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CT Bucket List: Black Hall Outfitters in Old Lyme

Keith McGilvery and Margaux Farrell kicked off our FOX61 Summer Bucket List tour exploring some 600 acres by kayak on the Black Hall River.

OLD LYME, Conn. — Summer is in here and the mission is simple at Black Hall Outfitters.

“We like to call it the best day of your summer, That is one of the things we kind of strive for here,” owner Gene Chmiel said.

In Old Lyme, the Black Hall Outfitters team is committed to getting people out on the water in whatever way they can. Visitors can rent canoes, traditional kayaks, pedal kayaks and paddleboards.

“Anyone can do it. It is super easy," Chmiel said. "The nice thing about our spot is that it is on a wildlife preserve, it’s protected waterways, there is no wind, there is no current, there is no boat traffic.”

On Tuesday, Keith McGilvery and Margaux Farrell kicked off the FOX61 Summer Bucket List tour exploring some 600 acres by kayak on the Black Hall River.

Credit: FOX61

Friends Austin Bernarz and Quintin Romeo have been working here for years and got them going with some advice.

“To not be nervous at all, we take novices all the time, first-timers going out, and everyone just comes here having a great time,” Bernarz said.

This season visitors can go as a family seven days a week or send the kids to Black Hall’s summer camp.

“A lot of them have not kayaked before, and they love to learn, they have a great time coming out here,” Romeo said.

Credit: FOX61

Black Hall Outfitters recently opened a second location to pedal or paddle in Westbrook.

“At the end of the day people come here to have fun, to release, it’s all about de-stressing, getting out on the water and connected with your family and friends,” Chmiel said.

Rentals start at $25 an hour.

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