Photo from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Shallow streams, a great lake, a nationally recognized waterway, small lakes and ponds can all be found in the South Shore.
We've put together a list of where to start your paddling adventures:
Northwest Indiana Paddling Association
It's great to learn the basics before going out on choppy waters, deep canals or in strong currents. The Northwest Indiana Paddling Association hosts a number of paddling events from spring to fall and provides additional rentals and loaner boats for those that may not own a kayak or canoe.
Wolf Lake Memorial Park in Hammond has canoe, kayak, paddle boat and paddle board rentals available for $5/hour. Rent any of these craft from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily (weather permitting). P.S. Wolf Lake is known as one of the great wind surfing locations of the Midwest and if you see windsurfers out on the lake, it probably means the conditions aren't suitable for paddling.
Rogers-Lakewood Park in Valparaiso also offers rentals during the summer. Rent everything from a rowboat for $5 an hour to a paddleboat or itBike for $5 per half an hour. There are gate fees at this park, but you can enjoy other outdoor activities like disc golf and fishing during your visit.
Lake Toy Rentals offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals on Cedar Lake. Cedar Lake is nearly 1.5 square miles and provides another great spot for beginners and expert paddlers. This lake can also get busy during the summer months with motorized boat traffic.
Lake George in Hobart is a peaceful place to paddle - as a no-wake- lake! Kayak Hobart offers rentals by the hour or by the day. The lake has access to parks and the city's downtown.
Lake Michigan Paddling - Indiana Dunes
Paddling the waters of Lake Michigan offer a different vantage point than from shore and is a great place to start your paddling adventures. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a great place to start and you're able to launch your kayak from most of the Lakeshore's beaches. Canoeing is not recommended along Lake Michigan. The National Lakeshore, park staff offer Beach Fun Friday activities at West Beach from June 16 through September 1, 2017 starting at 1:00 p.m. Beach Fun Fridays offers families the opportunity to kayak and paddleboard with park staff and enjoy a campfire at sunset.
The South Shore’s blueways and greenways map is available HERE.
For part two of this series, which is for seasoned paddlers, click HERE.