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Looking to be active? Check out these opportunities in A.L.

By Abigail Chalmers

Implementing exercise into your daily routine can significantly improve your overall health, and fortunately, Albert Lea has several unique fitness opportunities to take advantage of. Whether you like to walk, run, bike, kayak, canoe or take part in sporting activities, there is something for you.

There are rental stations throughout Albert Lea with many different activities available through the iPaddlePort system. Canoes, kayaks, folding bikes, horseshoes, pickleball equipment, disc golf equipment and even snowshoes are accessible on the city website as well as on the iPaddlePort website. Once you complete the online process, you will receive a code to unlock the locker that contains the equipment, and you will be able to utilize it for the period of time in which you paid for it. The prices for rental are as follows:

  • Canoes and kayaks (Golden Point Launch): $15 for a three-hour session
  • Horseshoes (Frank Hall Park or Edgewater Park): $8 for a three-hour session, eight horseshoes included
  • Disc Golf (Bancroft Bay Park): $8 for a three-hour session, two disc golf sets included
  • Bikes (Frank Hall Park or North Broadway Avenue): $4 per hour, two bikes included
  • Pickleball (Frank Hall Park): $10 for a three-hour session, includes four paddles and four pickleballs
  • Snowshoes (Bancroft Bay Park): $10 per hour, four sets of snowshoes and poles included

The Albert Lea Boathouse at the Brookside boat landing provides another way of getting active. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available for daily rental and usage on Fountain Lake.

Boathouse employee Isaac Harveaux pushes Zoe Esparza’s kayak into the water. Esparza’s class visited the boathouse on Tuesday morning. Abigail Chalmers/Albert Lea Tribune

According to Community Education Director Chris Chalmers, the boathouse has and will continue to service about 325 students in first through eighth grade, Monday through Thursday, during June. The boathouse opened to the public on June 8 and saw 156 visitors in the first week, which Chalmers said was a great turnout. They hope to have 3,000 or more participants this summer.

The boathouse also received a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant, a Freeborn County Communities Foundation grant and a SHIP grant that allowed them to purchase new equipment and waive the $5 rental fee for the entirety of June as well as Saturdays in July, August and September.

Pre-registration is required, as safety forms must be completed before participating in boathouse activities, and these documents can be found on the Albert Lea Community Education website. A session is limited to 50 participants.