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Want to explore Lake Lanier in a kayak or paddleboard, maybe even at sunset? This new business, opening next month, can make it happen
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Burton Outdoor Adventures will offer kayak and paddleboard experiences on Lake Lanier this April. Photo courtesy Jason Burton

A new kayak and paddleboard outfitter will soon offer experiences on the waters of Lake Lanier.

On Saturday, April 3, Burton Outdoor Adventures will open in Flowery Branch, inviting people to embrace nature and embark on safe excursions. 

Jason Burton, who co-owns the business with his wife Christine, said the inspiration to open Burton Outdoor Adventures sparked from his own connection to the water. In 2005, he said a friend of his convinced him to give kayaking a try on the Broad River.

“When I hit the water, it was like an epiphany. It was something special,” he said. “If I hadn’t been exposed to that, I can’t imagine what my life would be like today.”

Propelled by his passion, he later earned kayak instructor certification from the American Canoe Association and has kayaked across the U.S., as well as Canada, Chile and Norway.

Burton also teaches advanced placement environmental science at Alpharetta High School, and recently began instructing outdoor education. 

Through diving into the new curriculum, the teacher said he quickly began to see the social, emotional and physical benefits of introducing people to the outdoors. Burton said he realized the need in the community for seeking happiness through nature, especially during the pandemic. 

Burton Outdoor Adventures opens April 3

What: Kayak and paddleboard rentals with shuttle services

Where: 5962 Jim Crow Road, Flowery Branch

Contact: burtonoutdooradventures@gmail.com, 770-447-0869

More info: burtonoutdooradventures.com

Spring hours: 8 a.m. to sunset, Saturday and Sunday April-May

“The big thing is we want people to enjoy themselves and have experiences that expose them to the outdoors and end up hooking them for a lifelong habit of healthiness,” he said. “You never know what’s going to change or affect the trajectory of your life.”

Burton Outdoor Adventures is located at 5962 Jim Crow Road in Flowery Branch. The road was named after local resident Glennon C. “Jim” Crow.

Before arriving at the facility, people are asked to make a reservation on the business’ website, burtonoutdooradventures.com. Both the kayak and paddleboard experiences cost $30 per person and last for two hours. However, people can extend their time on the water. 

After guests check into the location, Burton said they’ll be fitted for a life preserver and given their paddle. Once everyone is ready to depart, guests will take a short ride in a 15-passenger shuttle to Old Federal Beach and Boat Ramp on Lake Lanier. Burton said a maximum of 12 people will ride in the van and face coverings will be required. 

Upon arrival, a guide will unload the kayaks and paddleboards and give guests a technique tutorial and safety briefing. Afterward, people can enjoy Lake Lanier and come back to the launch point at a designated pick-up time. Burton said the business offers a map for customers, showing the designated areas for paddling.

When the experience is over, a driver will take people back to Burton Outdoor Adventures.

Burton said his business will also provide 6-hour kayak lessons both with small groups and individuals. He also intends to offer a guided tour for those wanting to paddle on the lake as the sun sets. 

The business will open from 8 a.m. to sunset, Saturday and Sunday only from April through May. Starting May 31, Burton Outdoor Adventures will stay open seven days a week. In August, the business will shift back to weekends only and continue throughout the fall, depending on the weather.

For pricing and more information, visit burtonoutdooradventures.com.

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