On Memorial Day 2011 Geoffrey, Jacob and I went down to the Erie Basin Marina to walk around the Naval Park and canoe!
We rented a canoe from Bflo Harbor Kayak and had an absolute blast. They are located at The Central Wharf on the Commercial Slip. They just have a blue tent with a small sign stating their name and life jackets hanging from the tent. You can't miss the different kayaks and canoes they have next to the tent, and down on the docks.
It cost $30 for an hour for the three of us (although the cost is really for two people).
We were given our paddles and the owner helped us into the canoe and set us free! I'm not sure if it is something I would have done on my own (since that was my first time canoeing), but luckily Geoffrey had done it before, so I knew we'd be safe. I was sorta surprised that they didn't give you any tips or say anything other than, "See you in an hour", but I guess they are targeting people who have done it before. You do have a waiver you are asked to sign releasing them from anything that may happen to you while you are out there.
We canoed around inside the Marina; we didn't want to venture out too far and get stuck with bigger waves. We canoed near the old grain elevators and the General Mills plant and it was interesting to see how the old industrial buildings were built. We had fun looking at all the different boats and seeing their names. It intrigued me to learn more about the grain elevators and I'm gonna do some research on it. They offer a tour of them through Buffalo Tours, so maybe I'll do that...either way, it will probably end up being a blog post soon!
All three of us took turns at paddling and after a while we got into a good groove. It definitely does take a lot of upper body strength that I don't have, but I did pretty good with what I could. We paddled leisurely so we could enjoy the sights around us too :)
You can also rent them for 1/2 the day and it really isn't that much more money ($45 for 4 hours)
The best deal they offer is getting the season pass which only costs $75. Get out once a week and it's quite a deal!
The owner was a friendly guy and it's a great way to get in some exercise and enjoy the sights of Buffalo around you. I'd suggest it if you've canoed or kayaked before, but if you haven't, make sure you take someone experienced out with you!