Looking for a relaxing new way to enjoy nature this summer? We highly recommend giving canoeing a try. It’s one of our favorite water activities here at Edenwood’s cabin getaways in Wisconsin because of how peacefully it integrates a person into nature. But don’t just take our word for it – get out and try it yourself (after you read through this quick-start guide first, of course).


Benefits of Canoeing

Canoeing is an easy sport to love. It’s one of the few outdoor sports that just about anyone can participate in, even with very little training. Many places offer inexpensive canoe rentals on site, too, so folks don’t need to go through the hassle or cost of owning and transporting one. In addition to those reasons, here are a few other perks of your soon-to-be favorite hobby:

  • Offers relaxation
  • A different way to spend time in nature
  • A serene, motor-free experience
  • Simple to operate
  • Can be done in a variety of settings
  • Healthy, low-impact exercise


Best Beginner Locations

A big part of a successful canoe trip is the location. Different bodies of water offer different benefits. For a first-time adventure, we typically recommend either a no-wake lake or a slow-moving river. You can find a location that offers equipment rental or book a vacation at a location that offers canoeing, such as one of the top family vacation Wisconsin sites: Edenwood Ranch and Preserve.

Of course, another option is to go with an outfitter (guide) service. Each company does things a little bit differently, but most provide all the necessary equipment, an expert guide and a well-curated route along a beautiful stream, river or lake. We recommend finding a reputable group with state-based searches. For example, if you are looking for an excellent Wisconsin experience, consider this list put together by canoeing.com.


Equipment Needs

Another great aspect of canoeing is the amount of flexibility it offers when it comes to equipment. You can go with just the bare-minimum basics, or you can load it up with your favorite camping gear and plan a whole weekend getaway! Canoes have quite a bit of room between the two riders, unlike kayaking or backpacking.

For just a simple beginner’s daytrip, you’ll need the following:

  • Paddles (one per person, typically two per canoe)
  • Canoe
  • Personal floatation device (one per person)
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Map
  • Sunblock

Additional optional supplied that could be beneficial, depending on the location and length of your canoe adventure include:

  • Camera (waterproof, if possible)
  • A dry bag for personal belongings
  • Snacks and/or a picnic-style meal
  • Swimsuit
  • Water shoes
  • Binoculars for spotting wildlife
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof first aid kit

Summer cabin getaways in Wisconsin are fantastic times to try out canoeing. The weather is usually great and most times you won’t even mind if your canoe tips because the water is so refreshing to enjoy. When you book your vacation with us at Edenwood, we have canoeing as well as plenty of other ways to enjoy the water – check out amazing list of activities!


Paddling Tips

Finally, we wanted to include a few suggestions about how to get the canoe to go where you want it to go. Remember to be patient with yourself in the process. The good news is that, while it might take a little bit of practice to really get into a groove, paddling is not difficult to learn. Here are some basics to be aware of as you “dive in”:

  • The front paddler provides the energy and power needed to move forward as well as identifying potential obstacles in the way
  • The rear paddler provides the direction and steering control
  • When trying to change directions, the rear rider can switch which side he/she is paddling on or switch from paddling to using his/her paddle like a rudder instead by using a still, strong pull or push motion near the rear of the canoe
  • When each rider paddles on the opposite side of the canoe at the same time, it increases stability
  • Communication is key; talk with each other about what you’re seeing and where you need help


Family Vacation Wisconsin

Regardless of whether it’s your first or 100th canoe ride, science has proven that time spent in nature makes us happier, kinder, less stressed and more creative people. That’s exactly how we should all feel while on vacation. There’s a lot of nature to explore on Edenwood’s 500-acre nature preserve. Go on a hike, rent a UTV, experience the thrill of guided hunting or just chill out by the lake. There’s something for everyone of all ages to enjoy!