Kayaking in Madera

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Though the members of San Joaquin River Stewardship Program spend much of their time testing the San Joaquin River's water quality, studying its insects, and growing and replanting native vegetation, they also help make their prized waterway fun for visitors. They provide outdoor recreation, such as kayaking trips down calm currents during the day and at night, often teaching participants how to fish for rainbow trout and bass. They also lead nature hikes along the shore, where groups can see wildlife and native plants during bird-watching, animal-tracking, plant-identification, and scavenger-hunt excursions. Their outdoor-school programs reflect their dedication to conservation by teaching hands-on activities, exploration, and critical-thinking exercises for budding stewards. They also provide scholarships in canoe and kayak training, as well as fish crowd-control training, for visitors 10?18 years old. To get visitors of all ages interested in water and habitat conservation, they lead year-round river channel and shoreline cleanup projects on foot or in canoes.

10645 North Lanes Road
Fresno,
CA
US

The owners of 7Star Rental wield more than 20 years of boating experience to equip ocean and lake adventurers of all levels for an active day on the water. Knowledgeable staffers can harness equipment such as wakeboards and inner tubes to all-fiberglass Tigé and Centurion-brand boats, or loan out a fishing vessel with plenty of storage space for bait and tackle. Events such as fishing trips and wakeboarding lessons help watersports newbies get their feet wet. In addition, Sea-Doos carry wave wranglers through California's many lakes, delta waterways, and Guinness World Record–breaking goldfish bowls.

1287 De Lima Road
Lathrop,
CA
US

The folks at Kayak Connection outfit visitors with sea kayaks and standup paddleboards before leading them on guided tours or sending them out to explore Santa Cruz Harbor and Elkhorn Slough on their own. Tours vary from romantic sunset paddles to trips designed for families and include one tailored to getting glimpses of local birds. Intermediate and advanced paddlers can head out onto open waters to paddle past the Golden Gate Bridge, Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, and Monterey Bay Crossing.


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2370 Highway 1
Moss Landing,
CA
US

Blue Water Ventures owner and naturalist Kim Powell and her trained staff of naturalists lead adventurous groups on tours of trails and waterways from the East Bay of California to Monterey's Elkhorn Slough, exploring caves, forests, and wildlife-rich areas on the way. On protected Elkhorn Slough, groups of up to 20 make their way on stable kayaks as their attentive tour guides give rich history of the area and point out wildlife including seals and sea otters. In Florida's Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, groups snorkel and canoe to observe wild west indian manatees and their notorious poker habits.

The company also does specialty tours for school groups that include tide-pooling adventures and trekking through a redwood forest to see some of the country's oldest trees. Tours for women-only groups include private cruises where ladies can spy whales and a variety of seaborne wildlife, including fish, dolphins, and long-lost swim fins.

2360 California 1
Moss Landing,
CA
US