Top 50 Places to Kayak in United States

There are many places to kayak; but when it comes to the best kayaking spots, there are those that will blow your mind in one way or the other. One of the things we've always enjoyed in kayaking is the fact that it takes us to many different places and allows us to earn unforgettable memories. If you're ever wondering what are some of the top spots to kayak in the United States, you're in luck! Here's a favorite for each state; arranged alphabetically starting with Alabama, all the way to Wyoming.

Alabama - Mobile Bay

With its southern tip overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama offers some salt water kayaking experiences. One of the best places near Alabama’s shore to kayak is an inlet of this Gulf, the Mobile Bay. The Mobile Bay serves as an estuary for both the Mobile River and Tensaw River, which means you will be kayaking in a unique mixture of salt and sea water. Scattered along the shore of the bay are many coastal towns to visit and multiple public kayaking companies from whom you can rent kayaks or join a group kayaking tour. While kayaking in the Mobile Bay you will have a scenic wildlife experience as you paddle along the coast, seeing a variety of seagulls, fish, and even sting rays. You can even stop by the one of the two bay’s small islands when you need a break kayaking: Dauphin Island or Gaillard Island. Though Alabama has many rivers to kayak on, if you are looking for a coastal, saltwater kayaking experience in this southern state, the Mobile Bay is a great option.

Other Resources


http://www.mobile.org/things-to-do/outdoors/

Alaska - Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful mountains, and overall incredible wildlife. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy Alaska’s nature while kayaking, the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve offers a variety of spots to kayak and see some breathtaking views within the Glacier Bay, one of them most popular launch places being Bartlett Cove. The Park offers public kayaking services including kayak rentals, guided tours, and day trips, and even drop offs and pickups to more remote areas of the bay. While kayaking, you will see beautiful mountains, glaciers, and if you are lucky black or brown bears. It is important to note that in the Glacier Bay there are extreme tides and tide rips, so it is important to gather the appropriate information about the tidal behavior of the area before you embark on your journey. Alaska is one of the most beautiful states our country has to offer, and if you are planning to make a visit and experience its nature yourself, the Glacier Bay area is a great place to explore whilst kayaking.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm

Arizona - Canyon Lake

For those of you looking for some flat water kayaking in Arizona, Canyon Lake is a great place to visit. Located in the Tonto National Forest about 50 miles away from the state’s capitol, Canyon Lake is a reservoir formed by the Mormon Flat Dam from the Salt River. The reservoir takes up an area of about one and a half square miles. There are multiple public launch sites and no permit is needed for your kayak, however a Tonto Park pass is required for parking. There are multiple rental shops and campgrounds around the lake from which to rent boats and kayaks. The Canyon Lake area is abundant with Arizonian wildlife, including cacti, bighorn sheep, vultures, and even bobcats. If you want to beat the hot Arizona weather and cool off with some fresh water kayaking, Canyon Lake is a great place to do so.

Other Resources


http://www.canyonlakemarina.com/

http://goldcanyon.net/gold-canyon-arizona-activities-and-attractions/canyon-lake-arizona/

Arkansas - Cossatot River

Kayaking in Arkansas - Cossatot River

Whether you want an exhilarating whitewater experience or a calm, downstream paddle, there are a variety of river adventures to be had in Arkansas. If you are looking for a particularly exciting whitewater kayaking trip, try hitting the rapids of the Cossatot River. The Cossatot River State Park Natural Area offers a twelve mile stretch of fast paced rapids that is sure to give you an adrenaline rush. This fast river forms Cossatot Falls, a rocky canyon where you can find the most intense and challenging class four rapids of the river. The Cossatot River is lined with beautiful, lush pine trees and jagged rocks. Elk, deer, and bears habitat the Arkansas forest, so you may see some beautiful creatures on your kayaking journey. Given the inconsistent water levels of the river, kayak rental companies are limited. However, some private lodges and other overnight accommodations offer rentals. If you want some fun, whitewater kayaking experiences the next time you find yourself in Arkansas, then the Cossatot River may be the place for you.

Other Resources


https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/cossatotriver/

California - Channel Islands National Park

California has some beautiful nature; from grand mountains in the north to its beautiful western coast, California provides a diverse outdoors experience. If you are looking for a breathtaking place to sea kayak during your next trip to California, the Channel Islands National Park is the place to visit. The Channel Islands National Park is made up of five small Islands off of the southern coast of California. From sandy beaches, to lighthouses, to sea caves, there are many interesting landmarks to see and experience while kayaking. There are multiple companies that offer kayak tours and rentals in the area. It is important to note that the tides and weather you may experience can be dangerous, depending on the time of day and year. Hence, it is important to do your research and plan your trip accordingly. To visit most islands, there is no permit needed. However, there are certain procedures the public must follow while kayaking in this national park: such information is available on the Channel Islands National Park website. While kayaking among the islands, you will be exposed to an incredible ecosystem of flora and fauna. From bald eagles, to sharks, to harbor seals, the wildlife you may see will be an added bonus to your already beautiful kayaking trip.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm

Colorado - Colorado River

If you live in the southwest of the United States, you are probably familiar with the Colorado River. Flowing through seven states, the Colorado River is an iconic body of water for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Over 1,400 miles long, this popular river is perfect for a multi-day river kayaking trip. There are tens and hundreds of rafting and kayak rental companies surrounding the river with whom you can join on a guided white water kayak or rafting tip. anyone looking for an exhilarating whitewater kayaking experience. Depending on the time of year and section of the river, you can find class four and five rapids that are sure to give you the thrill of a lifetime. But beware, this river has extreme waters and is not a good choice for beginners. If you are an experienced whitewater kayaker and wish to tackle this river on your own, there are many launch sites to choose from. While kayaking, you will be exposed to fascinating wildlife, including a shore lined with aspen and evergreen trees and populated with mountain lions, antelope, bighorn sheep, black bears, and bob cats. For a thrilling and beautiful whitewater kayaking experience the next time you visit Colorado, the Colorado River is the best place to go.

