Testing Wilderness Systems Kayak at Rio Reservoir

We have been talking about getting a kayak for a long time. One issue is that they are expensive, especially if you are looking for a tandem kayak. Thanks to LetGo app I was able to find an amazing deal on 2 used kayaks. For $300 I got a tandem and a single Wilderness Systems kayak. They are used and a little beat up but beats spending thousands of dollars on new ones or buying inflatable kayaks.

Wilderness Systems tandem Kayak
Wilderness Systems Kayak

Kayaking Rio Reservoir

Seven years ago we moved to Sullivan County and Rio Reservoir was one of the first places we visited. We were looking for a hiking trail but we found the reservoir instead. We didn’t have a boat or kayak so we couldn’t enjoy the water. While a lot of people go fishing here, some come just to do a nice ride up and down the reservoir. After a hectic day of driving around to get the kayaks, we wanted to test them. The reservoir is the closest spot we could think of and very open. Even on its busiest days, you’ll still feel secluded on the 9.3 miles shoreline long reservoir.

The water was beautiful and the Wilderness Systems kayak did great on the reservoir. We were able to enjoy the hidden waterfall at the reservoir thanks to our kayak. For our first day back in a kayak after two years, we did 6.3 miles. We did not go all the way up the reservoir and down because it was our first day and we started late. Hopefully the next nice day, we will be able to take the kayak out for a longer ride.

waterfall at rio reservoir
Hidden Waterfall at Rio Reservoir

What to Bring when Kayaking

Before kayaking make sure that you don’t need a special permit for the state park or reservoir. This all depends where you live and where you choose to kayak. In NYC for example, you need to purchase a $15 permit in order to kayak the different bodies of water. For upstate, the rules and permit requirements fluctuate.

When kayaking you should bring:

  • Life jacket
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks
  • Protection for valuables

Even if you are the best swimmer or kayaker you never know when or where you can flip. Be prepared and have your life vest near or on you. For our short hike we went through 3 bottles of water. It was a warm day but kayaking is a great upper body workout and it will make you sweat.

Overall, for our first kayaking trip this year the Wilderness Systems kayak did great. We tested the tandem kayak and hope to test the single one soon as well.

bridge at rio reservoir
Rio Reservoir Bridge
Rio Reservoir water
Rio Reservoir water and trees
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