Outside with Charlie: Canoeing or kyaking

By From page A11 | June 29, 2012

June is coming to a close. It’s brought summer to us, along with all of the typical ups and downs of June weather.

We are surrounded by some of the greatest lakes anywhere, varied in size, altitude and boating possibilities. If you haven’t been out in a canoe or kayak, it’s a good time of year to try them out.

One of the concerns about a canoe or kayak is that they are tipsy and can turn over easily.

It’s possible to rent a kayak, or a canoe, if you don’t own one. If you want a lesson or two, you have to travel down to the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma.

During the summer months, you can sometimes rent a kayak at Sly Park. You can do the same at Lake Tahoe. Heading to Silver Lake, Caples Lake, Wrights or Echo Lakes, you need your own gear.

Two lakes here in El Dorado County are perfect to learn the ups and downs of paddling. Sly Park in Pollock Pines is close by.

The lake has a good boat ramp in the front part of the lake. There’s a spot or two along the shore and in the back part of the lake that are easy to launch a kayak or canoe as well.

The lake is big enough to spend all day paddling. Stick close to shore, and when your confidence goes up, head out into deeper water.

The other spot that is perfect to learn is Wrights Lake. Only human powered boats are allowed and unlike many of the other lakes, Wrights is pretty shallow. The deepest part, in the middle and in the channels, isn’t very deep.

The scenery at Wrights is breathtaking, no matter how many times you go and the history of the place is interesting too.

Once you have a few miles under your keel, Silver Lake and Caples Lake are really fine places to float your boat. Echo Lakes has a rather windy reputation, as does Loon Lake.

When you think you have the whole thing wired pretty well, Lake Tahoe should be next on your list. Sand Harbor is really pretty and Bliss State Park, Baldwin Beach, and Camp Richardson are fine places to launch from too.

Wear your personal flotation device, sunscreen, and make sure your swimming skills are good. Just in case. Get outside!

Charlie Ferris

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