Backyard Getaways: Kayaking on Fish Lake
When it feels like a sauna outside, it makes sense to go to the lake – which is exactly what we did in Backyard Getaways this week.
Photojournalist Dustin Scholl and reporter Eric Nelson grabbed a paddle and went kayaking.
“It’s a wonderful way to get out on the water and see your area from a different perspective,” said Allie Dart of the Three Rivers Park District. “It’s a great way to see wildlife that you might not see from land.”
Kayaking is a fun way to stay “cool” and see some “cool” stuff.
“You might have a plane flying overhead, but you’re surrounded by great blue herons and eagles,” Allie said. “It’s relatively quiet and you have beautiful surroundings all around you.”
We tried kayaking recently at Fish Lake Regional Park. Dustin had done it before and Allie is an expert.
I am a newbie – who tried to catch on and keep up as Allie gave tips on how to keep the boat afloat.
“Once you’re out there just try to stay calm,” Allie said, “as you get more comfortable with the paddling and as you get more comfortable in a boat.”
After a few minutes on the lake I went from timid to semi-confident. It was fun.
“We see lots of people out on our lake kayaking,” Allie said. “It’s kind of taking over for canoeing as the most popular paddling sports these days.”
Kayaking is a fabulous way to get exercise, see great scenery and to decompress.
“Getting on the water is super calming,” Allie said.
At Fish Lake time stands still when you are paddling and floating in a kayak. I was hooked and will be back.
“It’s so go, go, go in our world these days,” Allie said. “Just being able to get out and sit and watch a bird landing on the water or taking off. Or watch the sunset.”
For beginning kayakers, Fish Lake is a perfect spot to learn the sport.
“Lakes tend to be a little bit better for beginners because you don’t have a current to contend with,” Allie said. “You don’t have strainers, typically those downed trees that might be in a river that you could get stuck in with that current.”
With repetition and good technique most people can get better quickly.
“If you’re doing kayaking right you’re really engaging your core as you paddle,” Allie said. “That’s great full body workout.”
For more information on kayaking or lessons, contact the Three Rivers Park District or go to Threeriversparks.org.
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