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Getting Out in the Ozarks - Kayaking

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- On a beautiful day, you'll often find several people enjoying Lake Springfield Park. And, in the summer, you'll find most of those people on the water, either in a canoe or kayak enjoying the James River Water Trail.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- On a beautiful day, you'll often find several people enjoying Lake Springfield Park.  And, in the summer, you'll find most of those people on the water, either in a canoe or kayak enjoying the James River Water Trail.

Jon Chamberlin, the Lake Springfield Boathouse manager, says kayaks are similar to canoes, but sit lower in the water.

When people first get into one, he says, they will likely feel a little wobbly.  No worries though, they're easy to maneuver.

And if you don't own one, you can rent them from the boathouse for a low price; $10 an hour per boat.

Of course, the longer you're out on the water, the lower the price.

"It's one of those things where you can go out for an hour, I tell folks that say, we paid for an hour, what if we go out longer than an hour? We just tell them, we leave the meter running, it's okay," says Chamberlin. "If they want to stay out another hour, it's alright."

When it comes to learning how to kayak, they do it the old fashioned way.You learn by doing. The staff here will give you the tools you need for a successful trip.
And then, it's up to you.

Paperwork is required and will give you a life jacket and paddle before you head out.

The boathouse opens at 9 a.m., except for Sundays, when it opens at 11 a.m.

You'll want to get there when they open because renting the boats is first come, first serve.

Last rental is always at 4 p.m. and all boats are off the water at 5 p.m.

No kayaks are allowed in the water if the winds blow more than 23 miles an hour. It's a rule that keeps you and your family safe.

Chamberlin says it's a good idea to take bottled water, sunscreen and a towel with you. He says, you will get damp.

So, if you insist on taking your phone with you, put it in a zip-lock bag to protect it the best you can.

For more information on all the fun things you can do at Lake Springfield Park, call the Special Facilities Division at 417-891-1550.


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