Camp on the water in a floating tent on the Great Miami River

For those who want to take camping to a new level, an adventure combining water recreation and camping is closer to home than you might think.

Float Troy, the brainchild of the city of Troy, is a series of inflatable floating tents located on the Great Miami River and anchored at Treasure Island Park in Troy. Guests can sleep in an inflatable floating tent on the water, in close proximity to the hiking, biking and outdoor activities that Great Miami River recreational trail has to offer.

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The Shoal floating tents (a floating raft with a tent topper) are accessible via a single kayak, two-person kayak or raft. Each tent can hold a maximum of four adults or two adults and two children and includes equipment to travel to the tent, oars and life vests. Guests will have to provide their own sleeping bags, pillows and other sleeping necessities.

“It is a great experience,” said Stan Kegley, the city of Troy’s Project Manager. “The tents are solid and stable and very comfortable. The environment is delightful with wonderful backdrops and ease of access to your car and the bike path. For extra fun, add the floating fire pit.”

Floating tents at Float Troy at Treasure Island Park in Troy.
Floating tents at Float Troy at Treasure Island Park in Troy.

Credit: Leiann Stewart (Miami County VCB)

Credit: Leiann Stewart (Miami County VCB)

The tents were designed by local entrepreneur and business owner Ethan Smith of SmithFly, who designs and builds gear for fly fishermen, hunters and all other outdoor enthusiasts.

“I was working with one of my suppliers on an inflatable tent for ground use and Chris Jackson from Adventures on the Great Miami suggested I merge the inflatable tent with my rafts so that we could rent them out on the water,” said Smith. “I made a few, and he bought them. We took some photos, started marketing them and the rest, as they say, is history.”

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Along with the rental of a tent, which is $75 per day, guests can reserve a fire pit for $15 per day. A $50 reservation is required as a deposit for a tent at Float Troy. Check-in is between 4-6 p.m. and guests must be checked out by 10 a.m. Pets and service animals are not prohibited in the tents. Children under 18 must be under parental supervision at all times.

Though all dates for summer 2020 have been booked, those interested can be added to a waiting list in case of cancellations by emailing float@troyohio.gov. Dates for 2021 will be added soon.

When they’re not hanging around in the tent or by the fire pit, guests are encouraged to explore other recreational opportunities at Treasure Island.

“Treasure Island sits right on the banks of the Great Miami River, Ohio’s only National Water Trail and one of only 22 in the country,” said Leiann Stewart, Executive Director of the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau. “The Great Miami River offers residents and visitors beautiful landscape to enjoy while kayaking, canoeing and fishing. And, running through Treasure Island and along the river is the Great Miami River Recreational Trail. With over 30 miles in Miami County, this trail is part of the nation’s largest paved trail network and provides a fantastic opportunity for walkers, runners and cyclists to enjoy the area.”

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WANT TO GO?

What: Float Troy at Treasure Island

Where: 409 N. Elm St., Troy

When: Reservation only

Cost: Tent rental $75 per day, which check-in between 4-6 p.m. and check-out at 10 a.m. Firepit rental is $15 per day.

More info: Reserve your tent by visiting www.float-troy.com

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