With many of us having such busy schedules and there being so much going on every weekend, it often can be hard to find time to do what we want to do. Many in the area like camping, fishing, hunting, and kayaking. It can be hard to find the free time to get away to do these activities, and sometimes you have to find a way to fit one of them into your schedule. If you enjoy kayaking, you are in the right state, as there are some beautiful locations. Unfortunately, some of the best locations are a good drive away, and when you want to escape for only a few hours, where do you go? For a quick getaway to enjoy an afternoon kayaking, here are some of the best locations nearby you may or may not know about.

Centennial Park in Twin Falls

Picture by Bill Colley.
Picture by Bill Colley.
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You aren't going to find a closer place to kayak near Twin Falls than Centennial Park, since it is actually in Twin. This makes for a great location to escape for an hour or two, jump in the water and then go about your day. It is easy to access, getting in and out of the water is accessible and easy to find, and the views are spectacular. Depending on the day, the current can be a little strong, but overall it is a great place to pop your kayak into the water, get a picture-perfect view of the Perrine Bridge, turn around and head back. If you have more time, you can head up the river even further. It saves on gas, you can get a bite soon after burning those calories, and you can be back home to rest soon after you are done.

Dierkes Lake Near Shoshone Falls

Credit: Benito Baeza
Credit: Benito Baeza
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For people that want to kayak but aren't as experienced, Dierkes is a great place to go. The water is more calm than Centennial, with little to no current, it typically isn't too crowded with kayaks on the water, and getting in and out of the water is simple. The dock next to the parking lot allows you to set your kayak in, plop in, and just go without much issue. The water seems to run a little warmer than the river as well. Dierkes is only about a 10-minute drive or less from Twin Falls, depending on where you are coming from in Twin. Dierkes is a great place to kayak with little ones and for beginners. It does cost $5 to enter the area for the day though, unlike others on this list.

Blue Heart Springs Near Box Canyon

Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office
Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office
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Blue Heart might be the prettiest location on this list. Located west of Twin Falls, near Box Canyon, is where you will find Blue Heart. The only way to access it is by water, so you will have to work a bit to get there. For this location, you will want to spend more than an hour or two, but it keeps you closer to home and saves gas. The two best places to enter are near Banbury Hot Springs or 1000 Springs Resort. The current can play a factor in how to tough the paddle can be, but no matter, it is worth it. It can take some time to get to Blue Heart, but the clear water and view will make you want to stay and enjoy it for a bit. Bring a snack, and a picnic, and enjoy a relaxing day. Beware, if you decide to go for a swim to cool off, the water is always a bit chilly. Take an afternoon and plan a trip to Blue Heart, you won't regret it.

Twin Falls Power Plant Near the Twin Falls

Twin Falls Power Plant from Above
Photo courtesy of Idaho Power
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The Twin Falls Power Plant is a great place to go, and typically has less traffic than some of the other locations. Located just a couple of miles east of the Shoshone Falls, at the actual Twin Falls, many tourists skip this area. It is free to enter, unlike Dierkes, and it is easy to load and unload. Drive down near the water, plop your kayak in and you are ready to go. The water is mostly calm, with a slight current, and there are some hidden locations and streams to explore, depending on how much time you have, and if you know where to go. For a more relaxing time than some of the more popular locations head toward the Twin Falls Power Plant. It is a great place to go as a family and it is still close to town.

Balanced Rock Park a Hidden Gem

Greg Jannetta
Greg Jannetta
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This hidden gem is a place you wouldn't expect to kayak but is one that locals have said is a beautiful location to go. The stream is thinner and more shallow that the lakes and rivers in the area, but the view is spectacular. Balanced Rock Park is about a 20 to 25-minute drive from Twin Falls, with a narrow stream running through it, but jump into your kayak and start heading back into the canyon, and you will feel like you have escaped all civilization. Most view this area as a camping area, a fishing area, or a place to escape for an afternoon picnic. You are likely to have the area to yourself once you get further upstream from the park. The only issue with this one is figuring out where to dock and undock. Make the short trip and enjoy a relaxing day.

Ritter Island Near Hagerman

Credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash
Credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash
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This one is on the fringe if you can make it there in 30 minutes or less, but it is close enough to be included on the list. Ritter Island is a hidden gem just outside of Hagerman, and unless you know about it, odds are you will never find it. The current here can be a little strong and it is recommended for more advanced kayakers, but it is still a great place to have a picnic and spend an afternoon as a family. The waterfalls and canyon walls supply a beautiful backdrop, and the grass is soft and allows you to walk without worrying about stickers or goat heads. It is easy to load and unload the kayak, with multiple areas allowing you to get in and out of the water. In most areas, you can walk in the water, but in the middle can get a little deeper. The stream splits off from the main part of the Snake River, creating a canal to kayak in, without having as much open water. Clear water, beautiful location, and overall a great place to kayak for an hour or two.

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The next time you get the urge to jump in your kayak for an hour or two or want to go but not drive very far, make sure to check out one of these locations. These are just a few of many in the area, and perhaps you will find your hidden oasis to escape to. If there is water, you can try kayaking it and see how it is, but make sure to be careful and always have a life vest present with you. Time is running out before the temperature begins to drop, so grab your kayak, head on out, and enjoy one last paddle before the season is over. 

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