Kayaking can be a fun, cheap easy way to get on the water. Hours spent paddling the backwaters of your favorite lake or cruising down a lazy river can be just what you need to escape the hustle and bustle that life brings your way.
You can get some very good kayaks on a budget these days from the big box stores. I picked up four Viper kayaks from Menard’s a few years ago at a sale price of $170 each. The price of these four kayaks was cheaper than buying one kayak of a really well know brand. All you need now is watercraft registration (depending on your state) and some life jackets. Most of these kayaks come with a decent set of paddles. You will also want to have sunscreen and drinking water available for those hot days. Some people like to shade the tops of their legs and wear large hats for extra protection from the sun.
Next you need to do some research for a public launch area. We like to run the Great Miami River in our area. We put in at the bridge near Trenton and float to Hamilton. It is about a 6 hour trip. We often see Eagles, waterfowl and other aquatic creatures. One highlight was watching an American Mink hunt in the tangled roots under an old Sycamore tree, they are a very intriguing mammal that you just don’t get to observe often. There is also an Eagle’s nest along this stretch and we often see the parents near the nest or out hunting along the River. We do portage around a dam near the old Miami Erie Canal Lock above Canal Road. It’s a nice area to stop and relax or fish in the tailwaters for smallmouth bass.
Make sure to take a camera, some safety gear and a thermos full of Grind Life Coffee and get out on the water and make some memories with friends and family.