Why Paddling Locally is Wonderful, Too

kayaking locally
Exploring local waterways that are new-to-you yield fun discoveries! (photo courtesy of Sharon Brodin)


It seems to be human nature to dream about canoeing or kayaking in far off, exotic places. Somehow we think it’s better than paddling the waters in our own backyard.

But not so fast—many of us have learned during this quarantine time that local waters are wonderful, too!

There are lots of benefits of paddling locally:

You’ll Save Time • You’ll Save Money

You don’t have to wait for your next vacation, weekend cabin trip or even a full day to enjoy a canoe, kayak or SUP excursion when your destination is local.

Look up a few lakes and rivers near you that have a public access. Maybe you’ll be able to get there, paddle and get back home in just a few hours.

And you won’t need a plane ticket or a full tank of gas to get there.

Your Local World will Expand

Bending Branches’ owner, Ed Vater, had always wanted to paddle the length of a certain local river, but had never quite made the time for it. Far away, more famous waters drew his interest more.

But this spring during our several-week quarantine season, he decided to go for that trip on his local river…and became a believer:

“This year’s coronavirus lockdown seemed to make this trip a real possibly, so I called a close paddling buddy and asked him if we could make it happen.

“By making this a local trip, I was able to have one of our sons drop us off and the other pick us up at the takeout. I hadn’t realized how much time and hassle would be saved by not having to do our own end-to-end shuttle and was thankful for the boys’ help.

“My friend and I really reconnected, the adventure was 100% as good as if I had driven for three days or taken a commercial flight, and the hassle factor was nonexistent. I now bill myself as an evangelist for the local adventure.”

canoe trip apple river, wisconsin
Ed Vater’s spring canoe trip down a local river (photo courtesy of Ed Vater)

You’ll Kayak, Canoe and SUP More

Once you start exploring the shores, lake and rivers near you, you’re likely to start paddling a lot more often than when you reserved your paddling for the “cool places” of far away.

Not that you won’t still love going to those places…but you’ll also realize there’s a whole lot of goodness within an hour’s drive.

Why just paddle a handful of times a year away from home when you can paddle every week or more near home?

You Can Bring Others Along Easily

I’ve started kayaking locally much more, myself. And since I find it more fun to have a paddling friend along, and I happen to have two kayaks (a solid and an inflatable), I always invite a friend or family member when I’m planning my next excursion.

When it’s just 2-4 hours instead of a weekend+ trip, it’s easier for others to come along. We can fit it between other commitments, early on a Saturday morning or later in the evening after a work day.

It’s not just more fun for me—it’s great for those who don’t own their own boat and so can’t get to get out on the water often.

kayaking on a local lake
Paddling with friends locally is an alternative to meeting for coffee—more fun and healthier! (photo courtesy of Sharon Brodin)

The Many Benefits of Paddling Now

Although many of us are experiencing eased distancing restrictions, we’re still in a COVID world. Paddling happens to be an excellent activity now for several reasons:

  • There’s built-in social distancing—long paddles help!
  • It’s getting you outside and moving—excellent for a strong immune system
  • It keeps you physically distanced but doesn’t have to keep you socially isolated—invite others along!

For more on that, read: 6 Ways Canoeing & Kayaking are Ideal Social Distancing Activities

Happy paddling, friends!

Let our friendly Customer Service team help you choose your new paddle today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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