CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Henry David Thoreau said, “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.” Southeast Missourians, who wish to follow in Thoreau’s wake, are invited to attend one of two free canoeing programs scheduled for June 4 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center.
“Canoeing is an outdoor skill that enables someone to truly be on their own in nature,” said Sara Turner, manager of the center. “Long ago, canoeing was a necessary form of transportation for those who settled in the Mississippi River Valley. Now, we canoe because there’s a sense of adventure that comes with a paddler’s view of our Missouri rivers and lakes.”
Turner said the canoeing programs will help both women and families develop skills so they can make memories for a lifetime. Ladies will grab the oars first at Discover Nature: Women’s Canoeing from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Then families can learn together at Discover Nature: Family Canoeing, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
“Both groups will cover boating safety, equipment, and paddling techniques before spending time practicing on the North County Park Lake,” said Turner.
Turner said all the equipment will be provided and registration is required. Registrations may be made beginning May 17 by calling the center at (573)290-5218. Turner added that those who want to continue their canoeing adventures have ample opportunity throughout Missouri.
“From our gorgeous swamp areas in southeast Missouri, to the mighty Mississippi River or the smaller, pristine rivers of the Ozarks, canoeing is a skill that Missourians can use to discover nature for generations to come,” Turner said. “Some of these swamps and rivers even offer views of what Missouri looked like in the 1800s, in the time of Thoreau, but only if you view it by canoe.”
The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is located in Cape County Park North, near the intersection of Kings Highway and I-55. For more information on this and other nature programs go online to mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.