Other Resources


https://www.americanrivers.org/river/colorado-river/

Connecticut - Candlewood Lake

A small state in New England, Connecticut offers beautiful scenery, woods, and nature. If you are in the Connecticut area and interested in some casual, calm, flat water kayaking, then Candlewood Lake is the place to visit. Having an area of over eight square miles, Candlewood Lake is the perfect size for a day or two of kayaking. Though you will have to bring your own kayak, there are parking lots and public launch ramps to start from. This decent sized lake has multiple, “no wake” cove where water is flat and calm. However, if you venture out into the middle of the lake you may come across some motor boat wake. Candlewood Lake offers you the classic New England scenery; with luscious oak, maple, and pine trees, the shore line is breathtakingly vibrant during the fall season. From freshwater fish to water fowl, you will be joined by a plethora of creature while you kayak. For a calm, beautiful kayaking experience in Connecticut, Candlewood Lake is the location to visit.

Other Resources


http://www.candlewoodlakeauthority.org/

Delaware - Fenwick Island

For an enjoyable, coastal kayaking experience in Delaware, we recommend making a visit to Fenwick Island. This coastal town is the perfect location to have some family fun: tour lighthouses, experience wildlife at the Fenwick Island State Park, or enjoy a day of kayaking. There are guided kayak trips and kayak rentals available to the public: perfect for beginner and intermediate kayakers. From seagulls to fish, you will be joined by Delaware’s coastal wildlife as you kayak. With clean, sandy beaches and salty ocean waters, Fenwick Island is a great location to improve your sea kayaking skills and experience the beautiful coast of Delaware.

Other Resources


http://fenwickisland.delaware.gov/

Florida - Everglades

With over a thousand miles of coast and over six hundred miles of beaches, Florida has boundless opportunity for sea kayaking. Another famous and fascinating part of this state are the Everglades, a section of wetlands in southern Florida. Whether you want a fun day trip or an adventurous, multi-day kayaking vacation, the Everglades offers much nature to explore. There are multiple kayak rental and guide companies to help you make the most of your kayaking trip. It also offers a diverse environment including freshwater marshes to open salt waters of the Florida Bay. The wildlife you will find is incredible: from mangrove trees, to alligators, and even dolphins. For a unique kayaking experience immersed in Florida’s exotic wilderness, make your next vacation a kayaking trip in the Everglades.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

Georgia - Lake Hartwell

If you find yourself in the Georgia area and are in the mood for some flat water, fresh water kayaking, Lake Hartwell is a good option for you. Created by the Hartwell Dam, his man made reservoir is one of the most popular recreational bodies of water in Georgia. Covering over 55,000 acres, this large lake has much water to explore. It has multiple different launch sites and kayak rental companies to make your kayaking journey easy and convenient. You can find diverse wildlife while kayaking on Lake Hartwell: from bald eagles to Canadian geese. Lush, green trees line the shores of the lake, providing you with a fresh environment to kayak in. Lake Hartwell is habituated by a copious amount of fish as well, perfect for any of you wanting to fish as you kayak. To enjoy a fun day of recreational kayaking under the Georgian sun, take a trip to Hartwell Lake.

Other Resources


http://southcarolinaparks.com/lakehartwell/introduction.aspx

Hawaii - Napali Coast

With beautiful beaches, clear blue water, and vibrant aquatic life, Hawaii provides an amazing sea kayaking experience. One of the best places to sea kayak is the Napali Coast, the northwest coast of Kauaʻi. If you haven’t your own kayak on your Hawaiian vacation, there are multiple kayak rental companies and tour guide available. Though a choppy paddle, this twenty mile stretch of water give access to some fascinating scenery, including sea cliff views, sea caves, and waterfalls. Not only are the sights amazing, but you may also spot some incredible animals. From dolphins, to turtles, to seals, you will be surrounded by cool wildlife. The Napali Coast also offers hiking and camping for even more access to its breathtaking nature, giving you even more to do on your trip. For an amazing kayaking getaway, the Napali Coast offers an amazing sea kayaking experience.

Other Resources


https://www.napali.com/coast/

Idaho - Lake Pend Oreille

For some enjoyable flat water kayaking in the state of Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille is the place to go. The biggest lake in the state, Lake Pend Oreille covers an area of 148 square miles. With such a large surface area to kayak on, Lake Pend offers enough to explore for a long day of kayaking. It has many public access points and launch sites, as well as multiple kayak rental companies for those of you who do not own your own kayaks. Lake Pend Oreille is surrounded by stately mountains, rocks, and pine trees. There is an abundance of interesting wildlife habituating the area. You may spot mountain goats, eagles, and water birds. In the water swim countless fish, from different species of trout, to chard, to bass: perfect for any angler looking to fish as they kayak. If you ever find yourself in Idaho, and are looking to get some fresh air and explore its wildlife, Lake Pend Oreille is the body of water to look into.

