I am contemplating a river journey from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. 981 miles on the Ohio river and 2340 miles on the Mississippi River. The current plan calls for completing the journey in 1 or 2 week trips over several outings. Put the boat in the water at the mouth of the Ohio in Pittsburgh and drift/paddle down river, when it is time to get out, rent a truck one way and drive home with the boat. Next trip rent a truck one way to where I got out last time and get back in (repeat as needed).

At this early point in the planning (dreaming) I envision the need to travel some distance on land occasionally, probably with the canoe in tow, and prior to the return truck rental. Any number of reasons to portage exist, from an occasional motel/ shower/shopping to going around locks.

There are lots of pictures on the internet of bicycles towing canoes, but if there are any pictures of bicycles in canoes I have not come across them.

If I am traveling down river with a canoe how do I include a bicycle?

Other Reasonable suggestions for human powered amphibious mode would also be welcome

Related How to tow a canoe with a bicycle?

  • 1
    Not a canoe, but: (1), (2), (3). I've been considering the opposite; going on a grand cycling tour while bringing a packraft to cross rivers, lakes, and fjords (and therefore allow cycling on roads with a lot less cars around).
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 15:53
  • @gerrit I have a Sea Eagle 8 but not sure about taking an inflatable for that long of a voyage. So MANY things to poke holes in it. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 16:19
  • 2
    As far as the locks are concerned, you should be able to go through all the locks. I know you can go through the locks on the Mississippi, I went through the locks in Minneapolis via canoe just a few weeks ago. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 5:04
  • @whatsisname see What is involved in taking a canoe through a lock on a major US River? Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


With a large enough canoe, you can simply put the bike in the canoe, albeit somewhat precariously. What's more common though is for people to bike their canoe to an input, lock up the bike on shore, then return to it.

Bike in canoe

Another bike on a canoe

A good alternative is a folding bike. They're not as efficient to ride for long distances, but can easily be fit inside a canoe. For just biking relatively short distances, a folding bike and a collapsible canoe trailer would probably work well for your needs.

Folding bike on a canoe


Thank you to nhinkle who posted the answer that showed it is possible to put a bike in an canoe.

I have something over 100 miles of canoeing with a bike and a dolly in my canoe now. I started with the bike and the dolly laying in the bottom of the canoe. But it took up lots of floor space and everything tended to get tangled together.

I put the dolly in the center of the canoe, leaning against the cross bar, and lay the bike sides ways across the canoe and dolly (gears, derailleur and chain up). I strap everything to the canoe, and off I go.

There are no balance issues, but it does make it difficult to get close to dock that is higher then the top rail of the canoe. On the other hand the bike tires make great bumpers when going through a lock.

Bike in canoe from canoew enter image description here

And adding a picture of my Recumbent tricycle in the Canoe, Before purchasing this delta trike I measured the back wheel width and the canoe. It fits nicely

enter image description here


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