Thinking about getting the family into paddle boarding as a way to spend time together. It's a great way to exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. As I started my research, I found these infographics online with good info on how to choose the right paddle board.
Here's a great video of a father and daughter sharing a moment fishing. I'm sure the memories will last a lifetime.
I enjoy kayaking year round, but tend to slow down during the winter. When I do decide to head out, wearing the right gear becomes a major factor for an enjoyable outing. If you’re thinking about kayaking in those colder temps, start with this guide by Austin Kayak, on cold weather paddling apparel. And as always, safety should be your number one focus.
Kayaking in the ocean has its surprises, and this is a big one. Check out this video from outside the harbor in Moss Landing, CA. A humpback whale decides to catch some air time and lands on two kayakers….. It’s amazing that they survived. I’ll stick to my lakes and rivers.
A shout-out to Hamilton County…. Great Parks! Raising a family in the Cincinnati area I can’t say enough about the beautiful parks in this area. The family and I have created many memories exploring, learning and playing in these wonderful parks…. with many more to come.
Their Mission: to preserve and protect natural resources and to provide outdoor recreation and education in order to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations.
To learn more click on this link Hamilton County Parks, from here you can dive-in and find out more details about each park.
Here’s a link to a blog post I posted over the Summer on hiking at Shawnee Lookout and the pics below are from a recent walk, through the autumn leaves at Sharon Woods.
With parks like these – Get Out More!
I like the infographics! If you're thinking about taking a kayak camping trip, check out this infographic published by Austin Kayak. This graphic is a good place to start your research. Keep-in-mind that your gear could change based on your kayak storage, weight capacity, environment and trip length. Also, what activities are you planning for the trip. If you enjoy fishing, make sure you save room for rod, reel and tackle. I think some of us would forgo the tent and sleeping bag before we would leave the fishing gear behind. Plan ahead, make sure your trip is a safe, fun and enjoyable experience.
New to kayaking or just plain confused on what kayak to buy? Here’s an informative video posted by Austin Kayak on the basics of choosing the right kayak. With so many kayak models and styles to choose from, it can be difficult to pick one that best fits your needs. Doing your research, can save you time and money in the long run. The video covers sit-inside, sit-on-top, whitewater, touring and canoe / kayak hybrid. Once you narrow your search, good luck on picking a color.
If you live in the Cincinnati Tri-State area you know Hamilton County has outstanding parks that offer great family adventures for young and old. The family and I headed to Shawnee Lookout located where Ohio meets Kentucky & Indiana, and where the Great Miami River flows into the Ohio River. Well known for it’s history, it also features archaeological earthworks and beautiful nature trails that offer spectacular views of the river valley below.
We hiked the Little Turtle Trail, a moderate level trail about 2 miles in length. The trail is well maintained and wide, great for kids and senior hikers. We had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back. Below are a few pics from our hike.
If you would like to learn more about Hamilton County Parks check out their website:
Kept the kayaks at home and headed to Gatlinburg, TN with the family and relatives for a long weekend. One of my favorite places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Chimneys Picnic Area. A beautiful place to eat lunch and spend a few hours wading and rock hopping the boulder filled West Prong Little Pigeon River. The picnic area is well maintained with tables, parking, and bathrooms right next to the river. If you have kids, plan to stay longer than you think.
I remember visiting this place as a child, what a great feeling it is being able to enjoy this with my family and loved ones today. If you're in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Chimneys Picnic Area is a gorgeous place and a must stop!
I tend to drive my family a little crazy with my amateur photography, so when I reach for the cameras they scatter. Below are just a few pics from our visit and map for location.
Left the fishing gear at home and headed out for a day of kayaking with my daughter on Cowan Lake. This is one of my favorite lakes in the Cincinnati Tri-State, especially for kayaking with the family. Cowan is a peaceful, beautiful lake with a 10-horsepower limit, so no speedboat dodging and the wakes that follow. Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boards, pontoon boats and sailing a very popular on the lake. On this day my daughter and I had a picnic on the lake and watched sailboat races.
As parents we’re always looking for ways to connect and spend quality time with our children. Get them away from the distractions of TV, smart phones and video games. For me, kayaking gives me that opportunity and I hope as they continue in life they develop a love for the outdoors.
Below are a few pics from our day.
If you’re new to kayaking the main issue you’ll struggle with is which kayak do I purchase. If you’re like me, you’ll spend weeks going back and forth trying to pick the right yak for every situation imaginable. It’s difficult to find one kayak that does everything well in lakes, rivers and oceans.
Here’s a link to my blog post last year on the process I went through to select my kayak, titled… Pick The Right Kayak.
A great place to start your research is with this kayak selector tool (below) from Austin Kayak. Narrow down the activity with the different types of kayaks for a suggested ranking. To read the full article check out their ACK blog post, Don’t Have a Yak Attack.
Good luck and don’t over think it.
With four kids I’ve made it a goal to get them outdoors, whether it’s kayaking, hiking or tossing the football in the front yard. Today, kids are surrounded and glued to electronics, like cell phones, tablets, PCs, video gaming systems, the list goes on. Getting kids and parents outdoors can be challenging at times and I’m not talking about youth team sports like baseball, football and soccer. I’m talking about quality family time, a chance for families to bond outside the home and create memories.
I love this line from the infographic below… “Kids who play outside, become adults who play outside”
I found this graphic on-line at Lemonly.com titled “How Do I Get My Kids Outside” in partnership with Clif Kid. Great information and motivation to get your kids outside as well as parents.
If I could take pics like this and kayak places like that…. Well, I wouldn’t be sitting on the couch staring at my computer. Check out these incredible images from Brian Ernst, a wilderness photographer. To see more visit his web page and be prepared to have your mind blown with some amazing outdoor photography.
Seeing images like these motivated me to get out and do some local Winter kayaking. On this particular weekend the weather had other plans..... I traded a kayak paddle for a snow shovel.
Kayaking and art come together in these awesome photographs. Stephen Orlando, a photographer from Ontario, created these amazing pics using kayak paddle strokes, LED lights and long exposure photography. Very creative, unique and beautiful all rolled into one. For a detailed post about these images and Stephen visit boredpanda.com
To see more great pics check out Motion Exposure.
Welcome to my creative outlet for freshwater kayaking and the great outdoors.