Other Resources


http://www.sandpointonline.com/rec/lakeguide/

Illinois - Chicago River

If you are visiting Illinois with intentions to tour the city of Chicago, then why not do it in a kayak? The Chicago River runs through the heart of the city and allows all sorts of water crafts: from large motor boats, to paddle boards, to even kayaks. Such boating tourism has grown in popularity over recent years and has become a unique way to take in the sights and landmark of the windy city. There are multiple kayak rental companies along the Chicago River who provide kayaks and tours to the public. Though wildlife is limited as you paddle through the city, it is a great way to see the historic buildings and landmarks of Chicago. The Chicago River runs over 150 miles long, so if you kayak beyond city limits, then you are more likely to see the wildlife the Chicago River area has to offer, including beavers, otters, ducks, and even white tailed deer. So if you desire an out of the box way to explore Chicago, a kayak along the Chicago river may be just the fun activity you are looking for.

Other Resources


http://www.chicagoriver.org/

Indiana - Lake Monroe

For some flat water, recreational kayaking in the state of Indiana, Lake Monroe is the place to go. This large, man made reservoir expands over about 10,750 acres, giving you enough water to explore for a full day of kayaking. For those of you who own your own recreational kayaks, there are three recreational areas that serve as launch sites. There are also public kayak rentals available for any visitors traveling without their own kayak. An abundance of wildlife can be found around the Lake Monroe area. With over 13,000 acres of protected forests surrounding the lake, much lush greenery and nature is preserved. From eagles, to otters, to deer, you are bound to spot some of Indiana’s wildlife as you kayak. Lake Monroe is the perfect location to experience the beautiful nature and fresh air Indiana has to offer.

Other Resources


http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2954.htm

Iowa - Upper Iowa River

Though kayaking and watersports are not the first thing that come to mind when someone mentions Iowa, there are still a few beautiful bodies of water to kayak on. If you are in the area and desire a calm, relaxing day of kayaking, then the Upper Iowa River is the place to go. This relaxing, calm river stretches over 150 miles in northern Iowa, eventually connecting with the Mississippi River. There are a few kayak rental facilities along the river for those of you who do not own kayaks. This river is a beautiful asset of Iowa, provide lush greenery and beautiful scenery as you kayak. Tall, limestone cliffs rise over 250 feet above you on either side of the river, providing a cool environment to kayak in. You are likely to be joined by many creatures as you kayak the Upper Iowa River, including beavers, otters, and turtles. For some relaxed river kayaking in Iowa, the Upper Iowa River is the place to go.

Other Resources


http://www.winneshiekwild.com/canoeing-a-kayaking

Kansas - Kansas River

If you live in Kansas and are in need of some kayaking location ideas and inspiration, then we recommend looking into the Kansas River. Located in northeastern Kansas, this river stretches almost 150 miles. For those of you who do not own kayaks, there are multiple companies from whom you can rent kayaks for the day. If you do own a kayak or two, there are many public launch sites from where you can access the river. Given that you are not kayaking in windy weather, the Kansas River has fairly calm water. From quaint farm land, to lush green trees, to small rocky buffs, you may see a variety of Kansas’s landscapes as you kayak on this river. Even if you embark on a solo kayaking journey, you are likely to be joined by some of nature’s company; from turtles, to bald eagles, to fresh water fish, you may spot an animal or two as you kayak. For a relaxing day of river kayaking, make a visit to the Kansas River.

Other Resources


http://kansasriver.org/paddle-and-fish/river-access/

Kentucky - Barren River Lake

For some flat water kayaking in Kentucky, check out the Barren River Lake. This reservoir was formed in the 1960s from Barren River and now covers over ten thousand acres. With such a large surface area, it offers plenty of water to explore for a full day of kayaking. There are multiple public access ramps and kayak rentals to accommodate any interested kayaker. Barren River Lake is surrounded by marinas, campgrounds, and an expansive managed wildlife area that contains protected, lush greenery and animals that include turkeys, rabbits, and waterfowl. Not only can you kayak on this lake, but you can fish, camp, and water ski if you desire to. The Barren River Lake offers a relaxing day on calm water, fit for any level of kayaker.

Other Resources


http://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/barren-river/

Louisiana - Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge

When you think of Louisiana, one of the first things to come to mind is New Orleans. In addition to being a fun, culture-filled city, New Orleans also has some beautiful wildlife within its city limits. Kayaking is a great way to explore New Orleans’s nature, especially if you go to the Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge. Covering about 23,000 acres, Bayou Sauvage has many channels and marshes to explore. Although it has no kayak rentals, it does have a public boat ramp from which you can access the marshes. Bayou Sauvage is abundant with diverse wildlife, including waterfowl, herons, alligators, and even deer. It is also a great place to fish, perfect for any of you kayak anglers wishing to make use of your fishing rod on your kayak journey. To experience the best of Louisiana’s nature, make a visit to Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge and enjoy a day of kayaking.

