Grafton offers kayak, canoe tours of Silver Lake

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Grafton offers kayak, canoe tours of Silver LakeBy Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

GRAFTON – Area families and outdoor enthusiasts will get a unique chance to gain a new perspective on one of the area’s pristine bodies of water this summer, in the form of a guided paddling tour hosted by the Grafton Recreation department. 

Scheduled to take place Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m., July 13, July 27 and August 10, these paddling tours will take between 15 and 20 attendees on a trip around Grafton’s Silver Lake. 

They’ll launch from the town’s Silver Lake Beach and will be hosted by experienced guides.

“It’s been just a great opportunity for people to get introduced to [paddling] and to get out and do something fun for a low cost,” Grafton Recreation Director Jen Andersen said in a recent interview with the Community Advocate. 

Tours showcase Silver Lake

The tours cost $5 per person. There is also a boat rental fee for those who don’t already own a kayak or canoe. 

As this event moves forward, Andersen said she hopes it offers a gateway into a new form of physical activity for community members.

Grafton, after all, is rich with open space for boating, between Silver Lake, Lake Ripple and other nearby waterways.

“This is the most public body of water in town…so that’s why we were operating [at Silver Lake],” Andersen said. “Hopefully it’s just getting people started and then making them aware of other locations.”

Paddling program grows in Grafton

This is not necessarily a new program. 

The Recreation Department actually started offering paddling events in 2019, growing a family program out of an existing outdoor adventure program for area youth. 

Children were already fishing, kayaking and building fires through that opportunity. 

The vendor in charge, meanwhile, was looking to expand and worked with town officials to pilot what was originally a traveling tour program. 

That first year saw tours in Grafton, as well as outside of town, in places like Flint Pond in Shrewsbury. 

Quickly, though, feedback dictated a more local approach.

“People wanted to be a little bit closer and so we’ve just kept it here,” Andersen said. “…We really came to learn that people just like to do something in town and learn about what’s in town.”

Kayak, canoe tours bring families together

Though COVID-19 disrupted some of last year’s programming, Andersen and others in her department are excited to see the paddling program grow this summer. 

Already, since switching to a more local approach, organizers have seen their events reach capacity as community members snap up boat rentals and “welcome the opportunity” to see their town from the water.

There are lots of tandem kayaks in use, Andersen remarked, as families turn out to explore nature together.

“It’s not just a single person or a couple,” she said. “They’re mixing it up with a canoe or a kayak and…really making a family outing of it.”

Learn more about the paddling nights and see how to register at GraftonRec.com.

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