If you love to get out on the water and do some paddling during the spring and summer, but don't like having to travel hours out of your way, consider paddling these local spots.

Of course packing up and heading deep into the Adirondack Park will always make for some of the best kayak exploring, but if you just have an urge to get the kayak or canoe out, these spots might hold you over.

1. Hinckley Reservoir

Sure it's kind of small, but taking a trip around the shoreline will always reveal much more than you'll see from higher up on a larger boat. And of course the island is a great destination for a quick lunch stop.

2. Canadarago Lake

Just a short drive from Utica, Canadarago is a great spot to do some paddling. Even during the height of summer, there are usually not a ton of huge speed boats disrupting the water. They also have an island that is fun to explore, just watch out for the geese that cal it home.

3. The Clinton River

Just outside of Utica in Clinton, you can explore the local wilderness for miles without having to really leave the area.

4. The Mohawk River from Utica to Whitesboro

That's right, you can enter the river near 8-12 Harbor Rd in West Utica, and end the trip near Rt 291 in Whitesboro(parking lot for Lock 20). The best part is seeing the scenery and wildlife that you don't even realize exist when you're driving through the area.

5. The Erie Canal from Little Falls to Utica

This may seem strange, but you can paddle pretty far on the canal. Boat launches along the way are located in Herkimer near S. Washington St., Ilion at the Marina and the Frankfort Marina. Explore the areas along the canal from a unique perspective and get some time on the water without having to leave the Valley.

There you have it, now there's no excuse to leave the kayaks or canoes sitting in the garage all summer long.

Instead of waiting for that one trip up north, now you can get out and paddle anytime you want.