by Margaret Healy

HoytLakeHoyt Lake at Delaware Park has always been a favorite walkable weekend destination of mine. Close to Elmwood Avenue and neighbored by the beautiful Albright Knox Art Gallery, the lake is a perfectly serene, natural respite from its urban neighborhood. On any given summer Saturday, you can find families with picnic baskets, dog-walkers, bicyclists, and enamoured couples sitting on the steps and grass surrounding the lake, basking in the sun and enjoying the fresh air.

Last weekend, my friend and I, with iced beverages from the nearby Café Aroma in tow, decided to make our way to the lake to join our fellow Buffalonians for some much-needed sunshine. This time, however, we spontaneously decided to mix it up a bit and try out the newest addition to the fun of Hoyt Lake — rowboat rentals.

While I am something of a connesseur of lakeside sitting and eating, this was the first time I had ever ventured onto the water. The rowboats were a little tricky to get the hang of, but park employees were at the ready to assist with lifejackets, getting in and out, and instructing us on how to paddle. We spent a pleasant half hour paddling around the lake and enjoying the breeze. Once we had safely returned to land, we returned our paddles to the rental hut that had been constructed nearby and bought some snacks there while we were at it. All in all, a simple and fun afternoon excursion.

Rowboats are available every day except Monday, and cost $10 per half-hour and $15 per hour to rent.

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