Kayaking U.S.A.: A Push for Possible Paddlers

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
With summer in full swing, weekend warriors are looking for ways to get outdoors and beat the crowds – a difficult task for the earthbound, but no sweat at all for the more ambitiously amphibious.
There's vast amounts of prime paddling water within a few hours drive of the country's major cities and plenty of space and quiet to go around.

And the barrier to entry is low. Becoming an excellent kayaker takes years of experience and a lot of upper body strength, but those looking to go for a quick paddle only need a little balance and an almost token amount of arm strength. This is not a race.

Here are a bunch of recommended paddling excursions near major cities. Remember: It isn't the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean.

Kayaking U.S.A.: A Push for Possible Paddlers

The New York City Water Trail covers 160 square miles of water; Downtown Boathouse, a non-profit volunteer organization, offers kayak trips for free and without reservation. The program has three locations — Pier 40, Pier 96, and 72nd Street — and is open weekends and holidays, as well as some week nights, from May through October.


Because the trail is so vast, there are a number of different locations to tackle it from. Just check the Department of Parks and Recreation's website for a list of launch spots.

Tomales Bay is a gorgeous 15-mile strip of water just north of San Francisco in Marin County, California. There are several launching points along the bay, but an especially cheap option is Lawson's Landing, where you can get a boat for $10 and go clamming, fishing, or just splash around. Keep an eye peeled for wildlife — whales often migrate past the bay, which is home to no small number of sea lions. Other kayaking options are available on Marin County's website

The Charles River Reservation spans 20 miles, from downtown Boston to Riverdale Park in West Roxbury. The Charles River Canoe and Kayak Center offers rentals at Artesani Park and Newton kiosks from May through October. Look out for the Harvard crew team: Those guys don't brake for anyone.


Paddlers with a competitive streak can check out the Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race in April. New England's largest canoe and kayak race, it draws 1,500 paddlers annually.

There are several options for kayaking and canoeing around the wild Channel Islands off Los Angeles, some more dangerous than others.


The National Park Service offers — and strongly recommends — taking a guide on sea kayaking excursions to San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, an area with confusing chop. Novice kayakers, or those looking for a more laid-back time, will enjoy the area around Scorpion Beach on East Santa Cruz Island. Channel Islands Kayak Center and Santa Barbara Adventure Company offer a wide array of rates and services. 

The Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers offer 5.6 and 9 miles, respectively, of pristine waters. The two rivers merge at the city of Dunnellon, a few hours drive from Orlando, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville.


Rainbow River is formed by a 10,000-year-old first magnitude spring that issues 400 to 600 million gallons of crystalline water daily. The Rainbow Springs State Park also runs along the river, offering picnicking and camping locations. Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak rents canoes and kayaks for trips of varying lengths.

Corpus Christi offers eight coastal paddling trails and ten inland paddling trails of differing lengths. The most well-known coastal trail is Lighthouse Lakes, named for the historic lighthouse on Lydia Ann Channel. The trail, which runs largely through shallow waters, has four different loops, ranging from 1.25 to 6.8 miles long. A beautiful inland option is Goliad Paddling Trail, which stretches about 5 miles. Wind and Waves Watersports offer a wide array of rentals.

Maine is an ideal place to paddle kayaking because it offers not only sea kayaking, but lake and whitewater kayaking, as well. Sea kayakers paddle among seals, ospreys, puffins, and whales, while lake paddlers quietly enjoy the scenery and the whitewater junkies try to stay afloat. Maine Kayak offers guided trips and rentals in a variety of locations and lengths — they even have a trip dedicated solely to finding the only remaining puffin population on the Maine coast. Pretty hard to resist.

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION







Read Full Story

People are Reading

Travel Deals

The latest from Healthgrades

Monday, July 25th

Choose your sign:

Aries03/21-04/19
Taurus04/20-05/20
Gemini05/21-06/20
Cancer06/21-07/22
Leo07/23-08/22
Virgo08/23-09/22
Libra09/23-10/22
Scorpio10/23-11/21
Sagittarius11/22-12/21
Capricorn12/21-01/19
Aquarius01/20-02/18
Pisces02/19-03/20
Your playful mood and creative approach to relationships make you a skillful collaborator today. You're feeling quite popular now as the spontaneous Aries Moon trines flirty Venus in expressive...

See full horoscope

You're convinced you have to take charge today or you'll completely lose control when a Grand Fire Trine zaps three planets in your 8th House of Transformation. Fortunately, you should have no...

See full horoscope

Your thinking could be so far out on the ledge today that people believe you might be losing touch with reality. It's entirely possible that your ideas are too radical to be understood. Nervous...

See full horoscope

You can feel the cosmic equilibrium today, even if there are disturbances to the force. The Moon's square to tough-guy Pluto agitates a conflict between you and someone who may oppose your plan....

See full horoscope

You are hungry for new experiences and find yourself taking chances in pursuit of a good time. You are compelled to express your feelings in more dramatic ways now thanks to an alignment of the...

See full horoscope

Analysis comes easy to you Virgos, empowering you to make a particularly smart decision today. However, brainy Mercury can lead you down a confusing path if you're under pressure to make an...

See full horoscope

Cultivating close connections is complicated today because you're following your feelings down two entirely different tracks. On one hand, you can get along with others better than ever. On the...

See full horoscope

You can charm your way into nearly anyone's heart today, but you may overstep your bounds without even realizing it. Although the Moon's presence in your 9th House of Big Ideas is inflationary all...

See full horoscope

Ironically, you can push others to their limits without appearing pushy today. Adopting a gentler approach increases your sensitivity and enables you to address difficult issues with compassion....

See full horoscope

Your nerves are on edge now and you're ready to seize the moment as it arrives. However, anxiety and frustration can catalyze a sudden shift of energy. Nevertheless, today's Grand Trine activates...

See full horoscope

You face complicated issues with a playful sense of humor that makes it easy to turn a loss into a gain. However, you can still see the dark side of things -- perhaps even imagining the worst --...

See full horoscope

Excess and self-indulgence entice you to risk stability in search of pleasure today. Three planets, including sensual Venus, are camped out in your 5th House of Love, urging you to express your...

See full horoscope

Powered by Tarot.com