Is kayaking on your bucket list? Have you ever wanted to try it? Paddle sports are on the rise according to paddle sport statistics and kayaking is the most popular form of paddling. Kayaking allows you to experience new things and have your own unique experience with nature. Being only a few inches off the water and a few feet away from wildlife, you gain a new connection and understanding of the natural world around you. Kayaking is a recreational activity that is fun for all ages.
Here at the Niagara Region Interpretative Programs Office, we share our love of this paddle sport and pass our knowledge on to park patrons through free Smartstart paddling orientation kayak programs during the summer season. Our adventures lead us to paddle in the following waterways within New York State Parks:
The Lagoon at Beaver Island State Park
Gallagher Beach on Lake Erie at Buffalo Harbor State Park, the newest state park
Woods Creek at Buckhorn Island State Park
East branch of Twelve Mile Creek at Wilson Tuscarora State Park
And the west branch of Twelve Mile Creek at Wilson Tuscarora State Park
Beaver Island State Park Kayak Experience
Escape the daily grind, leave the phones and tablets behind and join us for a kayak lesson. Learn about kayaks, paddles, apparel and how to be safe on the water.
We’ll start our journey by launching off the EZ Dock Launcher, where you just put your kayak (which we supply) down on the rollers and roll off into the water.
As soon as you’re floating on the water, chances are you will float right into a patch of fragrant water lilies, which are scattered all throughout the lagoon.
Along with the aquatic plants, there is an abundance of wildlife. You can witness Great Blue Herons wading in the shallow waters or flying overhead, while common terns are diving next to you trying to catch their next meal!
In the lagoon, we have an Osprey nesting platform. From our kayaks below we have had the pleasure of seeing the parent birds keeping watch over their chicks.
Swimming right below our kayaks is a diverse group of aquatic life such as fish and turtles, while flying around us are dragonflies and damselflies.
Our evening kayak classes are often accompanied by the ever telling song of the bull frog, singing along with the cicadas which are heard all throughout the park on any given summer day.
Getting out on the water with us can give you a chance to see all of this; but also give you a new understanding of kayaking as a sport, learn more efficient ways of paddling, and a few tricks of the trade. So what are you waiting for? Find a kayak class near you and see where your next adventure will take you. We are here. Where are you?
Post by Tina Spencer and Kelly Sieman, OPRHP, Niagara Region Interpretive Programs Office, Park Naturalists