Kayak Shack

An Award Winning Experience!

The best way to experience the beauty of Lake Lanier is on the water! Located at Longwood Park (20 Pearl Nix Pkwy, Gainesville GA, 30501), the Gainesville Parks and Recreation and Gnarly Marsh’s Kayak Shack was recently honored as a 2023 TravelBlazer by Georgia Trend Magazine and the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Featured on the cover of the July issue of Georgia Trend Magazine, the Kayak Shack is an incredible amenity that provides access to Lake Lanier that is low cost and easily available to visitors!

Gainesville Parks & Rec. Director Kate Mattison, 2023 TravelBlazers addition of Georgia Trend magazine.

We are so proud of Gainesville Parks and Recreation’s ambition and commitment to making Gainesville a great place to stay and play! To read the full 2023 TravelBlazers announcement, click here.


No Kayak? No problem! Gainesville has a kayak vending machine. Normally when you think of vending machines, one thinks of chips, a candy bar or a soda, right? Gnarly Marsh is the name of the kayak vending company that has a location at Longwood Park along the shores of beautiful Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia! It was a sunny, breezy cool October day when we decided to give it a try. Pulling up into Longwood Park, be sure to follow the signage and look for the wood building located at the kayak ramp. Parking was not a problem, however, we were there on a Thursday afternoon and there were only a few people at the park.

The instructions on how to access the kayak for rental is very visible and even has a QR code instruction video. You will need to download the LINKA GO app on your phone and I recommend doing that prior to your arrival so that you can get on the water a little quicker. Once app is loaded, follow the instructions, which are very clear. It costs $20/hour for the kayak. Once you pick your kayak stall, you’ll be instructed to unlock the stall to remove the kayak.

The kayak- the kayak is large. I mean, really large and if you don’t have someone to help with maneuvering the kayak, it could be problematic. The hardest part was just getting the kayak out and also back into the stall because you’ll need to stand the kayak upright and walk it back into its compartment. Everything you need is there- paddle, kayak and life vest!

Once on the water, the cove is an ideal place to paddle around. The water is calm and the views of the park were scenic. We were even accompanied by some geese, who seemed not to mind us being in their space. The cool thing about this location is that it is actually a stop on the Upper Gainesville Water Trail, which is a 14 mile trail with 7 stops along the way. After an hour of paddling, we were ready to load the kayak back in. Again, much easier if you have two people to carry the kayak. If you are in Gainesville and don’t have a kayak but want to experience the lake, this is definitely a great option!

Want to share your story? Please contact Explore Gainesville Staff!

Lauren Shubert
Director of First Impressions (770) 297-5477