NEBRASKA — In a world of social distancing, many hobbies have been put on hold for the summer. Luckily, water sports, like kayaking and canoeing, are the perfect source of exercise and social interaction that comply with Nebraska’s phase III reopening plans.
The Nebraska Canoe and Kayak Facebook group consists of over 3,500 people who share a passion for Nebraska’s many paddling opportunities. Members of the group share tips and tricks for paddling down local rivers for both newbies and seasoned oarsmen. The group is a source of information on scenic floating locations, affordable gear suggestions, and pictures from successful trips.
“This group started out as a message board, but has truly grown into a community,” said group founder Tyler Neal. Neal is a Nebraska native who noticed the need for an outlet for local and visiting paddlers and started the group in 2013.
“Nebraska doesn’t have guidebooks on canoeing and kayaking, so we set up this Facebook group, allowing fellow paddling enthusiasts to come together and share their experience, feedback, and knowledge.”
Over the years, Neal has added admins from all across Nebraska who represent a variety of professions, from outfitters to lawyers. While the group is online, it has fostered friendships offline as well.
“What’s grown out of the group has exceeded my expectations,” said Neal. “There’s a crew of women who met in the group and now get together for canoe trips. We also have a mix of members who are from rural areas, who because of the group, are able to connect and make friends with people from all over the state.”
The group has become its own community “guidebook” for paddlers, canoers, and kayakers throughout Nebraska.
To learn more about the group, or to see what paddling opportunities are available in the state, visit Nebraska Canoe and Kayak.