The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer two free Missouri River float trips on Oct. 15 to introduce newcomers to exploring the river by kayak or canoe. Participants will enjoy autumn scenery and learn how to safely float the river. The guided float trips are for adults only. Participants can choose one float from the two sessions offered. Participants must also attend a mandatory orientation session from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 at MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Education Pond in Blue Springs.

MDC will provide canoes, kayaks, paddles, and personal flotation devices. At the orientation on Tuesday, Oct. 13, participants can learn paddling strokes and techniques for using kayaks and canoes. They will learn to navigate the Missouri River and discuss logistics for each of the float trips. COVID-19 precautions such as physical distancing and masks when appropriate will be followed.

The first session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 will be a 14-mile float trip beginning at MDC’s Schimmel City access on the Platte River. Paddlers will paddle down the Platte to the Missouri River, and then float to the boat ramp at Platte Landing Park in Parkville. Floaters should dress for the weather and bring water and a sack lunch.

A sunset float on the Missouri River will be offered from 3 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 15. The 8-mile float trip will start at Parkville’s Platte Landing Park and end at the Kaw Point Park boat ramp at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. Floaters should bring water, a sack lunch, and a flashlight.

Registrations must be made by Oct. 13. For more information, call 816-228-3766.