More than just a few deep rivers, Arizona offers large and spacious lakes. More than just a desert! Go out and paddle in Arizona.View Guide
Ohio is filled with amazing lakes, rivers and other ponds that you can explore by kayak. See where you can launch and be outside in Ohio on the water. View Guide
Wisconsin offers truly unique kayaking spots! A mecca for kayak fishing experts as well as calm-water paddlers. View Guide
The best state for kayaking? We think so: check out the clear blue waters in sunny Florida. View Guide
Highly varied options include backwoods lakes and calm saltwater marshes: Maryland has something to offer everyone.View Guide
Michigan offers truly world-class kayaking in some of the best freshwater bodies of water in North America. Paddle out and find your next spot. View Guide
Fast-moving rivers and calm lakes dot the hills of Kentucky. Explore these calm and untouched waters by kayak.View Guide
Indiana offers truly unique lakes and rivers that you'll fall in love with by kayak.View Guide
Explore either saltwater or freshwater in the waters of Georgia. Truly amazing rivers, fishing landings and so much more. View Guide
Colorado kayaking has it all: adventure, relaxed lake spots & so much more.View Guide
Texas is a massive state with every type of terrain and climate under the sun. Its southern location gives it mild winters and summers that seem to last six months or more. Texans stay cool in the heat by spending a lot of time on the water, and there’s noView Guide
Illinois has an abundance of rivers, lakes, and waterways ideal for kayakers of all levels. The type of watercraft you use will help you decide which location is best. From inflatable to touring, whitewater and recreational kayaks are making their way into the water. For anyone kayaking in Illinois, planningView Guide
California is a state of legendary beauty and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Have a kayak, or ready to rent one? Kayaking is one of the many types of outdoor activities you can enjoy while in California. Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore natural spaces. ThereView Guide
Whether you’re a first-time kayaker or an experienced paddler, the natural state has something in store for you. There is endless scenery and miles of rivers to explore, as well as plenty of Arkansas state parks with boat rentals, cabins, and more. For your convenience, we’ve narrowed it down toView Guide
The last frontier is home to stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and unforgettable adventures. And one of the best ways to see everything Alaska has to offer is by water. From whitewater kayaking to remote river trips, there are numerous kayaking destinations for every explorer. Here are the best Alaska kayakingView Guide
Connecticut is another state in New England full of incredible natural beauty, not only in its forests but also in many rivers and lakes. Whether you go to Connecticut for paddling, kayaking, or other outdoor sports, you're sure to find someplace to fit your sense of adventure. Read on toView Guide
Tennessee may be the central hub of country music, but it's got plenty to offer naturewise with boating, kayak rentals, and rafting, among other outdoor activities. Read on to discover some of the best places for Tennessee kayaking. Duck River Photo Credit: michelle_loves_all_things_zyia via Instagram The Duck River is theView Guide
From the Allegheny to the Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania is a state teeming with wildlife and rapid waters perfect for kayaking enthusiasts. Whether you like calm or rough waters, numerous rivers in the Keystone State offer the chance to explore the region by boat. Here are the best Pennsylvania kayaking spotsView Guide
From lakes and rivers to islands and the Atlantic shoreline, New Hampshire's waterways are ripe for exploration. The region's natural beauty and wildlife enhance the kayaking experience in the Granite State, making it a popular destination for kayakers of all levels. If you're considering a kayaking adventure in New England,View Guide
For residents, travelers, and kayakers, New Jersey Kayaking is an ideal way for spending your weekend or free time within the state. Moreover, you’ll also get to enjoy the scenic views of landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife at the good kayaking spots in New Jersey. So, if you are looking toView Guide
Explore Utah from the water during an exhilarating kayaking trip! Utah boasts some of the most beautiful places for kayaking. With five national parks, Utah offers a number of superb kayaking destinations, including scenic lakes and sparkling rivers. Whether you want the exciting challenge of whitewater rapids or simply preferView Guide
Maine is a paradise for anyone looking for a Northeast adventure. There are ample opportunities to explore the region, particularly by water. Whether you want to explore the state by river, sea, or lake, kayaking is one of the best ways to do so. Here are the best spots forView Guide
Explore North Carolina’s gorgeous creeks, rivers, and lakes during your next kayaking adventure! With whitewater rapids and calm lakes, North Carolina represents the ideal destination for paddlers of all skill levels. Enjoy your holiday while paddling through some of the most beautiful kayaking spots in the U.S. Home to 17View Guide
Are You Ready For A Fun And Wild Encounter?
