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Fall Colors from Fountainhead

There is something about Occoquan Reservoir that makes the fall colors more vivid.  We are launching from Fountainhead Park because they still have kayak rentals and it will be fun to explore new areas.   We will head up the reservoir, in the opposite direction as Lake Ridge Park and the dam.  About 3 miles from Fountainhead is a nice landing where we can take a break, stretch our legs, and use the "primitive facilities" if needed.

Kayaks can be rented from Fountainhead Park, but I have no discount here, so the fee is $9/hour.  The launch fee is $4 for jurisdiction and $5 for non-jurisdiction if you launch your own kayak.   If renting, come early enough to be ready to launch by 1:00 PM because I do not work for this park and I can't speed up the process like I do at Lake Ridge.

Now that the water is getting cooler, I do not recommend trying to catch up to us on your own if you are late. Please be ready to launch at 1:00 PM!  We will need to stay together as a group, but we will probably have a faster and slower group. Bring a set of dry clothes in a waterproof bag in case you get wet. This meetup is suitable for beginners in recreational kayaks, although experienced paddlers in longer kayaks are needed to help with the group. Stand Up Paddleboards are welcome, but you must paddle with others for safety.  We will return by 4 PM.  The total trip will be about 6 miles, although the slower group may make the turnaround earlier and paddle less miles.   Dress warmly and have an extra layer ready to put on during the break.  It could be breezy and we will make the trip shorter if conditions are more challenging.


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  • Barbara H.

    It was great! A little windy, but a beautiful day, great company, had a lot of fun.

    October 27, 2013

    • Pete H.

      It was great having with the group. You are becoming a better paddler each time!

      October 27, 2013

  • Bobbe

    A picture perfect fall day on the water! Thank you and the rest of the group for making my first fall paddle a truly memorable time! Randi, Becky and Brian ...thank you too for all the insight on fall weather paddling! :)

    October 27, 2013

  • Becky

    It was another wonderful day on the water. Thank you for organizing it!

    October 26, 2013

    • Pete H.

      You always help make it a wonderful day! Thanks for coming.

      October 27, 2013

  • Valerie A.

    Sorry Paddlers for the last min cancellation (again)... A girlfriend was admitted to the hospital for complication from a Thur surgery... I feel like I'm missing out on all this refreshing outdoors paddling.... Hope it was beautiful and just perfect for this Sat afternoon... see u next season.

    October 26, 2013

    • Pete H.

      Sorry you couldn't come. I hope your friend is OK. Why don't you come to the swap meet next Sunday? You can try out some kayaks.

      October 27, 2013

  • Gari

    Will not be able to make it after all - errands all morning. Have fun everyone!

    October 26, 2013

    • Pete H.

      We'll miss you! Thanks for letting me know.

      October 26, 2013

  • Mike C.

    No family member available to go to make this a +2, so if someone wants to save on the rental fee, I can throw the Swifty 9.5 (+vest, +paddle) in the jeep for them to use - they will have to pay the launch fee though.. Sorry for the late notice, but you have to let me know NLT say 11:30 or so if you want me to bring it for you...

    October 26, 2013

  • Pete H.

    I just paddled my SUP from Lake Ridge to Fountainhead and back. It was breezy, but clear. The maples and beech are changing color. The oaks haven't changed yet and the poplars have lost their leaves. It should be beautiful, but dress warm and bring a change of clothes in a waterproof bag. We'll paddle into the wind first so that it will be easy to return. Anyone paddling a SUP will have to kneel going into the wind. Windy fall days have their own beauty.

    October 25, 2013

  • Pete H.

    It is going to be breezy Saturday with up to 15 mph wind. Please dress warmly in layers. The main group will probably do the turnaround earlier than planned due to the wind, but a group of strong paddlers can go on ahead and do the full distance. I will stay with the main group. We'll take our time and enjoy the sun, scenery, and the company of other paddlers. Just dress for the temperature and wind.

    October 25, 2013

  • Brian B

    The GPX has been rented.

    October 24, 2013

  • Brian B

    I have a really nice recreational kayak (Epic GPX), very light paddle, and comfortable PFD if anyone would like to rent them for $20 (Pete's standard rate). I will even load and unload for you.
    Please contact me at [masked] to reserve it.

    October 24, 2013

  • Valerie A.

    So Excited to be on the water!!! Is it Saturday Yet?

    October 23, 2013

  • Valerie A.

    Hi Pete, i think i have finally kicked my tonsillitis. i was so looking forward to the last trip and so I'm super excited to hear they are still renting. Are the kayak rentals from Fountainhead Park in the same location as where you're planning to launch (Occoquan Regional Park)?

    October 21, 2013

    • Pete H.

      Hi Valerie. We are actually launching from Fountainhead Park. I had a typo in the first version of the meetup description. Hope you can make it!

      1 · October 22, 2013

  • Nancy

    Wish I could make it but I'll be teaching. Have a great trip.

    October 21, 2013

  • Mike L.

    I cannot make this paddle, but the instructions to meet and launch from Occoquan Regional Park is below the dam and a long way from Fountainhead. Should it be Fountainhead park vice Occoquan park?

    October 21, 2013

    • Pete H.

      Thanks for catching the typo. That's what happens when you copy and paste from a previous meet up to save time.

      October 21, 2013

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