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      Kayaking tours boost Quincy tourism

      When you live along the Mississippi River, it's easy to take it for granted and not appreciate its natural beauty.

      The Quincy Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau hopes to capitalize off of one of the area's best natural resources.

      The Louisiana-Clarksville, Missouri area has had kayak tours along the river for years.

      Now, they're available along Quincy's riverfront twice a month.

      Quincy Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Holly Cain says KayakQuincy is just one more way to attract visitors to the Gem City.

      Cain said, "For years, we've been getting calls by visitors asking, 'how can we experience the river?' We really haven't had a way to get them on the river until now. Until now, we always had to send them to Hannibal to the Mark Twain Riverboat."

      The kayak tours started last summer. The 2008 flooding delayed their start by about two months but sold out after that. The Convention & Visitor's Bureau prefers participants to be comfortable with the water and at least 14 years of age. A flat fee of $40 comes with all of the equipment, including a fully-guided tour by a certified instructor.

      Cain said, "Our tours are mostly along the bay. They're not in the main channel near barges and other boating traffic. It's primarily quieter here along the bay. It's one more thing for people to do when they come to Quincy. We're hoping down the road, it'll become established enough that people will say, "let's go to Quincy because we can kayak there. We don't have to bring any equipment, we can just experience the Mississippi at a pretty reasonable charge."

      Cain said she thinks KayakQuincy has definitely helped tourism. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, a group from Chicago made reservations. And the Quincy Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau has tried to schedule the tours alongside the Blues in the District to encourage an overnight stay for out-of-town visitors.

      The kayak tours will continue into the fall.

      If you're interested in making a reservation, just contact the Quincy Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau at 214-3700.

      You'll soon be able to rent bikes from the bureau to bike your way up and down the Great River Road.