Ghost River Rentals was founded in the spring of 2004 by long-time friends, Mark Babb and Don Hailey.  For years Mark and Don worked together for a local Fire Department, taking advantage of every day off by exploring the Ghost River section the Wolf River.  So…in old, beat-up canoes and kayaks they eventually ventured off on journeys down the entire length of the Wolf River, to the Mississippi and beyond.  The Ghost River remained to be their favorite section.

Mark Babb, owner, paddling on a SUP giudeboat near the Bateman Bridge

It wasn’t long before their friends and family were joining them to see what all the Ghost River hype was about. It didn’t disappoint. Everyone was out on the river in Mark and Don’s canoes with every chance they got. They started building trailers, buying extra canoes and kayaks, and set up what would become Ghost River Rentals. With occasional help from Mark’s son, Harry, and his daughter, Maleah, Ghost River Rentals began supplying canoes and kayaks to eager paddlers from all over the Memphis area.

In 2009 Don began spending his summers sailing on the Gulf Coast and turned the business over to Mark and his family. Since then, Mark and his amazing staff have spent their weekends out at the river outfitting people with canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. We encourage everyone we meet to paddle the Ghost River and get involved with some of Ghost River’s amazing partners: Wolf River Canoe Trips, Wolf River Conservancy, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Bluff City Canoe Club.


  • Co-founder, Don Hailey, kayaking the Ghost Section.
  • Harry Babb, part-owner and son of Mark Babb, paddling a SUP in Mineral Slough
  • The original wildman, Mike Babb, canoeing with his granddaughter, Maleah.