COLUMN: Get your paddle on in Vernon

Columnist Carole Fawcett has been missing the ability to paddle the area’s lakes

It’s been two years since I’ve dipped a paddle in one of our beautiful lakes.

I’ve missed the mesmerizing sounds of paddle slicing water, gliding the kayak forward as if sliding on a velvet surface (which is what the lake is like when it is calm).

It is a near silent sound of calming energy.

The last time I went kayaking was in the summer of 2017 and to say I’ve missed it would be an understatement.

I made a recent discovery and one that has delighted me.

Vernon has a Paddling Centre and for this not-in-the-know-boomer, it was a delightful revelation. (I’m not sure what mushroom I had been hiding under)

So I wandered down to the open house that the Vernon Paddling Centre held at Paddlewheel Park on June 2 and was welcomed immediately.

See also: Vernon paddleboard event makes decade splash

As a member of this club you can have access to many different boats. There are the outrigger canoes, stand up paddle boards, canoes and surf skis.

You can also store your kayak, or other non motorized boat as a member as well.

You can drop in up to three times and if you want to join, the $20 fee for drop-in will be put toward your membership.

It is located at Paddlewheel Park, just past the tennis courts.

It is a lovely place and if you only want to watch the boaters (and the sail boats too), you can sit yourself down on the lawn at Paddlewheel and enjoy a lazy afternoon watching the boats come and go.

If you are lucky, you will also hear the sound of children as they play together.

For more information, check out their webpage at

Every year the Paddling Centre hosts a Paddling Film Festival, and I’m told it is full of interesting short films all about paddling. Watch for it for next year.

Another group makes its home at the Vernon Paddling Centre as well. It is called Access Revolution and it provides inclusive access to the outdoors, recreation with a lovely connection to nature that may not be easy for someone with a disability.

For example, if you use a wheelchair, you can use what is called an Onit Ability Board, allowing you to paddle on the water—a paddle board adapted for wheelchairs.

They offer many options, not just for water. If you would like more information—go to

Anyway, if you are inclined and always wanted to try non motorized boating, drop by the Vernon Paddling Centre, meet some like-minded souls and yes, get your paddle on.

Carole Fawcett is a freelance writer, editor and humourist.

See: COLUMN: Demystifying the homeless


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