Other Resources


https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bayou_Sauvage/

Maine - Kennebec River

If you are looking to whitewater kayak in the northeast, The Kennebec River is the place to go. Offering class two to class four waters, it fits all experience levels. This 168 mile river is located in the middle of Maine, meeting the Gulf of Maine along the southern coast. Being such a long river, there are multiple public launch sites from where you can start you kayak journey. Throughout southern Maine there are many kayak rental and rafting companies from whom you can rent kayaks. This beautiful river is lined with countless, fresh pine trees. Since Maine is so sparsely populated, you are sure to find peace and seclusion on the water. From river trout, to salmon, to bald eagles, you are sure to catch a glimpse of some beautiful wildlife on this river. To get a moderately challenging and fun whitewater kayaking experience in Maine, the Kennebec River is the place to go.

Other Resources


http://www.mainerivers.org/kennebec.html

Maryland - Deep Creek Lake

If you are looking for some fresh water, recreational kayaking the next time you are in Maryland, then make a visit to Deep Creek Lake. Covering about 3,900 acres, this man made lake is the largest in the state. Hence, there is plenty of water to explore for a long day of kayaking. There are kayak rentals available for anyone who does not own a kayak, as well as public boat launches if you do own your own kayak. This large lake is inhabited by a variety of freshwater fish: from bass, to pike, to trout. With such an abundant population of fish, this lake is perfect for anyone looking to fish on their kayaking journey. The shore is lined with lush, green trees. Deep Creek Lake State Park occupies the land surrounding Deep Creek Lake, offering additional activities including camping and hiking trails. To connect with nature and enjoy a day of kayaking, Deep Creek Lake is a prime spot to visit in Maryland.

Other Resources


https://www.deepcreeklake.com/

Massachusetts - Cape Cod

If you are planning a trip to Massachusetts, you must include Cape Cod as one of your destinations. Whether you like fresh water kayaking or sea kayaking, Cape Cod is a great place to enjoy a day on the water. This popular peninsula offers many great places to kayak as it has access to ponds, bays, and oceans. There are multiple companies from which you can rent kayaks and join kayaking tours of the area. There are also many public beaches and ramps from which you can access the water. Cape Cod’s shore is lined with historic lighthouses and quaint, tourist towns. You may also spot some wild animals as you kayak, including seals, seagulls, and deer. Cape Cod is a great place to visit for some recreational kayaking and family fun.

Other Resources


http://capecodonline.com/

Michigan - Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore

If you are looking for a breathtaking place to go kayaking in Michigan, then we highly recommend checking out Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. This shore line takes advantage of the Great Lakes’ expansive freshwater, perfect for kayaking and boating on. On the south shore of Lake Superior, you will kayak on clear, fresh water. Guided kayak tours are available and a public boat ramp provides access to the water. The shore is lined with colorful, sandstone cliffs that are famous for their beauty. As you kayak you will be surrounded by amazing wildlife. If you are lucky you may spot eagles, beavers, skunks, bears, and a variety of fish. To see some beautiful scenery and native wildlife, Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore is the place to visit for your next Michigan kayaking trip.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm

Minnesota - Root River

For a calm, quaint kayaking experience in Minnesota, take a trip to Root River. Root river is much less crowded than other Minnesotan rivers in the area, and is calm enough for recreational kayaks. There are a couple kayak rental companies in the area for those of you who would like to borrow a kayak for the day. If you have a kayak of your own, and would like to go on an overnight kayaking trip, there are campsites located along the river. You will kayak along scenic shorelines that have limestone cliffs and lush greenery. You may be joined by wildlife as you paddle, seeing multiple species of fish, eagles, and herons. For a relaxing, secluded day or two of river kayaking, the root River in Minnesota is a cool place to visit.

Other Resources


http://dnr.state.mn.us/watertrails/rootriver/index.html

http://www.rootrivertrail.org/site/index.php

Mississippi - Black Creek

Next time you are in Mississippi and are looking for a good place to kayak, make a visit to Black Creek. Black creek is a twenty one mile river located in the De Soto National Forest. There are kayak rental companies located in the around the river for those of you wishing to borrow a kayak for the day. Black creek is officially designated as a “’scenic” river because of its beautiful wildlife. The shores are lined with various trees, including red maples, sweet gums, oaks, and pine trees. The river is full of fish and ducks can be spotted as you kayak. Sand bars and vertical bluffs, or rocky cliff structures, serve as added scenery. Black Creek provides a quaint experience of Mississippi’s wildlife as you kayak.

Other Resources


https://www.rivers.gov/rivers/black-ms.php

Missouri - Black River

For a fun but easy river kayaking experience in Missouri, make a visit to the Black River. Classified as one and two waters, this river provides a smooth and casual kayaking experience. Tributary of the White River, the Black River is about 300 miles long, offering much water to explore for a full day, or multi-day, kayaking trip. There are multiple kayak rental services for those of you who do not have your own kayaks, as well as launch sites to access the river easily. There is lodging and campsites available if you desire to take an overnight kayaking trip. Kayaking on this river is a cool experience, for the water is known for being very clear and clean, allowing you to see rocks and fish easily. You are likely to spot some wildlife as you kayak. In addition to fish, you may see a variety of bird, der, and even bears. Black River is one of Missouri’s best locations for relaxed river kayaking.

