but as of the 2015 season, we have decided to no longer sell our used equipment.
Suggestions from the Lutz family (pronounced Loots)
You are welcome to leave your vehicle overnight to ride home with others, but please let us know so we aren’t out looking for you!
* Never take a cell phone that is not in a dry bag. We have affordable dry boxes available for sale. Ziploc baggies do not float and generally are not waterproof.
* If you decide to jump into the river, never go head first, check the water depth and also look for debris in the water so you don’t impale yourself on a branch! We do not suggest jumping. There have been numerous injuries caused from jumping into too shallow of water.
* Never tie boats or tubes together with our life jackets because it rips them and we hate to have to charge you. Take a bungee cord or short pieces of rope if you desire to tie together. Remember that tying together may create a safety hazard too!
* Be back on time so we can go home! We hate to charge the late fee or call water rescue.
*Remind your friends to “Mind Their Manners”! Unruly persons are never welcome at Green Acres. We reserve the right to ban for bad behavior and/or have them removed from the river and ticketed. Always expect children to be present. The last stretch of the river is residential with many children and neighbors present, so be respectful!!
** Please take a reusable garbage bag! We are proud of our exceptionally clean river!
**Children will be rewarded for their return of litter! **