Paddling in Redding: Awesome Adventures

Mountains, views, the Sundial Bridge? It's all there, to enjoy from the water.

BEYOND THE OCEAN: Asking any devoted lover of the Pacific to think beyond its waves, in terms of the things they like to do, can seem a bit silly. After all, our neighboring ocean is epic, majestic, and its bigness fills the heart, and vision, in ways that a lot of things in life cannot. But when it comes to pursuits upon the water, it is good to pause, every now and again, and consider how an inland waterway can change up the experience. Look to kayaking and paddling, two things seen often around the harbors and shorelines of the Golden State. You just might see an otter, or a seal, or some beautiful birds, if you're upon the Pacific, but if you make your way to an interior hub, like Redding, you may paddle into a whole new chapter of this outdoor favorite. Consider the fact that the outdoorsy Northern California city was named by Time magazine as "the unofficial kayaking capital," a title that holds a lot of water -- heh -- when you see paddlers out around the Sundial Bridge. Oh, wait, hold the phone: You haven't paddled near this iconic span? It is, indeed, a mega sundial, and the trees lining the Sacramento River add breadth to the painting-worthy background. But there's more breadth to enjoy, around Redding, in the kayaking and paddling sectors, beyond the views. Upcoming to-dos include...

THE CALIFORNIA 100: The paddling race covers 100 miles over a single day, beginning at the Sundial Bridge and wrapping in Chico (in a word: major). Paddle California falls at the end of September, and the four-day trip takes in some of the spectacular foliage in the area. SUP Yoga is practiced in the area -- prepare to downward dog on your paddleboard -- and kayak fishing is totally a thing, via outfits like Headwaters Adventure Company. And are you ready for some moonlight paddling at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area? It's just ahead, in the summer of 2016. We'd never advise an oceanist to leave their treasured waves, but making for the rivers and lakes of the Redding area, which are flush with paddle-cool goings-on, gives a fresh dimension to the passion sport. 

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