Climb into the canoe for FABulous trip on the Duck River
Climb into the canoe to a place with blue skies and lovely scenery, where you hear paddles in the water and happy laughter of family and friends. FAB on the Duck’s owner Karen Steele invites you to enjoy a float on the Duck River “with shade and sun, nature and wildlife and lots to explore.” This year, FAB on the Duck is adding to the experience, offering a revamped guest area and a new shop for visitors. FAB on the Duck (previously known as Float-A-Boat) is in Normandy, Tennessee, and offers rentals of single and tandem kayaks and canoes for floating the Duck River.
Before purchasing the rental center, Steele gained invaluable knowledge in the recreation field. She worked at the Arnold Air Force Base, supporting the recreation functions on the base, including the golf course, fitness center and cafeterias.
“I got a lot of information from that job,” Steele said. “I was a deputy chief of services and gained a lot of knowledge that helped me as we purchased FAB. We purchased FAB in 2019, and it was previously called Float-A-Boat. We just changed its name this year. We had FAB as our logo last year, so we came full circle and named (the rental center) FAB on the Duck because we float the Duck River.”
Steele said she and her husband, Jimmy, strive to provide the very best service and develop the rental center into one of the best outfitters in Tennessee.
The rental facility kicked off the season on April 17. FAB on the Duck now offers nearly 100 boats for lovers of river adventures. Beautiful nature adds to the experience. The Duck River is one of the state's most scenic waterways and one of the most biodiverse rivers in the country. The longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee, it supports more than 150 species of fish, more than 50 species of mussels and over 20 species of snails, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Whether you’re an experienced river enthusiast or a first-time floater, FAB on the Duck will provide you with the necessary equipment to make sure you have fun and stay safe.
The center offers canoe rentals, single kayak rentals and tandem kayak rentals. The price of each rental includes the boat, lifejackets, paddles, and a roundtrip transportation to and from the river.
“We also offer a shuttle service for folks who want to bring their own boat,” Steele said. “Our first launch site is about three or four minutes from our location at 103 Front Street in Normandy. That’s where customers come to begin the trip, and we take them to the river. We have all our boats set up at the river for the day, so we bus people to the river, and we pick them up when they land.”
FAB on the Duck’s customers enjoy private access to the waterway.
“In Normandy, there are a few public access launch sites, but we offer private access on our launch and our landings,” Steele said. “We lease property from local landowners, so we don’t have to deal with the public access sites. It’s pretty busy in the summer, so we are very happy to be able to provide that and very thankful.”
The center also provides a combination of camping and floating to guests.
“We also offer camping,” Steele said. “Our campsite, called Shofner Campground, is a privately owned property on the Duck River.”
The campground lays on approximately 3 acres of wooded property and offers gorgeous scenery and campsites with fire pits and grills.
Book your float and camping experience here.
“We offer online booking, so it’s very easy to book your boats and just show up,” Steele said. “Once you reserve your boat, you will get a confirmation email with information when you need to come and what you need to bring with you. Typically, in the summer our weekends are booked, so we highly advise booking ahead of time.”
FAB on the Duck invites experienced kayakers as well as first-time floaters to enjoy the river.
“You don’t need experience to start kayaking,” Steele said. “We provide a safety briefing before everyone gets on the river, and we provide lessons for first-time kayakers to make sure everyone has a safe and fun time on the river. Safety first!”
Take a trip to the river with your children. Introduce them to kayaking with tandem kayaks, which are perfect for floaters traveling with children. Kayaking is safe for children of all ages, according to Steele. Children under the age of 8 should share a tandem kayak or canoe with an adult. Older children can start paddling in a tandem's front seat to learn basic skills before they begin floating in a single kayak alone, according to Steele.
The center recently added more boats.
“We have almost 100 boats for rentals, so we have a lot more boats than we did last year, and we are excited about that,” Steele said. “We are also revamping our building, adding a merchandise shop where we will sell T-shirts and gear you could use to float. We want to make the experience for our customers the best. We would like to be the premium outfitter on the upper Duck River and offer outstanding customer service, quality equipment rentals, and a beautiful float down the Duck River.”
FAB on the Duck is located at 103 Front Street, Normandy. For more information, visit FAB on the Duck’s website or call 931-619-6959.