Allegheny River Kayaking
Since we've moved "down by the river," we've been able to pick up a new hobby that keeps you fit and gets you in touch with nature -- kayaking on the Allegheny River.
After borrowing a neighbors kayak a few weeks ago, we were hooked. A quick trip to Dick's Sporting goods for a boat, paddle, life jackets and cart that allows us to roll the boat the 1/8th of a mile or so from our garage to the waters edge, and we were in business.
At the spot where we live close to the Fox Chapel Yacht Club, there's generally lots of boats around, but very little boat traffic. So after slogging through a little bit of muddy shallow, you're out on the waterway.
In the kayak, you're literally sitting on top of the water. You will get wet, but not as wet as the jet skiers and water skiers you might be surprised to bump into.
The south shore is tree covered hillside. When the sun is shining with blue skies and blue water, it's the closest feeling I've had in Pennsylvania to the wide open spaces you find out west.
The wildlife surprises -- fish jump out of the water, geese and other birds swoop in and skim the water for catch. You'll make some friends out on the water as you pass fellow kayakers, and a few owners relaxing on their boats docked at the club.
Heading toward Oakmont, you'll find some islands in the water for exploring. The route (link) we've mapped here is typical for us. Almost 3.5 miles, it generally takes about an an hour with no lengthy stops.