Modular kayak – Many kayakers enjoy a peaceful excursion on flat-waters. Sometimes guide books are the best way to help you choose a kayaking location for your modular kayak, based on skill-level, time availability and many other factors. Rich and Sue Freeman have written several guides, including Take A Paddle: Western New York. In this guide, they describe 45 locations in Western New York that are geared toward beginner and intermediate kayakers of modular kayak, or those just wanting a relaxing jaunt. These destinations are great for both kayaking and canoeing.
Eighteenmile Creek is located in Niagara County and runs from Burt Dam to Olcott. It is about 2 miles long and depending on the pace, may take between a half hour to an hour to paddle with m modular kayak each way. The best time of year to enjoy this location is between May and August. Other times of the year, the area is overrun with fishermen in motor boats. Launching is available at Burt Dam Fisherman’s Park for a $3.00 fee. The water is crystal clear and deep, allowing paddlers to view the spectacular sights below.
The Conesus Inlet Fish and Wildlife Management Area is a marsh covering 1,168 acres, located in Livingston County at the south end of Conesus Lake. The lake itself is very popular and there is a lot of activity there year-round. The inlet paddle is about a 2 mile round trip and may take an hour or more, depending on wind conditions and exploration time. The best time of year to enjoy this location is during the spring and early summer. Late summer brings dense vegetation that will make paddling difficult. Launching is available on Sliker Hill Road and at the Conesus Lake Fishing Access Site. Exceptional bird-watching opportunities, including a heron rookery, await kayakers.
Oswayo Creek is located in Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus County. The creek runs about 12.4 miles and could take up to 4 or 5 hours to paddle. Spring is the best time to visit this location when the water is mostly deep and wide. Launching is available at Assembly Park. A take-out site is available at Toll Gate Corner near the Route 305 bridge. This kayak is further out into the countryside and plenty of wildlife sightings can be expected.
The Genesee River, the third longest river in NY, runs approximately 50 miles through Allegany and Livingston Counties. It could take upwards of 10 hours to paddle and may be broken into several excursions. There is one launch site at the north end of Route 417, near the K-Mart parking lot and another one located off a gravel road next to Phillips Creek in Belmont. Spring, summer and fall are good for paddling, but be sure to check the water gage before heading out as some areas may be unnavigable if the water levels are too low. This destination has the tendency to have a swift current and may have some small whitewater areas. There are many level gravel banks that provide the perfect places for breaks and picnics.
Buffalo River Urban Canoe Trail
The Buffalo River Urban Canoe Trail is located in Erie County. It runs a total of 6.5 miles and can be paddled in about 4 hours. This trail is broken into three sections: the Natural River, the Urban River and the Industrial River. The DEC has identified sites of interest along the trail with numbered blue water wave signs, providing an interesting history lesson along the route. Launching is available at the DEC Harlem Road Access Site. Spring, summer and fall are great times to visit this location, but beware of lake freighters. Kayaks and canoes should take caution and move to shore if a lake freighter is seen or blasts its whistle.
The flat-water areas of Western New York remind owners of modular kayaks that the sport does not always have to be about getting an aerobic workout. These destinations provide ample opportunity for paddlers to refine technique and paddling skills, or simply take the time to slowly and quietly enjoy nature and wildlife.
Kayak Sports in South Carolina
Introduction – Many consider South Carolina a paddling paradise. This southern coastal state boasts diverse topography and numerous waterways. These varied waters include calm black water swamps, saltwater marshes, whitewater river rapids, sandy coastal shorelines, rugged barrier islands, and many scenic rivers. This State’s temperate climate and well developed transportation system allows easy access for canoeing and kayaking activities that fit well with busy lifestyles. There are opportunities available for every form of paddle sport that an enthusiast could want, long distance canoe touring, playing in whitewater, and coastal paddling in sea kayaks to name a few.
Events – There are paddle related events like the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival that highlight the best experiences that the Palmetto State can offer to canoeists and kayakers. Wildlife viewing is an important part of the paddling experience and South Carolina hosts the Southeast Wildlife Exposition every year in Charleston. The event brings together artists that specialize in nature and wildlife with the goal of promoting improved natural resource conservation.
Trails and Scenic Rivers – South Carolina offers the sport paddlers over 11,000 miles of river, lake and coastal water to explore. There are some 2,000 miles of navigable waterways found throughout South Carolina, a surprising value for a relatively small state. Terrain is varied from whitewater rivers, coastal shorelines, salt marshes, and low country swamps. Their Department of Natural Resources offers a website that details State boating regulations and safety information.
South Carolina adopted a Scenic Rivers Program in 1989 to better preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the State’s river corridors. Scenic rivers are selected for their, “unique or outstanding scenic, recreational, geologic, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic or cultural values” of selected rivers or river segments in the state.”
The South Carolina State Trails Program has an established system of water trails that encompass every paddling experience imaginable with its rivers, creeks, streams, and swamps. Visiting the program website provides access to detailed descriptions of each water trail with information on routing, take-out point, local regulations, camping sites and scenic highlights. Independent paddlers can visit the South Carolina Professional Paddlesports Association (SCPPA) for paddling lessons, gear rental, highly qualified guides, and transportation services.
Unusual Opportunities – One South Caroline outfitter is sending their paddlers up a tree!. The National Park Service established the 22,000-acre Congaree National Park near Columbia to encourage people and paddlers to listen for ivory billed woodpeckers.
Kayaking and canoeing aren’t the only boating related opportunities available in South Carolina. While visiting this great coastal state, take time to get out on the water and see some new sights.
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