Story and Photos submitted by: Aysha Tayab
For me, stand up paddleboard is an activity that is equal parts enjoyable, terrifying, calming, and exhilarating. Ever since I learned to do it, I always look forward to getting out on the water in the summer. It feels perfectly natural for me to be on the water this way. I love getting a different view of the water. I love remembering that it’s not about controlling the water or letting the water control you. Rather, it’s about having a relationship with the water. Most of all, I love the feeling of wandering on water. In Maynooth, ON I had my pick among many bodies of water to wander along.
I rented a stand up paddleboard for the weekend from Bancroft Cottage Toys, located just across from Millennium Park downtown Bancroft.
Although the forecast was calling for rain, I managed to wander along three different lakes.
My wandering journey started along this lovely lake. I only spent about half an hour on this lake because it started to rain. Regardless, it was enough time for me to get a sense of what it was like to be on this small body of water. There were little pockets to explore while getting a lovely view of lakefront cottages.
Second stop was along Papineau Lake where there was a nice public beach access. As soon as you park your car, you’re right on the beach. Perfect for docking your board and even just relaxing on the beach when you need a break.
The sandbar was surprisingly high and extended for a few hundred meters or so. The water was relatively calm and the openness it all encouraged me to keep pushing further.
I absolutely loved the view of the mountains as I paddled along.
I would have to say that this lake was my favourite lake among all three. The best was saved for last I guess. It was a bit tricky to find a place to dock but I managed to find one. The shoreline where I started from was smaller but it meant that I was immediately in the water and on my way. I would say that this body of water was the calmest. It was as though my paddle was gently breaking through glass. Although I was enjoying the serenity of the lake, I was curious to see what I would find. I wandered through the inlet and made my way through Redmond Bay where I saw lots of tiny fish and islands. It was exciting to see an eagle majestically soar through the skies as I paddled my way through the water.
Stand up paddleboard may look like a challenging activity but it’s not. You get a full body workout without feeling worn out. Best of all, it’s a wander-friendly sport. You don’t always need to paddle in a straight line. You can just stay with the current and go where the water wanted to take you until you need to be back at shore. If you love wandering on water then be sure to explore these lakes and many more in this beautiful part of Hastings County!
Story and photographs by Aysha Tayab
As one of our six Local Wanderers exploring Hastings
County, Aysha enjoys Arts and Culture, Agri-Tourism and Paddling adventures.
She grew up in a rural community, suffers from an incurable travel bug, and is an ambassador for the road less travelled.
Learn more about Aysha and her adventures as well as the other five Local Wanderers and the excursions they've experienced across the County here.
Our Local Wanderer Initiative is funded and supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport and Regional Tourism Organization 11 - Ontario's Highlands.