River, lake activities offer great summer fun

Katelynn Mccollough

A warm summer day can mean the opportunity for a wide variety of outdoor fun. One great way to cool down and still have fun without breaking the bank is to take advantage of Iowa’s lakes and rivers.

Tubing, kayaking, rafting, canoeing and fishing are just a few activities that one can enjoy out on the water with a large group of friends and offer the chance to see some beautiful landscapes.

Keith Abraham, recreation supervisor of Ames parks and recreations, and Kevin Shawgo, parks and facilities superintendent of Ames parks and recreations, suggested the Skunk River, River Valley Park or Ada Hayden as great places to get started.

Buying or renting the equipment needed for the perfect day out on the water is as easy as a trip to Jax, an outdoor store that rents kayaks and canoes.

Inner tubes can be found at most stores offering outdoor gear. However, stopping by a vehicle repair shop can be beneficial in finding inexpensive and durable truck and tractor inner tubes.

Safety and planning are two things to spend time figuring out before a lazy float.

“Make sure you don’t plan too long of a trip,” Shawgo said. “Know how long it’s going to take from spot to spot.”

Knowing where you are going to get in and where you are going to get out are the first steps to planning any trip on the water, especially the river.

A vehicle that can carry whatever equipment you choose to bring needs to be placed at each point.

The height of the river is also important. If the river is too low, then you need to figure it will take longer to get to your end point. If the river is too high, then you need to make sure you will be able to get out before shooting past your stopping point.

Shawgo suggests bringing plenty of water and sunscreen for any water activities. Sunburn and dehydration can lead to a bad experience.

“Watch how much alcohol you consume, don’t trespass, don’t litter, and bring life jackets,” Shawgo explained about how to stay safe.

The drivers of both the drop off and pick up vehicles should not consume alcohol while relaxing in the water.

Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone has 70 canoes, 16 kayaks, and 210 river tubes available to rent.

According to Seven Oaks website, they offer two canoe or kayak trips and one tubing trip, all available seven days a week.

The tubing trip covers 8 miles and is estimated to be a three to five hour float. Trip option one for canoeing or kayaking covers 7 miles and could take two to four hours. If you are looking for a longer trip then trip option two for canoeing or kayaking covers 15 miles and will take five to eight hours.

If being out on an unpredictable lake or river is too much for you, then stick to the lazy river at the Furman Aquatic Center. Admission for an ISU student is $4.50.