It all starts on The Beaver

Sandra ClarkOur Town Outdoors

If you think kayaking MIGHT be fun, but you’ve never put a boat in the water, read this.

  • Beaver Creek is an ideal learning site – especially the area from Halls to Powell or launching at the put-in behind Powell High School and floating to Clinton Highway. You can stand up and walk out of most places in the creek and the gentle current will carry you along.
  • Join the Beaver Creek Kayak Club; volunteer for creek cleanups and meet the folks who already do this. Get tips and maybe even a kayaking companion for your first foray.
  • Enter an event like the Powell Celebration Flotilla, coming up on Saturday, Aug. 14. You can buy or rent watercraft from RiverSports. Be sure to wear a lifejacket and bring a water bottle. There will be people up and down the creek to assist if you get into trouble – and to haul you out at the end.

There are resources online for beginners. Here’s a 7-minute video about teaching kids to kayak. Nick Troutman says everything three times, but it’s a good primer if you want to get your kids in the creek.

The rewards are plentiful: Time with your kids, close to home, exercise, adventure. And it’s free.

Long-term rewards are amazing. I’ve rafted on the Ocoee (not this section) and Nantahala rivers – both within a day’s drive of Knoxville, there and back. You’re guaranteed to come home dog-tired and smiling.

Who knows? You might end up kayaking through the Grand Canyon or on Oregon’s pristine Rogue River. Adventure awaits. It all starts on The Beaver.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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