Community paddling event at SIU - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Community paddling event at SIU

SIU hosts paddling event SIU hosts paddling event
MAKANDA, IL (KFVS) - "Breaking the Surface," a free paddling event open to the public is coming to Southern Illinois University's Touch of Nature Environmental Center on May 2.

Both experienced paddlers and those who have never paddled are welcome to participate on Little Grassy Lake at Touch of Nature. 

It's about eight miles south of Carbondale off of Giant City Road.

Check in is from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by a brief welcome at 2 p.m. Then organizers will provide instructions for beginner paddling and kayaking. 

Open paddling takes place on the lake from 2:30 to 5 p.m. During that time, there will also be three guided hikes to introduce participants to the center's new trail building initiative.

A closing circle will follow at 5 p.m. and the event wraps up with a paddlers' social at 6:30 p.m.

Organizers will provide everything you need including canoes, kayaks, paddles and personal flotation devices. Participants who have their own canoes or kayaks are welcome to bring them as long as it has a Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge sticker or day pass, available for purchase at the event.

Participants will want to wear water shoes or other footwear they are comfortable getting wet and my want to bring their own snacks and water bottles.

Organizers request that those planning to attend RSVP in advance, if possible, to allow adequate planning. To RSVP, call (618) 453-1121 or email

The evening before "Breaking the Surface," the Reel Paddling Film Festival will be at the SIU Student Center Auditorium where some of the world's best paddling films will be shown from 7 to 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend at no cost.

To learn more about the community paddling program or other Touch of Nature activities, facilities and services, visit

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