by Ellen Parker
With the sunny summer months also comes humid days where being outside on the scorching pavement is too much to bear. A plethora of outdoor water activities can be found in one place at the Panther Island Pavilion (480 N. Taylor), which is where the Clear Fork and the West Fork of the Trinity River converge.
These water activities are not only a nice change of pace from going to the pool, but can also be beneficial to staying fit and healthy. This natural playground is one to remember during the long, sweltering days of summer.
Kayak and Canoe kayakfortworth.com
The Backwoods Kayak and Canoe concession opened Labor Day 2012 with a very successful start and did not close for the season until October 2012. This year they opened on March 1 with limited hours. According to the concession’s manager, Ira Ralston, “At our grand opening party on May 26, we plan to open up back to six or seven days a week.”
At the concession, there are eight different boats, including ocean kayaks, which use upper body strength and Hobie kayaks that require pedaling your way down the river. All Backwoods’ staff is not only level one instructor certified, but also all have lifeguard, CPR and First Aid certifications to ensure not only an enjoyable time on the river, but also a safe one.
Ralston describes kayaking and canoeing on the Trinity by saying, “It is a way to connect with the community. It provides a different way to exercise and to be outside.”
Paddle Board alohapaddleboards.com
Located next to the Backwoods Kayak and Canoe concession is Aloha Paddle Boards. Paddle boarding offers low-impact core training in the serene environment of the river. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is beginner friendly, especially on the Trinity River because it is calm water.
Hopping on a paddle board will present a new perspective of Fort Worth’s West Fork of the Trinity or the Clear Fork, depending on which way you choose to paddle.
Tube the Trinity
Beginning June 6, Rockin’ on the River will take place at the Panther Island Pavilion every Thursday night. J. D. Granger, Trinity River Vision Authority executive director, described Rockin’ the River by saying, “New Braunfels has tubing, Austin has music and Fort Worth has it all in one place. Panther Island Pavilion is where Funkytown gets down.” That is just what Rockin’ the River is setting out to do throughout the summer on the Trinity.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. every Thursday, and people are invited to bring their tubes, paddle boards and dogs for an evening of live music on the river. Food, beverage and tube rentals are available at the pavilion, and free water is provided at the TRWD Hydration Station. Granger said that, “water lovers can jump in a tube and float up to a front row seat under the Panther Island Pavilion waterfront stage, or if you’re a land lover, bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy the concert in the shade from the banks of the Trinity.”