Kayak rentals returned to Allegheny RiverTrail Park this month after a year without the service.
3 Rivers Outdoor Company (3ROC) launched an outpost on May 1 at the 16-acre site tucked off Freeport Road in Aspinwall.
“Bringing people to the water and showcasing the rivers of Pittsburgh, the beauty right here in our urban area that’s so accessible, it’s a thrill to share such a personal passion,” said Christine Iksic, an Aspinwall resident and co-owner of the outdoor gear store.
Water sports enthusiasts can visit the outpost to paddle the Allegheny River in kayaks or on stand-up paddleboards. Upon return, they can enjoy rental hammocks and private campfire space, park founder Susan Crookston said.
Farmer x Baker cafe is also nearby, along with walking paths, a playground and an off-leash dog space.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome 3ROC,” Crookston said. “Their programs are truly unique and they bring so much more than just kayaking to ARP.”
For about five years, the park offered kayak rentals through Kayak Pittsburgh. That service moved out in 2021.
Formerly known as Aspinwall Riverfront Park, ARP currently has 10 acres of public space, with another six acres purchased last year that are under development. The park is a popular draw for its public fishing dock, picturesque trails and open-air pavilion. It is open daily from sunrise to dusk.
Crookston said park officials are looking forward to summer and early-fall nights “where kayakers can enjoy a meal and a beer by the fire after a long paddle,” as well as for the opportunities for kids and families to learn to camp, slack line and more through 3ROC.
Iksic’s company is located near Frick Park in Regent Square. It aims to provide access to people, both skilled and novice, for hiking, biking, paddling, climbing and other sports.
The store rents and sells equipment and apparel.
The Aspinwall outpost will serve as the shop’s paddlesports hub and will offer boat and gear sales along with the kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals. There also will be regular events, such as yoga and concerts in the nearby park lawns.
Iksic said her paddling passion was developed on Pittsburgh rivers and she hopes to share it with others.
Partnering with ARP “helps us achieve our vision of getting people outside and giving access to the outdoors,” she said.
A grand opening celebration is planned for Memorial Day weekend.