The Journey and the Ibis (and the rest of the rec fleet) get a taste of Nashville!

WHEW!!  It’s been a busy and fantastic past several weekends on the (FLAT!)water down here in Tennessee.  Two events in particular which I was thrilled to be a part of were the Cumberland River Paddlefest, and the Canoe, Kayak and SUP day on the Stones River with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Saturday, April 13 gave us a gorgeous day at Old Hickory Park on Old Hickory Lake.  While I personally was honored to be representing Jackson Kayak and participating in the day’s event in conjunction with Caney Fork Outdoors, the over 450 registered participants for this event had opportunity to interact with, seek advice, input and guidance from, and participate in activities sponsored by over 30 different manufactures, outfitters and organizations representing all aspects of paddlesports.  Activities available for registrants and vendors throughout the day included (but by no means were limited to): SUP yoga instruction compliments of Nashville Power Yoga; various workshops such as paddle skills and safety, rescue rope throwing and SUP skills; discussions focusing on resource conservation and management; friendly competitions throughout the day; and opportunities to browse merchandise from local and regional outfitters.  And of course, no paddling festival is complete without live music.  We were not disappointed, and were treated to the music of Jerry Vandiver and the One Match Band playing “paddle songs” for us to enjoy.

As I was too busy talking with folks all day to even think to pull out my camera (or sunscreen – no bueno!), feel free to check out Cumberland River Paddlefest, as well as Paddle Adventures Unlimited for more pictures and information on this annual event.  Be sure to mark your calendars for this event in 2014, and I look forward to seeing you there!

The following Saturday found me again in Nashville, and again honored to be joining Caney Fork Outdoors as we shared time on the Stones River with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; what a treat!  Hosted by Mayor Dean and Metro Parks and Recreation, the celebration driving (paddling?!) this event was twofold: first, to spotlight a newly established public access launch site built by the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA); second, to highlight the city of Nashville’s newly acquired property – and soon to be a Metro Nashville public park – Stones River Farm.  The acquisition of this particular piece of property made for a continuous stretch of green space along the Stones River, and will complete the Stones River Greenway for the use and enjoyment of citizens of Nashville and surrounding areas.  Paddlers were able to view this property from the vantage point of the river – some even had time to get out and explore a bit – on the paddle from the put in at the Jackson Down’s Shopping Center (just under Lebanon Road), down river to Heartland Park, where Metro Nashville had shuttles waiting to take us all back to our vehicles.

Mayor Dean sharing info about the newly acquired property, and all looking forward to enjoying camaraderie on the water

While Mayor Dean paddled a super stable and comfy 2013 Ibis donated by Caney Fork Outdoors to Metro Nashville for their fleet, over 250 participants joined him in their own boats to celebrate this beautiful river trail.

Journeying down the Stones River


Jackson Kayak Rec line (minus the Mini-Tripper) representin' STRONG and Paddling with the Mayor in Nashville!

I can only imagine the collective anticipation as the community looks forward to the opening of a new, public access greenspace!  In the meantime, as summer approaches and brings with it the typical southern heat and humidity that we all know too well, I encourage all of you in the Nashville region to explore this gorgeous new launch site and fantastic stretch of river.  I promise you will be very pleasantly surprised, and I know I’ll be back up to further adventure on longer stretches of this – and other –rivers in the area.

Goofiness abounds, knee brace and all!

More information on the Stones River, the Paddle with the Mayor event, and Metro Nashville can be found at:

Metro Nashville and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association.

Happy boating, and see you on the water!


Comments on “The Journey and the Ibis (and the rest of the rec fleet) get a taste of Nashville!”

  1. Michael King
    May 1, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Paddle Adventures Unlimited appreciates the support of Jackson Kayak, Caney Fork Outdoors, Samantha, Ian, Emily & the whole Jackson Kayak family for providing demos & support during Cumberland River Paddlefest. New & experienced paddlers had an opportunity to check out gear, connect, have fun, & learn.

  2. David Widmer
    May 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Most definitely two great events! We were thrilled to be included, representing Soulshine SUP. This is an awesome paddling community. We look forward to playing again soon!

  3. May 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    A HUGE thanks to both of you, David and Michael, and to each and every one of the participants, organizers, vendors and manufacturers for your contributions to both events. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting both of you and your families, as well as every one else during both events, and I am very much look forward to being a part of these annual events next year! In the meantime, happy and safe boating!


  4. John Binkley
    May 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Hey! I recognize the pink shoe and leg wasn’t it featured in a Jackson Kayak Caption This Photo last August!

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