The Plano Parks and Recreation Department is opening the pond behind the retreat center for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding starting Wednesday, June 14. You can bring your own craft and enjoy the water anytime (free!), or stop by Wednesdays from 3-5pm and rent a kayak from KayakPower.com ($10, I think for one hour). Full watercraft rules here.

Launch from any spot that works for you. We had help so we didn’t even get our feet wet.

The city invited me to check it out today, so I brought along my teenager and we ended up being filmed and interviewed by a WFAA reporter, who even attached a GoPro to my teen’s kayak paddle. You can see the WFAA segment here.

This isn’t a large body of water, but we sure had fun regardless. We saw turtles, adult and baby ducks, a couple of dead fish and picked up some trash. It was very peaceful, and I resisted the urge to ask my son to race and just enjoyed cruising across the water.

This is a great spot for a novice kayaker, someone who lives nearby and doesn’t want to travel far, or anyone with kids. I’ve paddled a kayak with a small child sitting in front of me before, and let older (and braver) kids paddle alone. I’m not sure of any age-related rental restrictions from KayakPower, but I’ll find out and update this later. 

There will also be kayaking classes for beginners ages 13+ for $129 (all gear and equipment provided). Plano Parks and Recreation offers the following class slots:

  • June 14: 10am-noon
  • June 14: 1-3pm
  • June 14: 5-7pm
  • July 12: 10am-noon
  • July 12: 1-3pm
  • July 12: 5-7pm

A paddle boarding class for ages 10 and up will also be offered on June 19 from 6-7:15pm for $99.

Contact the Plano Parks and Recreation Department to find out more and make reservations. Call (972) 941-7250.