Places To Go Kayaking Near Me – Interactive Paddling Locations Map & Other Resources

Figuring out where to kayak near me can sometimes be the most challenging part of planning a kayaking trip – but not anymore.   I discovered this interactive map that pinpoints the best places to go kayaking near me – and today, I’ll share the ins and outs of it with ...
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Sam OBrien

Founder, Kayaking & Paddle Boarding Expert

Sam is the founder and editor of WaterSportsWhiz. With over 20 years of experience across various water sports, he provides trusted reviews and expert advice to help others pursue their passion for getting out on the water. When not working, you can find him kayaking, paddle boarding, or planning his next water-based adventure with family and friends.

Figuring out where to kayak near me can sometimes be the most challenging part of planning a kayaking trip – but not anymore.  

I discovered this interactive map that pinpoints the best places to go kayaking near me – and today, I’ll share the ins and outs of it with you, too. Consider it a shortcut for planning your trips.

What’s more, I’ll share additional resources and tools that take the stress out of preparing for your outing! 

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Interactive Kayaking Map Of Paddling Spots Near Me? 

Whether you’re looking for great places to go kayaking near me or you’re checking out locations halfway across the country, this interactive map will be the ultimate tool for the job.

Use the mouse for navigating the map and the “+” and “-“buttons for zooming in and out as needed. 

Use Mouse, Fingers, Zoom to discover Kayaking Destinations

Powered by

Now, there are two ways to get started:

  • Allowing the map to access your location, which will automatically show kayaking spots near me
  • Picking a place anywhere on the map that’s marked with a magnifying glass icon and clicking on it to have a more in-depth overview of that area 

If you choose the latter, you’ll find that clicking on the magnifying glass can reveal more of the same icons in that area – or red dots, which mark exact locations to paddle.

Clicking on one of the red dots will give you additional options, such as getting location details and adding your trip. It will include instructions on getting there, information about that body of water, launch points, safety information – and more. 

You may even find comments and photos from other paddlers who have visited the local area.

Popular Paddling Locations: Places To Kayak Around The World

When you envision the perfect paddling locations, what do you see?

Is it sandy beaches? Ice-blue waters surrounded by wilderness and never-ending forests? Or do you envision calm, clear waters and emerald-green hills of nearby lakes?

The TOP 100 Places To Paddle In The World | #Paddle100 - The Official List

There are so many diverse landscapes and kayaking spots that the world has to offer. You need to know where to look, though.

Ocean & Coastal Water Kayaking Near Me

People of front of kayak in ocean of thailand, looking at to limestone rock
Photo by Toomas Tartes

If you’re thinking of launching your kayak into coastal waters, be sure to consider the weather conditions, tides, and waves. Paddling in the ocean certainly has its charms, but sea kayaking is often way more unpredictable than less experienced kayakers might realize.

It’s just something to keep in mind.

With that said, you can use the map – and other resources – to find tons of great access points to the beaches and coastal waterways in your area. 

Lake Kayaking Near Me

man in orange life vest kayaks on pretty lake with mountain background

Nearby lakes can offer fantastic kayaking opportunities for beginner paddlers, as they are usually far calmer than oceans and rivers. The lack of strong currents will make controlling your kayak a whole lot easier, especially if you’re still in the getting-the-hang-of-paddling stage. Best of all, many of these spots are located inside national parks, so they provide breathtaking views and the possibly of seeing some wildlife.

Again, feel free to use the resources provided in this guide to find suitable locations for paddling on lakes, ponds, and reservoirs near you.

River Kayaking Near Me 

Group of 4 kaykers in yellow kayaks by river

What about finding the best river kayaking spots near me?

Many rivers across North America will have designated water trails with public access points and take-out spots. Use the interactive kayak map to find the best kayaking spots – but make sure to factor in your skills and abilities and choose accordingly.

Keep in mind that river conditions can vary from one river to the next. Paddlers might encounter different environments – including varying water levels, stretches of flat, slower-moving waters, twists and turns, and whitewater rapids – kayaking along the same river, too. 

How To Find the Best Paddling Locations and Kayaking Spots Near Me?

Check out the resources outlined below and let them point you towards the best places to go kayaking near me. That sounds a lot more convenient than browsing endless articles on the Internet, huh? 

Department Of Natural Resources 

Detail color map of USA with name of states.

Some of us still value the good, old-fashioned website over apps. If that sounds like you, check out your state’s Department of Natural Resources when planning your kayaking trip.

Each state should have a DNR website that you can visit for more information. 

Some may be more helpful than others when deciding where to kayak near me. You’ll still find information about each state’s water trails with public access points, paddling opportunities and even hiking trails, though.

Most websites will also provide additional boating safety resources, up-to-date information about water conditions, and the state’s license and permit requirements.

It shouldn’t be too hard to find great kayaking spots near me through the state’s Department of Natural Resources website. Here are a few useful DNR websites to get you started

Local Paddling Clubs & Associations 

Do you find yourself asking; where can I go kayaking near me with my own kayak?

Well, you’re not alone in your search for good kayaking spots; you’ll find that there are lots of outdoor activities forums, Facebook groups, and local paddling clubs in your area. 

Active kayak and canoe groups are a thing – so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation. Everyone will be happy to suggest new and exciting routes – share their wisdom or tales of adventure on the local waterways.

People who are into kayaking and are already familiar with local spots can give you invaluable expert insights – such as wildlife spots or hidden kayak and canoe launches and take outs – and you might make some friends along the way, too!

You could also try looking up local outfitters specializing in paddle sports gear and accessories if there are no paddling groups to join. Along with gear reviews, the staff might share a few of their favorite kayaking spots with you – you may also find that some offer local kayaking tours or kayaking trips, such as; whitewater kayaking or group whitewater rafting.

