The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering kayak trips on the Columbia River at McNary National Wildlife Refuge and the Hanford Reach National Monument. This is your chance to experience these incredible local resources with agency and trained guides.

What a win-win-win situation! You're getting exercise, enjoying incredible scenery and learning all about these local treasures right in our own backyard.

These amazing adventures in hard shell, open cockpit kayaks, with life jackets and paddles provided, are offered June 26 and July 24 to McNary, and July 10 and 13 to the Hanford Reach.

Registration is first-come, first-served and opens at 8:00 a.m. on June 17. Call (509) 546-8330. The recording will also have directions, but leave your name, callback number, date interested in, and number in party.

There is a limit of four per reservation, kids have to be at least 12, accompanied by a guardian if under 18 and space is extremely limited.

Depending on the interest, more trips can be planned after these initial "shake down" trips.

The cost is $15/person, paid in advance to the Friends of Mid-Columbia River Refuges, 64 Maple Street, Burbank, WA 99323.

For the Hanford Reach trips, meet at the White Bluffs Boat Launch (White Bluffs Boat Launch via Google Maps) at 9:00 a.m. You should be advised while the road in is in great shape, it is a 5-mile-long, dusty, gravel road. You will be shuttled to the Vernita Boat Launch.

For the McNary excursions meet at the Casey Pond Boat Launch (Casey Pond via Google Maps). Launch time is 10:00.

The Hanford trip is about 20 miles and takes 4-5 hours. It's a Class 0, meaning flat water, but swift. It promises to be an easy trip for novices, The McNary trip is a two-hour tour, along the refuge's Columbia River shore line. Another Class 0, easy trip for beginners with flat water.

For the trip, bring at least a quart of water, sunscreen, sun glasses, lunch for the Hanford tour and whatever other sun protection floats your boat. You will get wet, so dress accordingly, including footwear that will stay on in the water. Leave your change of clothes in the car.

Reservations are non-transferable and other restrictions apply.

For more information: (509) 546-8333 or mcriver@fws.gov