For a lot of groups, this usually ends up in a trip to Sandusky or, especially if you’re a of a younger crowd, hanging out at Walmart. There just aren’t that many options as far as Norwalk activities for the young adult category. And there are only so many aisles in Walmart.
When I heard the Norwalk Parks and Rec department was getting canoes this summer, I think my jaw dropped a little in surprise and the next few Saturday afternoons were already being planned.
Initially I was excited — what a unique and fun experience for Norwalk to offer and such a good use of our reservoir, which really is quite pretty and has plenty of wildlife that visits those waters to enjoy from a small boat. But my next thought was it would be too good to be true. If something like this was coming, the price probably would be astronomical.
This is where Norwalk is special — we seem to have an endless supply of people and organizations focused on building up a good, strong community with good intentions and the motivation to make something happen.
This time, the canoes (and their surprisingly low prices, by the way) were thanks to the non-profit organization Restore Norwalk, which is focused on giving the community options and fun, family-friendly, wholesome activities to fill time with. Something to help people stay out of trouble.
Their fundraising efforts made it possible for a canoe to be rented and enjoyed all day for just $10, which includes your rows and life jackets. That means for the price of two Little Cesar’s pizzas, you and two friends could potentially spend up to about 12 hours out on the water if you really wanted to. Even if you only got in one or two hours, for the three of you to do an activity together, it’s still worth it.
That’s pretty good.
And it’s a lot of fun too.
For someone who’s never been canoeing, I found it a lot of fun and quite relaxing.
Our reservoir is very calm, with the smooth, almost rhythmic water, plenty of space to row around, but not an overabundance of people around, and a picturesque wooded area that meets up to the water. And we have a lot of visiting birds that like to stop by. And on a beautiful day, what better place to be than on the water with friends or family?
It’s something that I look forward to taking my two younger sisters to do, for some (hopefully) good sibling-bonding. It’s also something we could do easily as a whole family, renting a couple of the canoes and all enjoy together, whether just rowing around the large reservoir, or fishing from the boat.
And the next time we have a group of friends get together, instead of heading to Sandusky to walk around the mall — again — I’m honestly looking forward to grabbing a few canoes, maybe a picnic lunch and making a day of it. Wouldn’t be a bad day-time date option either, and one you could enjoy whether you’re a younger or older couple.
I definitely see myself using the reservoir more often than I already did and am looking forward to plenty more memories being made this summer being outside, rather than staying at home, going back to the mall or (heaven forbid) another walking trip to Walmart.
I look forward to seeing if the Parks and Rec department are able to pull off the kayaks soon too, for maybe a slightly more upbeat experience, and some nice winter-time fun if Restore Norwalk is able to raise the funds for the the skating rink to be put in at Sofios park.
Norwalk just might become the destination place for others seeking to escape the dull lack of activities in their own communities.