This spring or summer, you might be planning a family excursion down to Table Rock Lake for some kayaking or boating. Although the lake is quite beautiful, you're probably expecting to spend a good deal of money -- $30 in gas alone just getting down there and back, not to mention rental fees that can be three-times as much as what you would pay locally. Then you have to budget lunch and dinner for the whole family, and also account for the $5 ice cream cones your kids will be screaming their heads off for.
This may be news to some, but you don't actually have to leave Springfield to rent a kayak, canoe or even a pontoon boat for the whole family! There are two exceptional places right in your backyard that are very affordable too.
Springfield Lake is on the south side of town. The lake feeds right into James River, a popular place for local kayakers and fisherman. Lake Springfield Park is at the head of James River where you can rent canoes and kayaks for only $10, and there's no need to call ahead to reserve them either. All you need is a photo ID, although there's no concessions on site so you might want to bring some water, snacks and sunscreen.
On the north side of Springfield is Fellows Lake where you can rent kayaks and canoes from Fellows Lake Marina for $10. Here you can also rent pontoons and bass boats for as little as $75 for half a day. Even their largest pontoon rents for under $300 for the entire day. You'll want to call ahead to schedule a boat rental since they have a very limited stock. Unlike Lake Springfield Park, they do have a small store to purchase any necessities. The only downfall is the lake is a protected area and they don't allow any swimming or jet skis.
Renting kayaks, canoes, and boats locally can be a very cost effective option. You'll save on rental fees, gas money and you don't have to eat out either. Just pack a lunch and drive 10 minutes back home for dinner! Less money, less time behind the wheel, you can't beat it.