Other Resources


http://www.missouricanoe.org/river-maps/black.html

Montana - Bowman Lake

Montana is famous for its breathtaking nature, scenery, and wildlife. It has many fast, whitewater rivers and calmer, recreational lakes. For those of you looking for an underrated, secluded place to kayak, Bowman Lake is the body of water for you. It is located in the northwestern part of Glacier National Park. Covering over 1,700 acres, this lake is large enough for an afternoon or day of kayaking. There is a public boat launch, but no kayak rentals specifically for Bowman Lake due to its remote location. However, there are kayak rentals for other bodies of water located in the same Park. Fishing is also popular on Bowman Lake: perfect for those of you wishing to bring along your fishing rod on your kayaking trip. The lake is not well known by tourists, but is very popular with the locals because of its beautiful scenery. Bowman Lake’s water is vibrant and clean and its shores are lined with a plethora pine trees. It also offers an incredible view of mountains. A large range of wildlife occupies Glacier National Park; you have a chance of seeing animals ranging from beavers, to bears, to elk, to turtles. If you wish to have the full experience of the beautiful outdoors Montana has to offer, Bowman Lake is a great place to start.

Other Resources


http://www.glacier-national-park-travel-guide.com/bowman-lake.html

Nebraska - Carter Lake

If you find yourself in Nebraska, and wish to do some kayaking and fishing, the Carter Lake is the place to go. It is located right outside of Omaha. Covering about three hundred acres, this lake is large enough for an afternoon of kayaking. Though there are no kayak rental companies that cater specifically to Carter Lake, there are many rental companies elsewhere in the Omaha area. An on shore park offers easy, public access to the lake. Though the scenery surrounding the lake is nothing spectacular, this lake is perfect for fishing. Its water holds an abundance of fish, in a range of species; from bass, to catfish, to bluegill, its waters offer much fun and potential for any angler. It is locally known for the great fishing experience it offers. For a day of kayak fishing in the Omaha area, make a visit to Nebraska’s Carter Lake.

Other Resources


http://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2013/08/carter-lake-revisited/

Nevada - Lake Tahoe

Nevada is home to some beautiful nature. If you are looking for a place to experience Nevada’s great outdoors via kayak, then Lake Tahoe is the place to go. Straddling the Nevada-California border, this freshwater lake is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Having a surface area of 191 square miles, this lake has enough waters for multiple days of kayaking and exploration. Whether you bring your own kayak or chose to rent one, you are sure to have an easy kayaking experience. There are many public access points, kayak rental companies, and guided kayak tours of the lake. The surrounding area contains many resorts and campsites for anyone who wants to spend multiple days on the water. Provided the weather is nice, you will have a scenic kayak trip. With a shore lined with lush pine trees and a view of the mountains, Lake Tahoe offers a look into Nevada’s beautiful nature. Much wildlife surrounds the lake; from black bears, to beavers, to mountain lions, you have a chance of spotting many animals as you kayak. Lake Tahoe provide a breathtaking recreational kayaking experience for any level kayaker.

Other Resources


https://tahoe.com/

https://tahoesouth.com/

New Hampshire - Thorndike Pond

New Hampshire is scattered with ponds, lakes, and rivers to kayak on. One of the best places to kayak is Thorndike Pond, a 249 acre pond located in southern New Hampshire. This beautiful pond is peaceful, secluded, and the perfect size for a few hours of kayaking on the water. There is a public boat launch welcome to all kayakers, but no public kayak rentals. As you kayak you are surrounded by clear water, fresh pine trees, and historic homes overlooking the lake. If you are lucky, you might see some elegant loons, geese, or ducks as you paddle. This wonderful lake offers secluded serenity for kayakers of any experience level.

Other Resources


http://thorndike.org/

New Jersey - Passaic River

From river, to lake, to sea kayaking: New Jersey offers a diverse recreational kayaking experience. For a pristine, secluded experience, make a day out of kayaking on the Passaic River. This eighty mile long river cuts through northern New Jersey, offering plenty of water to explore. It flows through a variety of landscapes; from quiet wildlife, to industrial towns, a day on the Passaic River offers a diverse experience of what New Jersey has to offer. Though kayak rentals are limited, there are many public launch sites for kayak owners to use. While kayaking on the more isolate sections of the river, you are bound to see some wildlife, such as foxes, deer, hawks, and, of course, fish. The next time you find yourself in northern New Jersey and desire a day in the great outdoors, consider taking your kayak out for a spin on the Passaic River.

Other Resources


http://passaicriver.org/passaic-river-basin/

New Mexico - Rio Grande River

If you are looking for a scenic location to absorb all the beauty New Mexico has to offer, you can not do better than kayaking on the Rio Grande. Stretching over 1,800 miles, this famous river flows through the south west of the United States, offering much recreational water to explore. This river contains class one to class six rapids, offering waters that will satisfy all levels of river and whitewater kayakers. Once the Rio Grande reaches Albuquerque, the rapids tend to calm down for many miles. There are various kayak rental companies and guided kayak tours available for the public. This clean, cool river is lined with large cottonwood and willow trees, which provide shade from the hot New Mexico sun. The water and forests along the river are inhabited by a variety of animals. If you are lucky, you may spot turtles, beavers, snakes, and even coyotes. We highly recommend taking a day or two to kayak on the Rio Grande and experience the beautiful New Mexican nature and wildlife.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/rigr/index.htm

New York -Lake Champlain

New York is home to truly beautiful nature and is a great state to visit for any outdoor vacation. If you desire to kayak in New York, we recommend hitting the waters of Lake Champlain. Covering almost five hundred square miles, this lake provides much clean, clear water to explore. Whether you choose to rent a kayak or bring your own, there are many public access points and kayak rental companies available. Much of the Lake Champlain shoreline is undeveloped, providing a quaint and natural kayaking experience. With rocky shores lined with pine trees and incredible views of rolling hills and mountains, you will have a scenic experience as you kayak. The Lake Champlain area is full of wildlife; from multiple species of fish, to cormorants, to deer, to woodchucks, you are likely to spot some animals as you kayak. Next time you are in New York, we recommend spending some time in the outdoors and kayaking on Lake Champlain.

