Since just over 70% of our planet is covered with water, it’s only natural that people have come up with ways to travel on it. Those same ways give us great recreation opportunities too. Or we can combine our recreation with traveling and have some pretty amazing trips.
The 2013 Special Report on Paddle Sports (published by The Outdoor Foundation and The Coleman Company) says more than 19 million Americans a year participate in paddle sports, including canoeing, kayaking, rafting and stand-up paddling (paddleboard).
That number has stayed pretty steady over the past few years, although the trend is that canoeing is becoming slightly less popular, while kayaking and stand-up paddling is growing in popularity.
Having lived in the upper Midwest all my life, and Minnesota for the past 3 1/2 decades, I grew up swimming and paddling. I still love to be on the water, especially in a canoe. It feels like home.
If you love paddling too, or if you haven’t done much of it but would like to, join us in exploring these great sports — the gear, great places to go, and a little of the history behind them.
(PHOTO: Shoko Lake, Gunflint Trail, Minnesota; taken by Jamie Brodin/used with permission)