5 Best Paddling Destinations In the USA

February 22 2021

Is there anything more relaxing, more invigorating, and more rewarding than a good paddle? Nope! For those of us who love to leave it all behind, the lure of the water is strong – and we’re always looking for great spots to indulge our passion. So, without further ado, here are the best kayak destinations in the USA. Don’t worry, canoe fans: we’ve got you covered too.

Best Kayak and Canoe Destinations In the USA

Here we go:

  1. Ocala National Forest. Located north of Orlando, the Juniper Run in stunning Ocala National Forest is beyond a doubt one of the best kayak destinations in the USA. The run weaves through otherworldly jungle-esque scenery and dense tropical forest. It is jaw-dropping – even if you are from the area!
  1. Francis Marion National Forest. If you crave peace and quiet, the Wambaw Creek Wilderness (just north of Charleston, SouthCarolina) is your destination. Glide through the water and hear nothing but the gentle sweep of your paddles and the call of birds. You’ll see gorgeous cypress-tupelo trees and plenty of wildlife.
  1. Salmon River. Running some 425 miles through central Idaho, the “River of No Return,” as the Salmon River is fondly known, features 46 miles of the recreational river trail. Then you’ll reach the “wild” river, which runs for 79 miles. Regardless of your level of adventure, you’ll see awe-inspiring canyon walls and some of the oldest rock formations in the state. Do the rec trail or apply for a permit to go wild. Either way, it’s one of the best canoe trips in the USA.
  1. Colorado River. Looking for a lazy river ride? This is not for you! The 1450 mile Colorado River boasts some blood-pumping, heart-racing rapids. Some stretches are designated for experts only, so be sure to choose the section with the appropriate level of difficulty. Check American Whitewater’s International Scale of River Difficulty before you plan your trip.
  1. Northern Forest Canoe Trail. One of the best canoe trips in the USA runs from New York, passes through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire, before ending in Maine. What a great way to see the beautiful Northeast! You can do the entire run, but you can also explore the 59 ponds and lakes, 23 rivers and streams, and 65 portages to create a customized adventure that fits your timeline and mood!

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the best paddle destinations in the USA! There are so many to choose from, so our recommendation: Just get started! Get out there and enjoy the very best of nature.

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