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leah kirk

twp day float trips.jpg

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to help newcomers to paddling discover nature on the water by offering a two-day Canoeing Basics course.  The class is designed not only to teach the basics but also give the opportunity to go on a river float to practice and develop paddling skills further.

The first part of the class is Monday, Aug. 6 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and will be held at St. Louis County’s Simpson Park, 1234 Marshall Road.  Participants will meet at the Blue Heron Pavilion next to the lake.  The class will cover paddling equipment, paddling safety, and how to paddle a canoe on a lake.

The second half of the class will be the next day, Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  Participants will take a seven-mile float on the Meramec River which starts at Pacific Palisades Conservation Area and takes out at Allenton Access.  This will be a chance to put skills learned on day one into practice will enjoying a beautiful stretch of one of Missouri’s most popular float rivers.  Floaters must attend the Monday session to join the Tuesday float.

The class is free and MDC will provide all paddling and safety equipment. Participants need to bring their own water bottle, snacks, and lunch.  All who attend the class must be able to swim and be nine years of age or older—and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Online reservations required in advance to attend Basic Canoeing by going to