Over the last decade, there’s been a surge in recreational sports and lifestyle activities that’s been embraced by people of all ages.One of the most popular activities has been kayaking …
Over the last decade, there’s been a surge in recreational sports and lifestyle activities that’s been embraced by people of all ages.
One of the most popular activities has been kayaking and canoeing and it’s no secret that Bedford County is home to one of the friendliest rivers for beginner kayakers in the state with the Duck River.
This summer, the owners and guides at Lucky Duck River Rentals have begun servicing the Duck River, as well as putting in time, effort and resources into keeping the river clean and safe for all to enjoy.
“I think the biggest thing right now is, of course it got popular before COVID, but I think COVID had everyone want to get out,” Lucky Duck owner Chuck Baker said.
Baker also feels the stretch of the Upper Duck is a great section of water for younger kayakers to dip their toes into the sport.
“I would say it’s very family friendly. We get a lot of younger kids. They have a great experience that first time. That’s what we want. We want them to have a good first experience,” Baker said.
River guide Fuzzey Garland also helps take groups down the river with Lucky Duck as well.
“I think there’s just a big boost for recreational activity. People trying to get exercise and trying to enjoy the outdoors in someway—it’s an easy way for them to do it,” he said.
One part of enjoying the river is also being a caretaker for the natural resource and keeping it clean and safe for all to enjoy.
Lucky Duck provides each kayaker with a TWRA trash bag that allows every boater to not only keep their imprint at a minimum, but also pick up any additional trash seen while paddling.
“We do provide every kayaker a trash bag that will leak through. We do provide everyone with a TWRA trash bag,” Garland said.
Recently, Baker helped guide a couple down the river and the three helped pick up a bit of trash on their float.
“We had two ladies who paid for a guided tour and we ended up bringing a lot of stuff back. The biggest thing is if everyone could pick up the small stuff. The big stuff is a little dangerous,” Baker said.
In addition to taking tours down the river, the staff at Lucky Duck have put in several trips of hauling off bigger items, such as car tires, to help improve the river’s safety and cleanliness.
Currently, Lucky Duck services three floats, ranging from an all-day 14 mile float, to a short, five mile trip.
“You can do the whole thing, but you’ve got to be here at 8 a.m. because we have to get you on the water early because it’s an all-day float,” Baker said.
For those interested in giving kayaking a shot, both Garland and Baker agreed on one piece of advice for a first-time kayaker—protect your phone.
“We had a lady who had a sim card in her android for 10 years and lost it,” Garland said.
In addition to kayak rentals, the Lucky Duck’s main hub of operation at Halls Mill includes a restaurant and any amenities, including drinks and snacks, one would need for a day on the Duck.
With summer in full swing, prospective boaters can find additional information on rentals and floats at www.luckyduckriverrentals.com.
Baker hopes to extend the kayaking season into this fall as well.
“I think we’ll shut it down in the fall, but I want to go as late as we can,” he said.
“It’s a great beginner float, it’s beautiful and clean. It’s a fun for families and entertaining,” Garland said.
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