O ver the past few weekends, I’ve kept remembering that I want to try boating at Gathering Place. Only to realize that they close at 2 p. m., and I’m too late. So this previous weekend, I planned ahead, got up plenty early, and did it! Joss was an enthusiastic companion. He’s been wanting to do this for years, and I’m so glad we finally did! It was a very relaxing way in order to spend a Saturday morning. But if this post convinces you to try the boat operations at Gathering Place, don’t wait! This is the last month of the season to do so.
How it Works
Gathering Place offers two types of boats: pedal boats and kayaks. Pedal boats fit up to four people, and kayaks fit up to two. You must be at least five years old to ride.
Boat operations are located, of course , below the Boathouse. We descended the stairs toward the dock, and where an employee gave us a few simple instructions. They reminded us that they’re not responsible for lost or damaged items, plus made sure Joss was old enough to trip. You do have to take your belongings with you on the boat; they don’t offer lockers or anything. I planned ahead and brought the Ziploc for my phone, but naturally had in order to bring it out for some pictures!
Once we received the initial instructions, the employee directed us to the life jacket room. There were various sizes of existence jackets for both kids and adults. Yes, you have to wear one! After we both found one that fit (with some help from the staff members), we headed to the dock!
There were several staff members working the particular dock. Boat operations open at 9 a. m., and I think all of us got there around 9: 30. There have been a few other people on the water, but there wasn’t a line or any wait time. They just asked us if we all wanted to pedal vessel or kayak, and told us where to go. It was easy to get into the boat – again, they told us exactly what we needed to do. Then, they explained how to operate the particular pedal boat, and we were off!
One thing to know is that there’s always a staff member on the water in a green kayak. We were reminded a couple times that if we ever needed something, to raise our paddles and shout. Help would be moments away! One thing to note, is that will the employees were super helpful the entire time. From our arrival, to getting life jackets, explaining how to paddle the particular kayak and disembarking.
On the Water
I has been a little nervous about pedal boating with Joss. But he was really helpful and did a great job! Of course, he enjoyed steering. When this individual took a break the couple times, I could notice a difference in how difficult it was to pedal. So thankfully he kept his feet moving most of the time!
It was very relaxing. The weather was perfect, there had been lots of butterflies flying across the water, beautiful willow trees along the banks. Several other people were boating as well, but it never felt crowded. Although we did have in order to speed up once or twice to get out of someone’s way. But it never felt stressful.
When we finished pedal boating and returned to the dock, we took out a kayak. This was less stable than the pedal motorboat, and I admonished Joss several times, “Whatever you perform, don’t rock the boat! ” He did pretty good. I preferred the particular pedal boat for its stability, but with the kayak, we saw a lot more wildlife. Turtles swimming and sunning in the water, and koi fish moving beneath the surface. So if you want to get closer to nature, try the kayak!
Boat Operations at Gathering Place are open Friday through Monday, 9 a. m. -2 p. m. The 2022 season will end October 24. And guess what?! All this is free! You just have in order to show up, no reservations required. Learn more at gatheringplace. org/boats
All in all, we give this experience a big thumb’s up!