Specialized Paddling Apps: Go Paddling

Close up of phone showing the app store icon

Sure, Google Earth can provide a birds-eye view of potential paddling destinations. But sometimes, you need a more specialized, simple-to-use app to figure out where to kayak near me. 

Enter Go Paddling – a free app pre-loaded with over 25,000 locations for kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding waiting to be discovered. It helps you find launch sites, provides directions, details about each spot, and allows users to add new locations and notes for others to see.

Oh, and yes, the app is available for both iOS and Android users. 

Our Free Interactive Kayak Map – Powered By Go-Paddling

Screen Grab of the Kayaking near me map by go-padling

Now we get to the star of the show – the interactive map powered by Go Paddling. This map of paddling locations provides a massive amount of data to kayakers worldwide and essentially works as the app’s desktop version. 

You’ll find over 35,000 pre-defined kayaking locations, including launch sites and take-out points. You may zoom in and out on various areas for a more in-depth look; locate places to paddle and explore local points of interest – as well as find lots of additional information for planning your next kayaking excursion.

Features & Uses

“Add A Location” Feature
Screen grab of adding a new location to map

Yes, this map already has a pretty impressive database of paddling locations. That doesn’t stop you from adding more to the ever-growing list of places to kayak, though – which brings me to the “Add A Location” feature:

If you happen to discover great places to go kayaking in your area, but they’re still unmarked on the map, this is a way to share them with fellow paddlers.

Tap on the map, click the “Create Location” button, fill out a quick form, and submit the location – it’s as simple as that!

“Add Your Trip” Feature
Screen grab of adding a new trip to map

Another exciting feature that adds to the user experience is the “Add Your Trip” option.

When you click on a specific paddling location, you’ll find additional info, such as a description, amenities, fees, directions, and photos and comments from fellow paddlers. 

Another thing that will pop up here is the “Add Your Trip” button.

You’ll be asked to fill out a form about your kayaking trip, including start and end dates, water types, portaging info, recommended skill levels, gear, conditions, or safety notes. You can even attach photos and videos. 

It works for both existing locations on the map and those you create yourself.

You Also Might Want To Check Out

Things To Consider When Choosing A Destination & Planning Your Kayak Trip 

Marine Map and compass

Once you’ve figured out the “where to kayak near me” part, it’s time to get down to planning; the success of your outing depends on it.

The first – and, arguably, most important – step, regarding the legal side of recreational boating, is checking out the boating laws in the state where you’ll be paddling.

You’ll find that the laws and regulations vary from one state to the next, but generally speaking, you should check the following:

That’s not all, though.

Besides the legal aspects of kayaking, when picking the best paddling locations, you also want to factor in things like:

Top Places To Kayak Near Me – Summing It Up

Roughly 71 percent of Earth’s surface is covered in water. I’m sure that tells you a thing or two about the virtually endless possibilities for paddlers.

It’s all about finding the best places to go kayaking near me using the resources outlined in this guide, including:

  • Department of Natural Resources’ website, where you can get info about your state’s paddling opportunities and water trails with public access points
  • Paddling clubs and discussion groups that you can join to talk to like-minded individuals
  • Free Go Paddling app, available for both iOS and Android, that helps you find nearby places to launch kayaks, canoes, and SUPs
  • Free interactive map of paddling locations, powered by Go Paddling, with over 35,000 suggested kayaking spots around the world in its database

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions On Places to Kayak

Where Is The Best Place To Go Kayaking?

Oh, that’s a tough question. There are so many amazing places to go kayaking, it really just depends on what you’re looking for;

  • If you want to beautiful scenery, then grab your sea kayak and head to the crystal clear waters of the Glacier Bay State Park in Alaska, one of the most breath taking places in the world.
  • If you want interesting wildlife and to experience the great outdoors, with some overnight camping, southern Florida is definitely the place to be – we strong suggest checking out Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest.
  • And if you’re simply looking for a relaxing float on the water, well, anyplace with nice lake or slow moving river will suffice! For example, Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada, the San Juan River in Colorado, or Lake Bird Lake in Austin, Tx.

It all comes down to personal preference, so get out there and start exploring – who knows, you may find your new favorite kayaking spot!

Can You Use A Kayak Anywhere?

Yes and no. Technically, you can use a kayak anywhere there’s a body of water deep enough for it. Legally it’s a whole different story; rivers and streams are officially public land – so can be kayaked on without any special permission. However lakes are different, they can be publicly or privately owned, with the latter requiring prior permission from the owner.

Can You Go On Any River In A Kayak?

Yes, you are free to kayak on any river in the Unites States Kayak. The Super Court has decreed that rivers are public land – and even though the State does not own them – they hold them in trust for public use and enjoyment.

Can You Use A Kayak On A Lake?

Yes, you can use a kayak on a lake.  In fact, kayaks are often used on lakes as they provide a great way to get around and see the sights. However, it is important to note that kayaks are not designed for lakes so make sure your ‘yak is suitable for the conditions.

Lastly, lakes may be public or privately owned, so it’s a good idea to double-check with your local authorities before kayaking on one – some lakes may have restrictions in place.

How Many Miles Can A Beginner Kayak In A Day?

It depends on the beginner. For some, just a few miles is enough, while others might be able to paddle for eight or more hours without getting tired – it all boils down to your fitness level and how at ease you are in the kayak. Generally speaking, a beginner kayaker can probably kayak about 5-8 miles in a day – at a pace of 2 miles per hour.

Photo of author

Sam OBrien

Sam is the founder and editor of WaterSportsWhiz. With over 20 years of experience across various water sports, he provides trusted reviews and expert advice to help others pursue their passion for getting out on the water. When not working, you can find him kayaking, paddle boarding, or planning his next water-based adventure with family and friends.

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