Sleep on the Water in Floating Tents in Troy, Ohio

Sleep in a floating tent? For real? When I heard about this one-of-a-kind unique camping experience, I immediately said, “Sign me up!” Now just because I said, “sign me up,” does not mean that I was not thinking this whole camping on the Little Miami River through. I mean, what does something like this entail? Read on for our experience sleeping in tents in Troy, Ohio, on the Great Miami River.

Thank you to Miami County Visitors Bureau for creating this hosted itinerary. As always, all opinions are mine.

What is a Shoal Tent?

A Shoal Tent is the first of its kind inflatable, floating raft with a tent topper that allows you to sleep out on the water. There are no tent poles or set up style forms with the tent is entirely inflatable. The material in the tent is a six-inch-high pressure flooring that is similar to a paddleboard which now doubles as your floating bed. A 6’3 person can sleep comfortably; however, you might find yourself sleeping diagonally if you are taller than that.

Fun Fact: Owner and creator of the Smithfly shoal tents is an Ohio local, and his innovative designs have brought new faces to the Great Miami River.

Where are the Shoal Tents Located in Troy, Ohio

Located at Treasure Island Park in Troy, Ohio, is where you will find the Float Troy experience. Upon your arrival, you will find the well-maintained and lighted parking lot. Grab a spot, park your car, then head over to the Float Troy trailer to check-in for the night. You’ll sign your waiver, get your tent number, and receive an inflatable Smithfly raft for you to use during your stay.

How Do You Get to the Tents?

I did not know what I was fully getting myself into until I arrived at the Shoal Tents. I read and did my research, but until you are standing on the dock with all your camping gear…….(add speechless face here), you realize what you are headed out to do. 

You get to your tent in these amazing Smithfly rafts that are surprisingly stable. Carefully load up your gear to paddle out for your stay. As you dip your oar into the water and bring it back up, a few drops of water will come along with it. Each stroke takes you closer to the tents, which are numbered. Manuver your raft to the door of your booked tent, and you’re there…Oh, but are you?

As we pulled the Smithfly raft up to the door, I looked at Matt, and he looked at me, and we said in unison, “So, what is the best way to get our gear and ourselves into this thing without dropping anything into the water OR falling in ourselves.” Without much care, we tossed our stuff into the shoal tent, secured the raft, and then climbed in ourselves. SUCCESS!

Pro-Tip: Pack light! I am not kidding. 

Sleeping on The Great Miami River in a Shoal Tent 

Honestly, this was pretty spectacular! Sitting at the door of the tent with the flaps open, I could enjoy the cool dusk breezes, feel the water rushing beneath the tent, and listen to the sounds of the evening beginning to fall. 

Matt and I sat cross-legged on the floor of the tent and played a competitive game of Rummy until we couldn’t see anymore and then found our way to the sleeping bags. 

Morning came way too fast, and the sun began to shine bright, and it was time to pack up and paddle back to shore.

A few things to bring to make your stay more entertaining and enjoyable. We brought a deck of cards to play a game before it got dark. I am a snacky kind of person, so I brought some of my favorite things to nosh and a few drinks to sip. Bring a good flashlight or a tent lamp to hang. I am getting old, so I brought some inflatable backcountry mattresses for us to sleep on.  

Pro-Tip: I had a lot of people ask me about the bathroom. Well, it is a tent, so there is no bathroom. You have two options, paddle to the shore and use the bathroom located there or bring a port-a-potty.

Shoal Tent Packing Tips

Click here to book your stay in the shoal tents on the Miami with Float Troy

Things to Do in Troy, Tipp City, and Piqua Ohio

Troy is in Miami County, and there are so many fantastic things to do. You won’t lack in activities, shopping, or outdoor adventures.

Places to eat in Troy and surrounding areas:

Harrison’s Amazing place for lunch for casual fare.

The Boathouse Dine on the water in a historical boathouse before paddling out for the night.

Agave and Rye Unique tacos and delicious margaritas, the atmosphere is off the charts too!

redBerry Great place for breakfast! This was the perfect place to eat after our camping trip on the water.

Outdoor Adventure:

Charleston Falls Preserve Great hike and beautiful green space, we spent a couple of hours here hiking and exploring.

Adventures on the Great Miami (kayaking) Take a day out on the Great Miami River and enjoy a day on the water. I would definitely go back here for a trip downriver.

Things to Do:

Johnston Farm and Indian Agency This small but stunning place is a wonderful destination to learn some of Ohio’s history and enjoy some beautifully restored buildings. Take a ride on the canal boat pulled by majestic draft horses.

Grandpa Joe’s Fun for the whole family and a great place to find candies from the past and all the news innovations. I might have spent tooooo much money here!

There is nowhere else in the world that you can rent and sleep on the water; this is truly a one-of-a-kind experience in Troy, Ohio.

Happy Adventures,


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