Kayaking is a fun way to discover and explore your area. While paddling local waterways small and large, you will encounter nature and see your community from a whole new perspective.
Gliding along the shoreline of a local lake in your kayak, silently at dawn, you will hear nature come alive to greet the new day and see the morning light turn the tree tops golden.
You become one with nature as you listen to the birds compete to be heard, and watch as they silently land nearby to peer at you curiously. Such experiences often lead kayakers to become bird watchers. In fact, kayaking brings people closer to nature in many ways. Kayaking often leads to hiking, as kayakers pull up on shore and head down a trail for a closer look at an untouched piece of forest.
Kayaking also often leads to camping and fishing. Kayakers learn more about their area and will venture into overnight camping in the wilderness to extend their kayaking trip. Fishing on quiet waters is also an outdoor sporting opportunity enjoyed by kayakers.
Kayaking is your transportation to explore and have close encounters with nature within miles from your home. Special encounters are waiting for you.
Find the Secret Spot
There are hundreds of thousands of waterways suitable for kayaking in the USA. There are so many new places to discover in your own local area. Check out the map and search within one or two hour’s drive of your home and plan a weekend trip. Chances are, you’ll find a great location to explore in your kayak.
Use our map tool to find new kayaking areas near you and plan your next adventure today.
Which Kind of Kayaker Are You?
Casual recreational kayaking is suitable on a lake or flat body of water. Recreational kayaks are usually shorter, wider, and have a larger cockpit opening compared to other kayaks. They are usually less than 12 feet in length. This makes recreational kayaks slower than their longer slimline counterparts. The largest percentage of kayaks sold are recreational kayaks.
Sea kayaks are seaworthy small boats with a covered deck. They are designed for open waters in bays, inlets and oceans. There is special storage space for food and water on board the sea kayak. In some parts of the world mariners take extensive sea journeys by kayak.
Touring kayaks are longer and narrower than recreational kayaks and are built for greater speed. More experienced kayakers will enjoy the added challenge of a touring kayak over a recreational kayak. They are also less stable than recreational kayaks so, it’s important to take the time to learn how to safely operate a touring kayak.
Whitewater kayaking is the ultimate thrill and not for the faint of heart. Whitewater kayaks are designed for flexibility, which you’ll need as you paddle your way down a whitewater river course. Athletic skills are needed in whitewater rafting and good preparation is a must. Specific forms of whitewater rafting include: river running, creeking, slalom, play boating and squirt boating.
There are kayak and canoe launches located on waterways across the nation. A dedicated launch is both convenient and offers additional safety. Frequently there is parking available near the launch site making it a very desirable spot to start your kayaking adventure.
Check out our Map and look at the detailed information for your kayaking destination. You can see if there is a launch ramp or launch dock at that location. Launch docks and ramps are great for all kayakers, and some people with less mobility find they can enter and exit their kayak more safely from a dock, being able to launch from a stable position easily.
Hold On To Your Paddle!
Kayak paddles are longer than canoe paddles. A distinctive characteristic of kayak paddles is the two blades on each end of the paddle are set at 90degrees to each other. The paddle is around 90 inches long, but will vary with your height.
Take lessons at a local club to get properly initiated in paddling and controlling your kayak (and safely entering and exiting).
Basic strokes you need to learn are:
· Ready position
· Forward stroke / Back stroke
· Low Brace / High Brace
· Forward Sweep / Back Sweep
Stay Warm and Dry
There is a high probability you will get wet while kayaking. Experienced kayakers often wear wet suits to stay warm and dry, especially in cooler temperatures. A standard 4:3 wet suit, intended for action sports would be a good match. (4mm thick body and 3mm thick arms)
Pro tip: wear a buoyancy aid / life vest (almost commonly called a PFD). Even expert swimmers should follow this common-sense safety measure because injuries happen and you may not be able to swim if you’ve suddenly been injured. Wear a vest with deep cut arm holes for easy arm movement, fitted tight to your body.
Keep Your Head
Rocks are not easy on your and wearing a kayak helmet can save you a lot of headaches. There are several styles of helmets available for kayaking, and it makes sense to invest in protecting your cranium, particularly if you tour at speed or in choppy water.