Kayak Instruction, Inc.'s tale begins in 2000, when Dave Holl and his friends went kayaking in the Grand Canyon. As he paddled through the crashing water and listened to the laughter of his friends, Dave came up with a plan to start his own kayaking school. He'd hire a crew of top instructors—certified teachers with a real love for the sport—and build a fleet of quality kayaks.
Today, Dave's crew of seasoned instructors boasts an abundance of kayaking certifications and awards. When the instructors aren't helping fledgling kayakers achieve mastery over their oars, they're parting Texas waters during tours of scenic landscapes populated by bald eagles, blue herons, and fluttering land sharks. The team also rents out an assortment of recreational, tandem, whitewater, and sea kayaks by the day.
For 40 years, the watersports enthusiasts of High Trails Canoe and Kayak Outfitters have outfitted visitors for outdoor adventures, renting the vessels they lift their name from along with standup paddleboards. In addition to renting gear, the staff also teaches kayaking classes that include beginner and advanced touring courses, as well as how to navigate surging waters such as rapids or a neighbor's hot tub. For sportsmen looking to purchase their own watercraft, High Trails' team stocks a fleet of multisport, sit-on-top, and hybrid kayaks from brands such as Hurricane Kayaks and Heritage Kayaks. An online advice page guides guests through choosing kayaks, encouraging them to consider design, material, and comfort.
Several years ago, Branndon Bargo and his brother set out on a mammoth adventure. Not sure what they were after, they biked 4,000 miles to Baja, Mexico from Alaska and found themselves submerged in the open waters of the Pacific, scuba diving with great white sharks. After a harrowing climb of Mount McKinley in Alaska, Branndon began questioning his motivations for staying at his desk job. So in 2005, he gently kissed his cubicle goodbye and founded Live Adventure as a means of encouraging others to challenge themselves while discovering deeper connections with the world around them. Within Cedar Hill State Park, Brandon organizes team-building programs and encourages groups to kayak, synchronize swim, and fish on Joe Pool Lake. Other expeditions include rock-climbing outings and custom guided jaunts around the planet.
An autumn harvest fair. A Memorial Day celebration, punctuated by a 21-gun salute. A kids' summer camp complete with archery, swimming, and a meet-and-greet with a friendly raccoon mascot. These are just a few of the events hosted by Grand Prairie Parks & Rec, a department that has garnered a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Its recreational facilities??including a pool with an aquatic climbing wall??and frequent social events bring the city together year round. Under the bright sun or starry skies, visitors can dance at a concert in the park, rather than just dancing to the rhythmic creak of a swing set. For longer excursions, the 791 lakeside acres of Loyd Park feature 221 campsites replete with cabins, picnic areas, and trails. There, visitors can paddle out on the water in a rented kayak, play a game of volleyball, or sleep overnight under the stars.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Brands Used: Wilderness Systems
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Wear water shoes and bring sunscreen, a hat, and water.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Rentals, lessons
Alongside the carefully selected staff of seasoned instructors of the family-friendly Discover Kayak, you might find yourself gazing into the sunset or paddling along a calm waterway where herons fly from tree to tree. The certified patient instructors lead both novice and experienced groups out onto the gentle waters of Lake Grapevine during leisurely tours and lessons in which they share kayaking techniques and tips for purchasing your own gear. And for those who'd like to explore the waters around Meadowmere Park on their own, they provide top-of-the-line rental gear, including touring, recreational, sit-on-top kayaks, and canoes. For most experiences the team offers, prior experience and gills are not necessary and instructors will set you up with safety gear, vessels, and the know-how to make your experience memorable.