You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • No child players left behind
    The poor little guy, in his Wildcat League T-shirt and large red helmet while gripping the white aluminum bat, can’t seem to hit the baseball, no matter how gingerly coach Alyssa Ringswald lobs it across the plate.
  • Programs abound for kids
    It has been hard to miss some exciting soccer lately – that heart-stopping 86th-minute headed-in goal by 21-year-old sub John Brooks that helped the U.S.
  • Maintaining fertility
    For women today, a yearly check-up with your healthcare provider is an essential part of maintaining your fertility health at every age.
Photo illustration by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gaze

Little love boats

Local couples find canoes perfect for cheap summer dates

Fort Wayne Outfitters
Kelsey Church and Kristian Gayday had a canoe date.

Love may be in the air but for many area couples it’s also on the rivers and lakes.

Taking a canoe out on the water is a popular choice for spending time together, according to area canoe rental businesses.

Eden Lamb, manager of Fort Wayne Outfitters on Cass Street, says the store rents canoes to many couples, including people celebrating their anniversaries. She says the couple will rent a canoe and spend the night on the water.

Lamb and other employees will suggest places and things the couple can do in the downtown area, she says, such as paddling to the outside deck of Don Hall’s Old Gas House, which sits along the river, where they can grab dinner and drinks.

Lamb says she has seen an increase this summer in younger couples renting canoes for dates.

It may help that the cost of renting a canoe is somewhat cheaper than dinner and a movie. It costs $12 an hour to rent a canoe at Fort Wayne Outfitters and $25 for up to four hours.

“It’s something unique to do downtown,” Lamb says.

Something different was what Kelsey Church and Kristian Gayday, both 22 and of Fort Wayne, were looking for when they rented kayaks for an afternoon date last week. The couple have been dating for two years.

Church says she had been wanting to go canoeing for a while and looked up the information online. She’s a little sore, having used muscles she hadn’t used in a while, she says, but the 1 1/2 hours on the water was fun and she plans to do it again.

At the Trading Post Canoe, Kayak & Campground in Mongo, “couples come in all the time,” says Christine Foley, office manager.

She says it starts in April and continues through October, which is a popular rental time as people come to see the colorful leaves.

Couples will rent canoes for dates and anniversaries and will pack a picnic for along the way, she says. It’s so popular that the rental company even has a couples getaway package listed on its website.

Foley agrees that paddling in a canoe is romantic, “as long as the mosquitoes aren’t bad.”