Float the Harpeth this Summer

Make memories to last a lifetime on the water with Sunshine’s Adventures

Summertime is here and it’s the perfect time to make lasting memories on the river. For Captain Matthew “Sunshine” Keller, owner of river recreation company Sunshine’s Adventures, there’s nothing better than creating special memories with loved ones outdoors. 

“After the loss of my sister to leukemia as a teenager, I discovered too soon that the only thing we truly leave behind are treasured memories,” shares Sunshine.

With both parents in the military, he spent his childhood constantly on the move and as an adult he found himself living what he refers to as a “more unconventional lifestyle” working as a pyrotechnical engineer, lead guitarist, and bartender. “It wasn’t until I landed in Nashville as a young man that I was able to sow my own roots in the soil of our community. The home my wife and I have been raising our children in is the only place I’ve ever stayed for more than a short period of time and I knew I was home when I arrived,” he says.

“I decided to anchor myself to a passion and vision that would allow me to be close to home for my young family, inspire my children, and share the amazing experience that brings our family together by taking a ride down the river. To some we may be just a river outfitter, but what my team and I strive to offer are treasured memories that you’ll share and remember for a lifetime.”

Sunshine - whose nickname is attributed to his “upbeat and positively spirited personality” - has been working on the Harpeth River for almost a decade. He officially took the plunge and launched his own company in March of 2018, where he and his team help both locals and visitors create memories on the river.

With a variety of rentals including river tubes, kayaks, paddle boards, and group floating “lily pads,” there are options for every type of river adventurer. For those looking for a curated trip, Sunshine’s Adventures offers a plethora of guided paddling tours ranging from 2.9 to 12.5 miles, hiking/paddling combo tours, and even overnight paddling/camping adventures.

“In collaboration with the amazing folks from The Barn at Riverview in Pegram, we [are] able to create a private, low traffic, and especially scenic overnight route where you can paddle directly to your primitive, riverside camp site with minimal to zero paddle or camp traffic,” he says.

They also offer “kayakessibility tours,” which provide special kayak accommodations and assistance for those with mobility challenges, making river fun accessible for a wider audience. In addition to renting kayaks and tubes for floating down the Harpeth, Sunshine’s Adventures is unique in that it has a shuttle service to pick-up and drop-off from patrons’ cars parked by the river and even has an option for groups to hire a minibus to come right to their door to drive them to the river and back.

“By offering our Captain’s Carrier shuttle service that provides a pickup and return from the river, we can relieve traffic congestion not just at the parks but also on the roads,” he says. “Plus, in collaboration with our friends at The Nashville Shuttle, we are thankful to provide a seamless service from start to end for multiple groups of any size.”

In keeping with his mission to help people create memories that will last a lifetime, Sunshine also has an event venue available for rent. The Barn at Riverview in Pegram provides a scenic space bordered by the Harpeth River with open fields and plenty of parking to accommodate groups of up to 500 guests for all types of events. From concerts and rehearsal dinners to corporate events and weddings, your next event could just be your next treasured memory!

Along with rentals, shuttles, and tours, public and private classes are even available for those looking to learn more about navigating the river. Including basic paddle preparation and training and American Canoe Association certified courses for those who seek a higher level of paddle training and water safety education. A Paddle Parents and Paddle Pets program is available for adventurers who are ready to take on the challenge, responsibility and reward of bringing their young children or 4-legged friends along for the ride.

Sunshine's Adventures launches on the Harpeth River from 8729 Newsom Station Road in Bellevue. Landings are at Hidden Lake State Park, 7851 McCrory Lane (3-mile route); Riverview Retreat, 6059 Riverview Drive in Pegram (7.5-mile route) and at Highway 249 in Pegram (12-mile route). 

Paddle vessels will cover the route in 1-3 hours. Tubes will cover the same distance in 4-6 hours.


















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