An eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona

Tempe Lake Marina


Arizona’s Most Accessible Lake Offers Kayaking

Arguably one of the best places to get out and enjoy metro-Phoenix’s weather is at Tempe Lake. My previous entry does not do justice to the south side of the lake and I hope to improve it soon. But one little secret is the north side marina. Not many people know it exists, and even fewer know how to get there.

The marina consists of probably 20 slots for small sailboats and pontoon boats. It is also where many water-related competitions and sports organize their events, and there is an excellent accessible floating pier. Adding to the marina is i’ts impeccable landscaping, excellent parking, access bathrooms and plenty of shade. There is no concession stands but it is an excellent picnic area. The concrete path around most of the lake is the longest trail I’ve found in Arizona yet.

My recent visit was to participate in the city of Mesa’s adaptive kayaking program. Mesa (Arizona Disabled Sports) and Phoenix (Daring Adventures) seem to be the only two cities with well-organized recreation for wheelers. Tonight was our first session in the lake. Susan Rossi who heads up the program has obviously done this before, and she has a good crew of volunteers and we are in the water on time, and without commotion.

My first observation about kayaking is that it is fun and I am out of shape. Apparently lifting a camera has done little to improve my cardiovascular performance. Rowing is a motion that comes rather natural and does not have any heavy impact on any portion of your body. Its relaxing except that when you are trying to keep up with kids half your age and your heart and lungs begin to feel like you are paddling uphill.

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What Acessing Arizona Is All About

Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
If you are traveling to Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona or the Grand Canyon, the site offers insight about the accessibility. We cover trails, lakes, state parks, national parks and just about anything claiming to be handicapped accessible. The site also covers sports and recreation in Arizona.
From racing to rugby, from basketball to sled hockey, we cover all the local sports teams. Note: All photographs and essays are copyright Accessing Arizona, unless noted otherwise. Individuals may copy photos for their personal use provided the photo includes a text link back to For commercial or editorial use, please contact the editor.