This weekend we did two of my favorite local activities: paddling the St. Joe’s River and hiking the dunes. Five of us met up at Keller Park Saturday to paddle the afternoon away. Heavy winds shifted between being in our favor and against us as the river twisted and turned, but we got to St. Patrick’s park in pretty short time then went on a quick hike. This is a classic stretch of river that St. Patrick’s Park will allow you to paddle with their rented canoes in the summer time. That’s a great way to get on the river if you don’t have a boat of your own, but this time of year they are closed down. See http://www.sjcparks.org/pdffiles/ls%20summer%20brochure.pdf for canoe/kayak rental details.
Sunday morning a group of six of us drove up to Warren Dunes State Park to cover some mileage in the sand. The wind was so strong here that we decided to entirely avoid the open lakeshore. Luckily the inland trails in the woods were more reasonable. After wandering off trail to explore, we ended up taking a more rugged than necessary route through dense shrubs including two river crossings to get back to the cars. On the way home we stopped at our favorite tiny pie restaurant, Pleasant House in Three Oaks.
For more information on paddling and hiking, check out the adventure guide: http://outsidethebend.com/guide/