By Wade Ellett, Let’s Move QC Outdoors Adventure Blogger
Have you watched boaters, kayakers and canoers enjoying our waterways? You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to enjoy our amazing rivers, lakes and canals.
I love canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards (SUPs) because they’re a great way to get some exercise and they’re incredibly fun.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry, the Quad Cities has opportunities aplenty for you to get on the water without having to buy your own. Check out my faves.
Lake George, Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, Illinois City
I’ve rented watercraft and explored Lake George three times, each excursion in a different kind of boat. I’ve spent time in a canoe, a jon boat, and a kayak there, and every experience has been great.
They offer a variety of boating options; canoes and kayaks are available for the more active, but if you’re looking for a little more relaxation or perhaps some good fishing, they’ve also got jon boats, two-person small pontoon boats, and even party barges if that’s what you’re looking for.
The kayaks and canoes, which are more my speed, are in good condition, inexpensive to rent for an hour or two, and come with a PFD (personal flotation device) for all users.
More information on prices and boating at Loud Thunder can be found here.
West Lake County Park, Davenport, IA
A great place to spend time on the Iowa side of the river is West Lake Park, just west of I-280. And, if you’re looking to get out on the water, you can find some good times here!
They’ve got paddleboats, kayaks, rowboats, and motorized fishing boats ready to go. The kayaks and paddleboats are only available for half and hour to an hour, so that plenty of people have an opportunity, but you can take the others out longer if you’d like.
West Lake also hosts a program called Kayak Experience where they’ll introduce you to all the basics; proper technique, equipment and terminology, and planning an outing. Of course, this will include time in the lake as well!
For more information on boat rentals at West Lake Park click here.
Row on the Mississippi with the YMCA
Another great option in Moline is Two Rivers YMCA, which is home to the Y Quad Cities Rowing program.
The Rowing Program is open to all YMCA members for an additional membership fee, but they hold Learn-to-Row classes a number of times a year where anyone from the community is welcome to come learn sweep rowing, boat handling, and water safety.
Of course, this also includes time rowing on the Mississippi River as well!
Two Rivers isn’t just for those interested in the rowing program; you can also rent stand up paddle boards and kayaks at the Sylvan Boathouse for one or two hours, and spend some time on the river!
Plan for Adventure’s QC Kayak Events
My friends at Plan for Adventure in Moline offer kayak and canoe rentals for one hour, two hours, for a full day, or an entire weekend!
PFA isn’t based on the water (though they are close) so you’ll need to be able to transport the boats, or they do have a shuttle service available for an additional fee.
More information about boat rental can be found here.
Flow SUP Co, Rock Island, IL
Are you in the mood for something a little different? Into trying new things? Maybe you’d like to try SUP yoga. That’s right, yoga ON a stand up paddle board!
This is only one of the experiences offered by Flow SUP Co. You can schedule SUP Yoga and Intro to SUP classes for a group of 3 or more, or you can rent SUPs from them by the hour or daily. All rentals include the board, paddle, leash, PFD, as well as a brief lesson.
Further, they’ll assist you in launching; they can bring everything you need anywhere SUP is permitted in the Quad Cities area, so no worries if you don’t have a vehicle that can accommodate the board.
For more information on Flow SUP Co, head over to here.
If you haven’t been on the water yet this summer, I hope you’ll have the opportunity sometime this month. Check out the places I’ve listed above and you’re sure to find an event or a rental that will work with your schedule.
Do you have a favorite that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below. Wherever you’re spending time on the water, remember to have fun, but be safe: wear a life jacket, don’t boat alone, and don’t mix alcohol and boating, because we want to see you out there having fun next time!
|Meet Wade Ellett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Outdoor Blogger. Wade is an outdoor adventurer who shares his passion for QC outdoor adventures here! Read his other posts by clicking here.|