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Aug. 6, 2020
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Get out: Spend the day at LLOP

By Jane Harrison 
 
Folks yearning to get outside for relaxation, fun times, or a thrill are filling the boat ramps and parks around Lake Lanier. 
 
Lake Lanier Olympic Park, the hottest tourist destination in Gainesville/Hall County, is experiencing a surge of visitors renting kayaks and paddle boards, learning to paddle, and enjoying activities offered by the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club, Lake Lanier Rowing Club, and other entities.
 
“People want to get out,” said LCKC spokesperson Jim 0’Dell on a recent summer morning as kids in LCKC summer camp hit the water, dragon boaters docked a long boat, and rowing newbies returned oars to the LLRC boathouse port.
 
“Things kicked off in a big way” after the boathouse opened in June, O’Dell said. People pent up during the coronavirus lockdown escaped to the full, blue, and open water where they could rent a kayak and paddle in peace in a no-wake zone at the legacy Olympic venue.
 
People from Atlanta, Florida, the local vicinity and tourists just driving through drop in on weekends or reserve a rental during the week. For some, the experience is their first excursion outside the house since April. O’Dell mentioned a father and son who rented a kayak and went fishing on Father’s Day. It was their first venture away from home in three weeks.
 
LCKC also hosted a pop in family reunion when a group of 40 showed up to paddle together on a weekend morning. The club put the group in dragon boats and kayaks. Staggering positions in dragon boats helps with social distancing. O’Dell said the club is persnickety about spraying disinfectant on life jackets and paddles.
 
Several activities remain on the LLOP calendar as the unofficial end of summer approaches this month. Lake lovers can start the day with Sunrise Yoga at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings and then grab a paddle after breakfast to spend a day at LLOP. The fun might continue until sundown with a moonlit paddle. Opportunities include:
 
  • Canoe, kayak, SUP (stand up paddleboard), or pedal boat rental 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m. or by appointment during the week. $20 hour, $10 per hour after one hour.
  • Guided Moonlight Paddle, time varies, Aug. 2, Sept. 4, Oct. 2. $20.
  • Learn to Paddleboard, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 9. $65.
  • Learn to Kayak, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 15. $65.

For information about LCKC activities: www.lckc.org.

• Learn to Row classes offered by the Lake Lanier Rowing Club, are scheduled 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturdays Aug. 4-22. $180.

For information about LLRC activities: www.lakelanierrowing.org.
 
See www.lakelanierolympicvenue.org for information about other LLOP events.

Posted online 7.30.20
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