Other Resources


http://www.lakechamplainregion.com/

http://www.lakechamplainregion.com/recreation/outdoors/boating

North Carolina - Lake Norman State Park

To experience the beautiful nature North Carolina has to offer, make a visit to Lake Norman State Park and enjoy some recreational kayaking on the fresh waters of Lake Norman. With a surface area of over 32,000 square acres, this manmade lake is one of the largest in North Carolina and is large enough for a full day of kayak exploration. The park offers kayak rentals and public access to the lake. It also offers hiking trails, biking paths, and campgrounds, providing you with more activities and accommodations once you are finished kayaking. Its shore is lined with lush, green trees in the spring and summer, and vibrant colors come fall, making Lake Norman a beautiful location to kayak. The state park is full of wildlife to experience, including fresh water fish, beavers, black bears, and geese. North Carolina is a beautiful east coast state, and one of the best ways to experience the nature it has to offer is a day of kayaking on Lake Norman.

Other Resources


https://www.ncparks.gov/find-an-activity/boating-and-paddling

North Dakota - Red River

A great way to experience the wilderness of North Dakota is to kayak on the Red River. Often called the Red River of the North, this river stretches for over 500 miles, dividing North Dakota and Minnesota. Kayak rentals and public boat launches are available to the public. Lined by hardwood trees and tall grass, this river provides a quaint, natural environment to kayak in. For those you who like to fish while you kayak, the Red River is the place to go. Widely known for its large catfish, this river is also home to pike, bass, carp, and other freshwater fish. The shores of the Red River are inhabited by a plethora of wildlife. If you are lucky ,you might spot turkeys, whitetail deer, and rabbits. Next time you are in North Dakota and are looking for some outdoor fun, take a kayak trip on the Red River of the North.

Other Resources


https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wild-Places/Red-River-of-the-North.aspx

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/red_river/index.html

Ohio - Lake Erie

If you are looking for a place to kayak in Ohio, then your best bet for an enjoyable recreational experience is Lake Erie. One of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is located along the northern border of Ohio. Covering an area of almost 10,00 square miles, it is as if you are kayaking on a freshwater ocean. Hence, there is plenty of water to explore. For those of you who do not own a kayak, there are multiple kayak rental companies around Lake Erie to rent from. There are also multiple boat launch sites available to the public. Lined with lush, hardwood foliage, sandy beaches and dunes, and historic lighthouses, this lake provides a beautiful, scenic kayaking experience. An abundance of wildlife inhabits the Lake Erie area, and if you are lucky you may see a bald eagle as you kayak. Lake Erie is one of Ohio’s best kayak locations.

Other Resources


https://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lake-erie

http://www.shoresandislands.com/

Oklahoma - Lower Mountain Fork River

If you are in the Oklahoma area and are interested in exploring Oklahoma’s rivers via kayak, we recommend paddling on the Lower Mountain Fork River. This 100 mile long river flows through southeast Oklahoma and provides plenty of water to explore for a full day of kayaking. Part of the river is within the Beavers Bend State Park, which offers public access to the river. There are multiple kayak rental companies to choose from if you need to borrow a kayak. For those of you interested in an overnight kayak trip, there are cabins and campsites located around the river for your accommodation. For those of you anglers considering kayaking this river, there are a variety of fish to catch, including multiple species of bass and trout. You are likely to spot other wildlife along the banks of the river, including deer, heron, and turtles. With a rocky shoreline of lush, green trees and tall grass, your float down Lower Mountain Fork River is likely to be beautiful and quaint. For some mostly calm, easy river kayaking in Oklahoma, take a trip to Lower Mountain Fork River.

Other Resources


http://lmfrfoundation.org/

Oregon - Scappoose Bay

Next time you are in Oregon, specifically in the Portland area, and are needing a few hours in the great outdoors, we highly recommend paddling on Scappoose Bay. Located about thirty minutes from Portland, this bay connects to the Columbia River and the Multnomah, providing access to even more water to explore. There are kayak rentals and guided tours available for those of you visiting the area without a kayak. A public boat ramp is available with plenty of parking. The waters are calm enough for beginner paddlers to enjoy. You are sure to have a beautiful kayaking experience, as the shores are lined with tall, lush trees. Though it is near Portland, it is far enough away from the city to be thriving with wildlife, including fish, heron, and even bald eagles. If you are looking for a calm, relaxing paddle in the Portland area, we recommend kayaking on the Scappoose Bay.

