• Vince Medlock

Top 5 Reasons to Kayak in West Kentucky

Kayaking can be a very relaxing way to spend time on the water. Requiring little more than the simplest of boats and a dual-bladed paddle, you can be ready to hit the lake, pond, river, or stream almost as soon as the spirit moves you. Whether you head out with one friend or fifty, kayaking is a great way to spend time with like-minded folks engaged in an activity you all enjoy.

So, here are the top five reasons to kayak in West Kentucky:

#5. It's like Facebook, but without the couch and Smartphone.

Kayaking is an opportunity to spend face to face time with people who matter to you. There's just you and your friends without a screen or a keyboard in sight. Reminisce. Catch up. Tell stories. Make up tall tales. Most important, enjoy each other's company.

#4. It's cheaper than a gym membership – and healthier than a tanning bed.

Paddling is, without doubt, a good low-impact workout. Whether you spend a few hours leisurely tooling around a bay or a weekend paddling and camping along the Land Between the Lakes shoreline, you're getting a good whole-body workout. And since it seems we may actually need a sensible amount of sunshine for good health(1), this is a great way to get it for free.

#3. The best fishing holes are not always near the bank.

Sometimes the best fishing is in the middle of a lake or pond. Sometimes it's up a creek or next to an island that you can't reach on foot. Sometimes it's in the backwater. It's easy to outfit a kayak with an equipment crate and go after that big one.

#2. Wildlife is cool.

Not many things in the world compare to seeing a beaver build his dam and lodge. Some brave blue herons will just stand and watch you paddle up to them. Fish seem to enjoy putting on a show. Even snakes – from a distance – are beautiful animals. A water-level view gets you a bit closer to their world and lets you appreciate it in a new way.

#1. You can explore places you can't otherwise get to.

Ever tried to explore a creek or pond on foot? It's tough. Paddling along it, though, is not. Again, the water-level view is incredible. Frogs and turtles may stare at you indignantly as you glide by, but you'd never see them at all otherwise. And how often do we really get to chase down a stream just to see where it goes? Not nearly often enough. And we should change that.

(1. Holick, M. (2008). Vitamin D and sunlight: Strategies for cancer prevention and other health benefits. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

3(5), 1548–1554. doi: 10.2215/CJN.01350308)

Guest blogger, Vince Medlock, is a paddler and hiker who lives in Murray with his wife, son, dog and cat. When he's not teaching international students to speak English, he likes to hit the lake or trail and see where it goes. Some of it goes to really interesting places. All photos taken by Vince Medlock.