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Five family fun houseboat trips

A good time for all ages
A good time for all ages
Sandra Scott

House boating is a great multi-generational experience. Houseboating is fun and educational especially on a canal where it is life in the slow lane – and, you can’t get lost.

1. Canada’s Rideau Lake, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 100 miles of waterways to explore from Ottawa to Kingston. We only spent a long weekend on our house afloat and enjoyed every minute. We found a private island to tie up to for the night and went swimming in the refreshing waters. Visitors will enjoy touring the locksmith’s house and going through the locks which are still hand cranked.
2. Today the New York’s Erie Canal is a quiet, tree-lined waterway but at one time it was so busy that boats wanting to lock through often had to wait days for their turn. Our three grandchildren joined us on the trip. They were up fishing with the sunrise. Locking through historic locks in Lockport was a hands-on history lesson for them. There were great side excursions including a tour of the Lockport Cave with a short boat ride on the underground river. Near Holley a trail through the woods leads to beautiful waterfalls. Each day was a new adventure.
3. On Lake Mead, fifty miles north of Las Vegas, Forever Resorts offers houseboats in many sizes where the blue-black waters and the robin's egg blue skies are divided by a thousand shades of desert red with rock formations and places with names that would make good book titles: Coyote Cove, Boat Wreck Point, Plane Crash Island, Monkey Cove, and Wild Burro Bay. Fishing and swimming by day and roasting marshmallows around the beach campfire and star gazing at night - life doesn’t get much better.
4. South of Las Vegas on Lake Mohave tie up in a quiet cove and explore by day and count the shooting stars at night.
5. North of Hot Springs, Arkansas is Lake Ouachita, designated as one of the cleanest lakes in the United States by the US EPA there is over 1,000 miles of wilderness shoreline, with hundred of islands to explore, along with great fishing, wildlife.

Tips: Everyone should pay close attention to the boating instructions – young and old. Keep things simple. Pack less, plan easy meals, drive less, park more, and explore the area. If you can drive a car you can drive a houseboat, but if it gets windy find a place to tie up. A houseboat in windy conditions is not fun to drive.