Inaugural Adventure: Urban Canoeing

I decided about two weeks ago that I would try to have a small adventure every day.  I’m truly a person who needs variety and novelty, and I hadn’t been getting much of it.  Just an hour of something new and different can keep me going through alllllll the rest of the day. When I can’t get that, it might be a mini-adventure or even a micro-adventure – a new recipe, a new route home from work, a new crochet stitch or yoga move from a YouTube video, but SOMETHING new.

Canoeing backwaters of Lake Keller

Keller’s backwaters are lovely.

Today, it was a lovely paddle on Keller Lake, Round Lake and Lake Phalen in St. Paul/Maplewood.  I was first turned on to this idea by this blog post, plopped up a few years ago.  We unlocked the canoe, loaded it up (with a bit of a kerfuffle due to my injured back – it’s a big aluminum sucker), and headed over to the park.  Again, a bit of an issue locating where to unload due to my back and not wanting to carry the boat very far.  We were juuuuuust about to give up when my hubby Bryce suggested we drive up to the Keller end of the chain to see if the parking would be easier (and closer to the water).  We did that and luckily at the lower picnic area (green marker on map) there was ample parking and only a few steps to the water.  It’s not an official put-in but the water was so nice and high that we easily boarded the canoe.

There are some great backwaters connecting the lakes.  Normally canoeists can access five lakes but due to some bridge construction on 36 we could only get to three of them, which was plenty.  The area that most interested me anyway was the channel connecting Round and Keller Lakes.  It was like a creek but without so much current.  I loved the shade and observing the bikers and walkers on shore.  Bryce was disappointed he’d forgotten his fishing rod.  We did spend a bit of time on open Round Lake and Lake Phalen but quickly headed back into the channel.

All in all, we were on the water for about an hour, which was perfect given this danged back – just enough water and sunshine for a perfect afternoon treat.


View Phalen/Keller/Gervais Chain of Lakes in a larger map