10 Best Kayaking Spots in the USA
If you are a kayaking junkie, you are most likely always on the lookout for new kayaking spots. Here’s a list of 10 best kayaking spots in the USA that you might want to try on your next trip.
You might not be obsessed with conquering tempest waters and navigating through rocks amidst raging rapids, but if you are that fishing lover who is looking for better pockets of water to find the big fish, finding a better spot is your mission. This article has you covered!
1. Colorado River
If you love your waters rough, Colorado River needs to be on top of your list. The river’s rapids are stunning. For a state that has 6,000 miles of streams and over 2,000 lakes, kayaking fishing sports lovers are well covered too. With over 35 species of both warm and cold water fish and the famous rainbow trout, you will be spoiled.
And that’s not all that Colorado has to offer. From skiing to backpacking in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, and sight-seeing at Mesa Verde Ancient Cliff Village and Pike’s Peak, you will get to indulge.
2. Devils River
Nothing beats kayaking in this virgin, wild river. Devils River is definitely one of the best kayaking spots in the USA and the leading kayak fishing spots in the whole of Texas.
Fed by springs and surrounded by a 37,000-acre pristine forest – the original 20,000-acre natural forest now known as Del Norte, and the recently acquired 17,000-acre Dan A. Hughes Unit, the pain of getting to Devils River is worth.
You will need to make transport arrangements in advance to be able to kayak at Devils River. If you plan on visiting privately, contact a private property owner.
The shuttle trip will take you an average two hours each way, and you need to brace yourself for a rough dirt road ride. If you are sporty, hike or bike your way there. Also noteworthy, the take out locations are far from towns so it is wise to carry your supplies.
You are also advised to make your final calls away from the launch locations as there are no cell services either at the river.
Never mind, the instant you get on to your kayak, you will understand why Devils River is tucked so far away.
3. Lake Guntersville
69,000 acres of water makes this Alabama Lake the largest in the state. It offers best kayaking experience and also fishing.
And, after kayaking, you can camp to maximize your experience, hike, picnic, or swim.
4. Gauley River
This river is 25 miles of class V+ rapids. That is why it is considered by most paddlers as one of the best kayaking spots in the USA. It is a dam-controlled watershed, so the rafting flow is usually optimized for best rafting experience.
To bring out the conqueror to you, attempt tackling the Gauley River in September or October.
The river features more than 100 rapids and has two distinct 12-mile sections offering their own special kind of thrill. Prepare for a real kayaking experience and river expedition.
5. Chesapeake Bay
This one is not for the faint-heart. Most paddlers reckon it is one of the most complicated water bodies – difficult to maneuver in. Its deep pockets ample room for kayak fishing, and ragged shorelines are enticing though.
If you are keen on kayak fishing, the best spot for you on this 4,500-square-mile water body would be Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
6. Arkansas River
The 1,469-mile river is the sixth longest in the USA and 45th longest in the world. There, you will get to test your angling skills and get rushes of adrenalin as you descend into the Royal Gorge.
Its rapids are decent class II to class IV. You will catch your breath at the 14,000-foot rocks too, and that will double the fun.
7. Juniper Run
With seven miles of paddle waters, the Juniper Run in Ocala National Forest is a great bet. The waters are crystal clear and the environment is quiet and serene. Kayaking here requires the expert or at least intermediate kayaking ability. The average trip is 4.5 hours long and there are no access points in between.
Most paddlers say it takes several sets of technical skill because some stretches are thin, winding, and swift moving. The middle section is wider and high and features short rapids. Further, you need to be prepared for incidents like falling trees, sighting deer, alligators, black bears or raccoons.
Kayaking on Juniper Run is an ultimate challenge for paddlers who are tired of playing it safe.
8. Indian River Canoe Trail
This 51-mile-long Indian River in Michigan needs to be on your list of best kayaking spots in the USA. Matter of fact, it should be on your bucket list too. Indian River Canoe Trail is wild, scenic and surrounded by a forest of northern hardwoods and conifers.
It has three primary water bodies including the Indian River Lagoon – which has the very popular Mullethead Island, Patillo Creek, Haulover Canal, Gator Creek, Peacocks Pocket and Catfish Creek. The other two stretches are the Banana River and the Mosquito Lagoon, and they are both fun-packed.
You won’t ask for more than its canyon-like shores, broad marshlands, and sharp curves. If you have a penchant for falling head over heels with breathtaking places, plan to camp as you will be tempted to stay a little longer than a day.
9. Tyger River
This river flows through Sumter National Forest, has a depth of two to six feet and it is packed with wildlife. If you appreciate kayak fishing, love nature, and especially wildlife, this is your one stone for hitting two birds.
10. Clearwater Canoe Trail
Would you prefer to slowly kayak your way to peace of mind? Or, a kayaking spot where you can tag kids along? Clearwater Canoe Trail, on Seeley Lake, is the place. There, you can enjoy one or two hours of near total silent kayaking.
It is strictly a canoe trail and that means motorized boats are not allowed unless they don’t mind cruising at a no-wake speed.
After kayaking, you can go bird or wildlife viewing and get a close-up view of catbirds, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, warblers, muskrats, western painted turtles and more. You can also opt to picnic, or hike.