Tennessee parks offering low-cost kayaking instruction

Staff file photo by Dan Henry / Fishermen work their way around a cove near the marina at Harrison Bay State Park as American coots float nearby.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Twelve Tennessee State Parks are joining the American Canoe Association to offer low-cost kayaking instruction next week as part of National Safe Boating Week.

ACA Tennessee estimates there are approximately 1 million people regularly paddling Tennessee without formal training. The class will help participants understand hazards, better control their boats and have more fun on the water.

The classes take place May 21 and cost $15 per person, with revenue going to the parks, according to a news release. A limited number of kayaks, paddles and life jackets are available for participants who reserve the equipment in advance.

There are classes in both flatwater kayaking and river kayaking, depending on the park. The participating parks are: Meeman-Shelby Forest, Chickasaw, Harpeth River, Long Hunter, Fall Creek Falls, Seven Islands, Big Ridge, Harrison Bay, Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River, Davy Crockett Birthplace, Cove Lake and Warriors' Path.

People can register on the state parks website at tnstateparks.com.