Hampton’s Summer Weekend Jaunts  CHILLING OUT IN MID-SUMMER:  Seeking Heat Relief Near the Water  by Hampton Rhodes

Hampton’s Summer Weekend Jaunts
Seeking Heat Relief Near the Water

Weekends in the Summer for some folks may mean trips to the water – lakes, beaches, ponds, pools or water parks – and for those people, Z’Scoop.com brings you four choice places for some great mid-summer fun!

This week, we discover Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky; the Pascagoula River Blueway in Mississippi; exquisite Block Island in Rhode Island; and the Canyonland National Park in Utah.

Sit back and enjoy this armchair-travel-guide to four magnificent locales within possible driving distance of where you live, or use our resources to find similar summer-relief waterways in your area. 

Land Between The Lakes, KY

The Eddyville, Kentucky Area offers a wide range of activities from boating and fishing on Lake Barkley to golfing and even hiking. In 1964, the Cumberland River was dammed near Grand Rivers to form Lake Barkley.

Although still not quite as large at its sister Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley provides recreation to west Kentucky with over 1000 miles of shoreline, and nearly 60,000 acres of water at summer pool. The lake is 134 miles long and stretches to the Clarksville, TN area. Lake Barkley is navigable, and provides great opportunities for all types of recreation including fishing.

About one-third of Lyon County lies in The Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Lyon County is the northernmost county in The Land Between The Lakes, or LBL, and is accessible through Livingston County at Grand Rivers. LBL offers a wide variety of activities and attractions including hunting, fishing, bird and wildlife watching, hiking, biking, educational centers, horseback riding, annual events, and so much more.

Numerous attractions within the park include the Nature StationElk & Bison PrairieGolden Pond PlanetariumHomeplace1850s, and Turkey Bay OHV Area.

LBL has more than one million visitors annually, so see for yourself why it is so popular. The Venture River Water Park is one of the favorite Kentucky Lakes attractions for locals and tourists alike.  Venture River Water Park has features that will appeal to everyone in your family, from toddlers to thrill-seekers. Besides water slides and a large wave pool, the park also includes a sand volleyball court as well as picnic areas for large groups.  Venture River is located at 90 Funway Drive in Eddyville, Kentucky.

The West Kentucky Factory Outlet Mall features a few shops and local businesses. It’s located at 100 Outlet Avenue, which is just down the road from the Venture River Water Park.

For more information see the Lake Barkley section of the Explore Kentucky Lake website.

Pascagoula River Blueway, Pascagoula, MS

The Pascagoula River Blueway Trail is approximately 10 miles and could take up to 6 hours to complete. Explore the largest free flowing waterway in the lower 48 states. As a natural estuary, there is abundant animal life including over 22 threatened and endangered species and over 300 plant species. Two-thirds of the Eastern breeding migratory birds use the Pascagoula River and its marshes as a resting point.

It is not only a haven for abundant life, but the banks also hold many notable historic locations and economic treasures. Explore Jackson County’s Pascagoula River Blueway today to discover everything from boat launches and piers to historic landmarks and natural wonders.

Location: Several access points along the Pascagoula River, Pascagoula, MS 39568
Phone: (228) 372-6888

Block Island, RI

Block Island is special in so many ways. It is unlike anywhere you have ever visited. Whether you enjoy a laid-back beach day, a vigorous bike ride, an adventure in a kayak or a paddleboard lesson, Block Island is worth exploring. What many people don’t realize is just how easy it is to access.

Only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, Block Island is a 15-minute plane ride from Westerly, RI; a half hour on the high speed ferry from Point Judith, RI; or just over an hour on the ferry from New London, CT. A Montauk ferry brings visitors from Long Island, NY to this unique island. There is also a new high-speed ferry service bringing visitors to and from Newport, RI, in just under an hour.

Once you’ve arrived on-island, you will not come across a traffic light or a big chain business, but you will be blown away by the natural landscape with stone wall-lined rolling hills, breathtaking bluffs, and pristine beaches.

If it’s an event you’re planning, Block Island may be the perfect destination. Many of the historic inns make unforgettable venues for your wedding or group getaway.

For anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, music, art, dining and scenic beauty, Block Island beckons. As close to the mainland as it is, Block Island feels like you have been transported to another world.

Access Options
Things to do

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Imagine wave after wave of deep canyons, towering mesas, pinnacles, cliffs and spires stretching across 527 square miles. This is Canyonlands National Park, formed by the currents and tributaries of Utah’s Green and Colorado rivers. Canyonlands is home to many different types of travel experiences, from sublime solitude in the more remote stretches of the park to moderate hikes through the Needles district to the opportunity to create your own version of one of the West’s most photographed landforms, Mesa Arch.

Located to the west of the town of Moab and a short distance from Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park is wild and wonderful and diverse in its landscapes and travel opportunities. Due to the park’s massive size, Canyonlands has four separate “districts,” including three land districts and the rivers themselves, each with their own characteristic landscapes and experiences.

Geographically, the Canyonlands is a section of southeastern Utah, some of it embodied in two magnificent national parks, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. But geography is only a small part of the story. 

Naturally, the Canyonlands is much more. It’s a rugged piñon pine growing out of solid slickrock – and the beautiful blue piñon jay screaming at you from it. It’s the stealthy mountain lion stalking the skittish mule deer or the seldom-seen bobcat getting fat on the desert cottontail. It’s those amazingly hardy desert plants. It’s a whole lot of slickrock, those little potholes in the slickrock that evolve into microhabitats. It’s the amazing light that colors the cliffs red and pink and orange, and it’s the quiet of a region far from the hustle and bustle of our urban areas.

And, famously, it’s those breathtaking deep canyons dropping suddenly out of the desert and winding aimlessly through the plateau along with awesome sandstone spires and cliffs.                               

In Canyonlands National Park, opportunities abound for day hiking and backpacking. Mountain bikers can tackle challenging dirt roads that lead through the heart of the park. And white-water rafting enthusiasts can experience nirvana.

Canyonlands National Park is also a great place to view incredible scenery from the paved roads that lead to awe-inspiring viewpoints. For those staying overnight, Canyonlands offers some of the most peaceful campgrounds you will ever find.

Travel Planner Website

So follow your instincts to head for the water during the hot months of July and August; find water-wings for your soul and take flight amongst these or some of the other of hundreds of thousands of beautiful and unique water resources in America.

Beat the heat in some of our nation’s majestic, natural waterways. 


Land Between the Lakes, KY
Pascagoula, MS
Block Island, RI
Canyonlands National Park, UT

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