Since the weather was beautiful this past weekend, I thought it was a good time to try a new outdoor pursuit, kayaking. I have never actually been kayaking, but I figured it couldn’t be too difficult as long as I wasn’t battling Class V rapids. The Little Maumelle River in Pinnacle Mountain State Park seemed like just the place for this experience to happen.
After signing the numerous safety forms and paying the necessary fees, I was allowed to grab a life jacket and paddle and proceed to the boat launch area. Upon reading the water trail guide instructions, I was somewhat surprised to learn that an alligator occasionally occupies this river; I guess that part was conveniently omitted from the park ranger safety briefing… No worries though, I would just be a little bit more vigilant during my paddle.
While I was vaguely familiar with the layout of the river from a trail map, I was grateful there was really only one obvious route for most of the trip. During this paddle, I became very familiar with cypress trees, which are apparently very fond of growing in water. There were also quite a few turtles sunning themselves along the way, but they normally scampered into the water as soon as they sensed someone was close.
I continued paddling and eventually stumbled upon two small fishing boats. These fishermen seemed very intent in their pursuits, so I maintained my distance and proceeded. I then entered a large area with many Cyprus trees. After exploring the area for a while, I did not see an obvious path forward, so I decided to start back to the boat launch. In retrospect, I guess I only paddled about two miles of the possible nine miles to the Two Rivers Park and Arkansas River. Oh well, it’s probably best to test the waters a little before embarking on any lengthy adventures.
The trip back was uneventful. I passed a kayak and a canoe as well as a group of kayakers just starting their trip. But overall, definitely an enjoyable experience in the Natural State.