Other Resources


https://nextadventure.net/scappoose-bay-paddling-center.html

Pennsylvania - Youngiogheny River

Next time you are in Pennsylvania and are in the mood for an exciting day of kayaking, we recommend making a visiting Ohiopyle State Park. Located just south of Pittsburg, Ohiopyle State park’s main attraction is the Youngiogheny River. The Youngiogheny River offers some of the best whitewater rapids around the east coast. Its rapids range from class two to five, accommodating most experience levels. However, if you are a whitewater kayaking rookie, we recommend paddling the river with a guide. For those of you without your own kayaks, rentals are available to the public throughout the park. You kayak journey is bound to be a beautiful one, as the shores of the Youngiogheny River are lined with lush trees that become vibrant and colorful in autumn. Ohiopyle State Park is thriving with wildlife; from Elk, to deer, to bald eagles, you may spot many animals as you kayak. To experience the best of Pennsylvania’s nature, spend a day kayaking on the Youngiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park.

Other Resources


http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/youghiogheny.aspx

Rhode Island - Narragansett Bay

One of New England’s coastal states, Rhode Island has some beautiful beaches and sea kayaking opportunities. If you are interested in hitting Rhode Island’s ocean waters, we recommend kayaking in Narragansett Bay. Covering just under 150 square miles, this bay on Rhode Island’s north shore provides much water for you to explore. There are many public beaches from which to access the water from, as well as multiple companies to rent kayaks from. There is much beauty to see as you kayak along Rhode Island’s rocky shores. From lush trees, to old lighthouses, and historic estates, you will see some cool sights as you kayak. You may also get to spot some interesting wildlife as you kayak, including harbor seals, harlequin ducks, and of course seagulls. To experience the best of Rhode Island’s coastal beauty, we recommend a day of sea kayaking on Narragansett Bay.

Other Resources


https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/what-to-do/jewels-of-the-bay/

South Carolina - Lake Jocassee

For those of you looking for a recreational body of water to kayak on in South Carolina, we recommend visiting Lake Jocassee. Covering about 7,500 acres, this large lake offers enough water and shoreline for a full day of kayaking. Because multiple rivers feed into the lake, its water is very clean, clear, and cool. There are multiple kayak rental companies from whom you can rent kayaks from. There is also a boat ramp available to the public. Lake Jocassee provides a scenic kayaking experience, as it is lined with green foliage and has views of rolling hills. You are likely to see some wildlife as you kayak. From beavers, to deer, to otters, to geese, many animals live on and around the lake. For a calm, recreational day of kayaking in South Carolina, Lake Jocassee is the place to go.

Other Resources


http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/devilsfork/introduction.aspx

South Dakota - Lake Traverse

Though you would not expect South Dakota to offer prime kayaking locations, you can still have a fun day of recreational kayaking on Lake Traverse. This large lake offers enough calm water for a full day of kayaking suitable for any beginner or intermediate kayaker. There are multiple public access points along the lake’s shores, as well as kayak rentals in the Lake Traverse area. The shore of this lake is lined with lush greenery and its waters are vibrantly blue, making for a serene kayaking experience. From elk, to beavers, to falcon, South Dakota is home to a variety of wildlife, so you may spot a few animals as you kayak. To enjoy the beautiful nature South Dakota has to offer, we recommend a day of kayaking on Lake Traverse.

Other Resources


http://fishing-in-minnesota.com/blog/2013/05/09/lake-traverse/#sthash.nTjpOvwz.dpbs

Tennessee - Watauga Lake

Tennessee is home to some breathtaking nature. To gain a full experience of the beauty of Tennessee’s outdoors, we recommend kayaking on Watauga Lake. Covering about ten square miles, this lake is large enough for a full day of kayaking. There are kayak rentals available in the area, as well as public access to the water. You will have a scenic kayaking experience on Watauga Lake. The shores are lined with a forest of green foliage and views of rolling hills provide a beautiful background. Watauga Lake is surrounded by wildlife; from deer, to beavers, to ducks, you have potential of spotting a variety of animals as you kayak. Watauga Lake is the perfect kayaking location for anyone wanting a recreational paddle on a calm, fresh body of water in Tennessee.

Other Resources


https://www.tva.gov/Energy/Our-Power-System/Hydroelectric/Watauga-Reservoir

Texas - Lake Travis

For those of you looking to beat the hot Texas heat, why not cool off with a day of recreational kayaking? We recommend kayaking on Lake Travis, a large lake on the western edge of Austin, Texas. With a surface area of almost thirty square miles, there is plenty of water to explore for a full day of kayaking. For those of you who do not own kayaks, there are companies located in the Lake Travis area from who you can rent one. There are also multiple public access points and boat ramps along the lake. You are sure to have a beautiful serene experience as you kayak on Lake Travis; its waters are clean, clear and vibrantly blue, and its shore is lined with green foliage. You will likely spot an animal or two as you kayak. In Travis Lake swims a variety of fish, from bass, to catfish, to sunfish. Animals, such as bald eagles and turtles, inhabit the surrounding areas. For a beautiful, flat water kayaking trip near Austin, Texas, we recommend checking out Travis Lake.

