It’s been about two decades since the last time I was in a canoe. I remember really enjoying canoeing when I was younger, so I’m not really sure why I haven’t done it in so long. My husband’s in the same boat (pun totally intended) – he hasn’t been canoeing in years either. My 8 year old son, however, has never been. We decided to start out with something easy, so we headed down to Ijams Nature Center near downtown Knoxville and rented a canoe to paddle around Mead’s Quarry. While it is called a “lake”, it’s more like a large, deep pond that’s lined with steep rock faces. No private motor boats are allowed here so the water is very calm. It’s a good place to test out rusty canoeing capabilities. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive ($12 for an hour canoe rental).
There are hiking trails around the quarry, accessible by foot and by paddle boat, and Ijams Nature Center offers more walking trails about a minute down the road. The one hour canoe rental gave us the perfect amount of time to paddle the entire quarry and take a slight detour to wade in the water and walk a short trail.