Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Helen Wood Park Kayak Launch

It appears the Dog River Scenic Blueway committee proceeded with their plans to designate Helen Wood Park as an official Kayak/Canoe launch site. The new launch sign is up. Nice inviting sign to the unsuspecting kayaker.

Years ago someone dumped gravel along the shoreline on the park's north side making it a stable shoreline to launch a kayak from.

Today there is no sign of the gravel. The area is now overgrown with shoreline weeds because no one maintains the kayak launch site. To make matters worse, someone put out a line of concrete objects in the water now covered with sharp barnacles. People launching a kayak have a dangerous sharp obstacle to get over. Depending on the tide the concrete is sometimes submerged. Not a safe place to launch.

Of course, kayakers can try launching along Helen Wood Park's wooden bulkhead where often 1-2 foot waves from Mobile Bay pound with dangerous force. Not a safe place to launch.

The shoreline at Helen Wood Park is a dangerous area to launch a kayak from. I told the Dog River Scenic Blueway four years ago after doing extensive launch site research that Helen Wood Park was "not suitable" as a kayak launch. Especially when there are much safer places to launch from within about a mile of Helen Wood Park.

The Dog River Scenic Blueway group apparently got some grant money and they squandered it any way they could. Too bad the DRSB group can't find some grant money to maintain some of the kayak launch sites they developed and advertise. 

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