Kayaking has become pretty popular lately. In fact, the sport has seen an increase of almost 32 percent in participants in the past three years. When you think about it, this isn’t that surprising. Kayaking is a relatively easy and inexpensive past-time. And, you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere. All you need is a boat and a paddle. Plus, it’s a low impact sport, so it’s safe for the whole family. Ok, we admit it. We’re just as obsessed as everyone else. So, we decided to scout out some of Newton County’s best places to kayak. The best part? We found some amazing lakes and rivers that are perfect for everyone. Whether you have little ones just learning to paddle, or are craving some rapids, Newton County has got it all!
Best Lake for Families- Turner Lake: This complex, spanning 158 acres, is the perfect spot for kayaking families. The lake itself is a pristine oasis, with tons of beach space. The 26 acre lake has a strict, no gasoline powered boats policy, so you and your little ones can paddle at your leisure. And, when you need a break from paddling, Turner Lake also has an incredible outdoor sports complex. Complete with a three mile walking trail, two batting cages, and a covered pavilion that’s perfect for picnics, Turner’s Lake has everything a family of kayakers could need.
Best Hidden Jem- Yellow River Water Trail/Porterdale Yak Club: The Yellow River Water Trail is a secluded river that stretches from suburban Atlanta through Newton County. You can put-in your kayak at any point on the river trail, but we recommend stopping by the Porterdale Yak Club. They provide visitors with kayaks for a nominal rental fee and show them the best places on the river to start their adventure from! The Yellow River is mostly flatwater too, so you can enjoy some much needed relaxation on the river, without the worry of rapids.
Best Lake for Adventurers- Hard Labor Creek: Did you know we had a state park right in our backyard? While Hard Labor Creek may be known for its golf course, it also offers a wide range of recreational activities. A lakeside beach is popular with swimmers during summer months, and more than 24 miles of trails are available for hikers and horseback riders. But the best experience is the guided kayak tours on Lake Rutledge. Take the tour, and discover the history of the land and culture at Hard Labor Creek State Park. Hard Labor also offers camping tours so you can have a weekend adventure. Have you packed your kayak yet?
Best Lake for Good Ol’ Fashion Relaxing- Lake Varner: Talk about peaceful! Lake Varner is an expansive 850 acre reservoir just off of Alcovy Road. You can paddle for hours in solitude or get a group together for some fishing. In fact, we think the best fishing is done from a kayak. And this lake doesn’t disappoint. Huge numbers of largemouth bass and crappie live here. And, since, Lake Varner doesn’t allow gasoline motors on its waters, there’s no noise and no wakes. Just perfect kayaking and crappie fishing. It doesn’t get any more relaxing then that!
Are you as obsessed as we are now? You should be! And, if you’re ready to kick off your kayaking season right away, sign up for the Yellow River Jam 2016, happening October 1st. You can register for the event, here, and plan an adventure on some of Newton County's best places to kayak!