These days if you decide to head to a river or lake in Tennessee, odds are you’ll be sharing that water with someone else. Whether you prefer a paddle board, kayak or canoe, paddle sports are exploding in popularity. And with more people on the water, there’s a growing need for certified instructors to teach newcomers and even veterans the best ways to have a fun, safe paddle. Wild Side Guide Bill Cody takes us to Acorn Lake at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, where instructor-trainers with the American Canoe Association (ACA | Canoe-Kayak-Sup-Raft-Rescue) spent the day teaching some experienced kayakers the best ways to share their knowledge with others. Of course rule number one is to always wear a Personal Flotation Device any time you’re on the water!
The 2 day class was made possible by the US Coast Guard through the Expansion of On Water Paddlesports grant, with help from Tennessee State Parks, ACA | Canoe-Kayak-Sup-Raft-Rescue, TWRA and others, including Foggy Bottom Canoe, who donated several kayaks to use in the class.
You can visit the ACA website to learn about skills courses and instructor certification courses offered in your area. Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.
Most of the students in the class represented various organizations involved with paddling, including Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, Nashville Metro Parks and Recreation, Paddle Adventures Unlimited, and Higher Pursuits. Everyone passed with flying colors, which means there are more certified instructors available to teach paddling classes in Tennessee.
To learn more about paddling in our state, as well as volunteer opportunities and paddling workshops or classes, visit the TSRA website. The TSRA is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and restoration of the scenic, free-flowing rivers of our state. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, TSRA has thousands of members across the state and the south.
Click here for more information about the many blueway trails (and hiking trails) available in Tennessee.
From show 2801