Other Resources


https://laketravis.com/

Utah - Lake Powell

Next time you are in Utah and desire some time in nature, take a trip to Lake Powell for a day of Kayaking. Straddling the Utah-Arizona border, this lake covers over 250 square miles: enough water for a full day of exploration. There are multiple rental companies from whom you can borrow kayaks for the day, as well as public access to the water. The surrounding desert is home to many animals, including rabbits, coyotes, and birds, so you may be able to see some wildlife as you kayak. Best of all, Lake Powell is beautiful. Its vibrant, blue waters contrast with the tall, red rock that lines the shore of the lake. For a scenic, freshwater kayaking experience in Utah, we highly recommend making a visit to Lake Powell.

Other Resources


http://www.lakepowell.com/

https://www.nps.gov/glca/index.htm

Vermont - Waterbury Reservoir

If you are looking for a place to kayak in Vermont, then we recommend visiting the Waterbury Reservoir. Located in the center of Vermont, this Reservoir offers family friendly, recreational kayaking. Waterbury Reservoir is open to the public and has kayak rentals available for visitors. The reservoir captures the beauty Vermont has to offer; its shore is lined with countless trees that turn vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows come fall. Rolling hills and mountains are visible in the distance. Waterbury Reservoir is teeming with wildlife. As you paddle, you may spot animals including moose, loons, ducks, deer, and beavers. For a scenic, flat water kayaking experience in Vermont, there is no better place than Waterbury Reservoir.

Other Resources


http://vtstateparks.com/waterbury.html

Virginia - Assateague Islands

For a fun day of sea kayaking in the Virginia area, we recommend taking a trip to the Assateague Islands. This barrier island is located off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. For those of you lacking your own kayak, there are kayak rental companies and kayak tours available throughout the area. There are also many public beaches and access points to the water. The section of Assateague Island in line with Virginia contains the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge that is filled with wildlife. Hence you may spot a variety of animals including wild horses, sea turtles, and bald eagles. You are sure to have a beautiful sea kayaking experience as you kayak along clean, sand beaches in clean, cool ocean water. To experience the amazing wildlife Virginia has to offer, spend a day of sea kayaking along the coast of Assateague Island.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/asis/index.htm

Washington - Lake Washington

Washington state is home to some beautiful nature. To enjoy its outdoors, we advise kayaking on Lake Washington, a large, freshwater lake located next to Seattle. This lake covers about thirty four square miles, providing enough water for a full day of exploration. There are many kayak rental companies who provide kayaks and kayak lessons to visitors. There are also multiple public boat ramps from which you can access the lake. You will experience the best of Washington’s beauty as you kayak on Lake Washington’s clean, clear waters along its pine tree-lined shore. For those of you interested in fishing as you kayak, Lake Washington is home to a variety of fish species including trout, bass, and perch. In addition to fish. you may also spot other wildlife as you kayak, such as beavers, bears, and water fowl. To experience the best of Washington’s nature, spend a day kayaking on lake Washington.

Other Resources


http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/37/

West Virginia - Summersville Lake

If you are interested in some calm, freshwater kayaking in West Virginia, we recommend taking a few hours to paddle on Summersville Lake. Located in central West Virginia, Summersville Lake is a reservoir formed from Gauley River. It has a surface area of about five square miles, providing enough water to explore for a full day or afternoon of kayaking. There are kayak rentals available, as well as public boat launches that provide access to the water. Clean water, sandstone cliffs, and a forest of trees lining the shore all make for a beautiful, serene environment to kayak in. The lake is thriving with wildlife; from owls, to fish, to frogs, you are likely to spot many creatures as you kayak. For a day of easy, recreational kayaking in West Virginia’s Great outdoors, visit Summersville Lake.

Other Resources


http://www.summersvillewv.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=215

Wisconsin - Apostle Islands

Next time you find yourself in Wisconsin, we recommend kayaking around the Apostle Islands. The Apostle Islands are a group of small islands located in Lake Superior. There are multiple boating companies in the Lake Superior area that provide kayak rentals and tours of the Apostle Islands, as well as plenty of public access to Lake Superior. You are likely to have a fascinating experience as you kayak around the Apostle Islands. You can explore beautiful sea caves, walk along pristine sandy beaches, and see historic lighthouses. There are also many good hiking trails on the larger islands if you need a break from kayaking. As you kayak ,you are likely to spot many animals ranging from beavers, to otters, to trout, to waterfowl. The Apostle Islands offer an amazing outdoor experience that highlights the best of Wisconsin’s nature.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/apis/index.htm

Wyoming - Yellowstone National Park

To experience the best of Wyoming’s nature, there is no better place to visit than Yellowstone National Park. The United State’s first national Park, Yellowstone offers a variety of ways to connect with the outdoors: from hiking, to camping, to kayaking. There are multiple bodies of water within the park on which you can kayak, including Yellowstone Lake, Lewis Lake, and Shoshone Lake. There are multiple kayak rentals and tours available throughout the park, as well as public access to the lake. Yellowstone National Park is famous for its wildlife, especially for their grizzly bear, elk, and wolf populations. If you are lucky, you may spot some animals as you kayak. You will have a scenic environment to kayak in, for Yellowstone’s nature is breathtaking. Its clear water, vast forests, mountain views provide a beautiful, scenic kayaking experience. To experience the amazing beauty Wyoming has to offer, take a trip to Yellowstone National Park and kayak on one of its many lakes.

Other Resources


https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

http://www.travelwyoming.com/things-to-do/kayaking

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/canoeing-kayaking/











Wrapping It All Up In An Infographic

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