Whether you just want to take up kayaking or you are an experienced paddler who has moved to a new location, you’d want to know about the kayaking locations near you. Finding a kayaking spot can be very easy or difficult depending on the popularity of paddling or the waterways in your area.
The aim of this article is to make finding kayaking spots easy so I’ll be providing you with resources and tips to help you locate amazing kayaking locations near you. Here we go.
Where to Go Kayaking Near Me? – The Interactive Map
How to Use the Map?
The interactive map above is courtesy of paddling.com and has become an invaluable resource for paddlers to find kayaking spots near them.
You’ll also get additional necessary information to plan your kayaking adventure, like how to get to the kayaking spots, and where to park your car (parking situations at the location, safety information, as well as whether there are any fees). Information about the water body will also be provided.
The red spots on the map indicate locations for kayaking. You’ll need to allow the map access to your location to show the nearest paddling spots in your location. You can also select another location to see kayaking spots you can visit sometime in the future. So, the map isn’t just about finding kayaking spots near you and it is not limited to North America – it lists kayaking spots around the whole world.
You’ll also find magnifying glasses when moving around the map and clicking on a magnifying glass will provide more detailed information about the kayaking spots.
What Information Can I Get from this Map?
The interactive map provides kayakers with detailed information about each spot. On selecting a spot, you’ll get information about the description of the spot, location, and directions to get there including coordinates and driving directions.
Information about amenities is also available. You can find out if there are kayak or canoe launches, if there is a designated water trail, whether there is paid or free parking, campsites, wheelchair accessible, seasonal or year-round bathroom, drinking water, food available, and so on.
Contributing to the Map
The interactive map is completely free as it is made for the paddling community by the paddling community. The reason why the map is able to provide information about different kayaking spots around the world is that kayakers can contribute to the map by adding new kayaking spots and providing information about the spots.
You will have a hard time deciding which is your favorite kayaking spot because there will always be many new ones to discover! Currently, the map has over 48,000 kayaking destinations around the world.
Yet, the paddling community is counting on all paddlers, including yourself, to improve this map. If there’s a new kayaking spot you discover isn’t on the map, you can add the spot to the map.
There’s a feature called ‘Add your trip‘ which allows you to share information about your kayaking trip to a spot on the map. The aim here is to improve the kayaking experience for paddlers who would travel to the spot in the future by providing information about water conditions, water quality, and if there was whitewater.
You can also provide information about the scenery around you and if there’s any wildlife encounter on your trip.
What Kind of Kayak Spots Can I Find on This Map?
Kayak spots that you can find on the map include:
Lakes to Kayak Near Me
Lakes are great recreational kayaking spots for beginners as the calm water conditions make it easy for them to paddle and perfect their technique. Paddling on rivers or the ocean tends to be more challenging for beginner paddlers who are yet to master the basics of the sport. Of course, it doesn’t mean they are less interesting for experienced kayakers! They are often surrounded by wilderness and nature, which greatly helps us escape our stressful lifestyles for a few hours.
You can check the interactive map above for calm lakes in a sheltered spot if you are new to kayaking. Lake kayaking is generally easy unless there’s a strong wind that interferes with the maneuverability of your vessel.
Reservoir Kayaking Near Me
Reservoirs are not much different than lakes except for the fact that they are artificial and result from the construction of dams. They represent fantastic kayaking opportunities as well, and you will find plenty of such locations on the map.
Rivers to Kayak Near Me
River conditions offer a greater challenge than kayaking on a lake. The thing about rivers is that river conditions aren’t always the same. In fact, conditions on a river can be different at different spots with the water faster in some sports than the others.
As a beginner paddler, you should paddle on gentle or slow-moving rivers as the water conditions will allow you to maneuver your kayak more easily. As you gain more river kayaking experience and confidence, you can move to faster-flowing river conditions.
If you are in the US, there are several designated water trails where you paddle along a specific route of a river. Also, you’ll find campgrounds along the trail where you can always stop for a rest. I’ve seen eating and drinking spots along water trails too.
You can use the map to find rivers near you and find out more information about those rivers.
Ocean / Coastal Kayaking Near Me
Ocean kayaking tends to be fun and special. However, there are things you should know before heading out into the open waters. For one, you should always wear a life jacket. Next, choose an appropriate ocean or sea kayak, and pick out a calm day to avoid being blown off course by the wind or current.
As you’d expect, there are several ocean kayaking spots on the map. Some spots are on sandy beaches which is an ideal place for paddlers to get introduced to ocean kayaking, especially in the summer months and using a sit-on-top kayak. Apart from beaches, you can also find access points for ocean bays on the map.
Whitewater Kayaking Near Me
Flatwater kayaking is easy and the starting point for every paddler. However, if you get bored of paddling on flat water or you are looking for something to get your blood pumping, you can take the next step into the action-packed world of whitewater kayaking.
You need to be very comfortable and skilled at moving your body in any direction on flatwater before moving on to whitewater. You should start at the lowest class of rapids (Class I) and then work your way up to Class III or IV. You can visit the American Whitewater website for more information on the classification of whitewater rapids.
There are several whitewater kayaking spots on the map. You can also add spots that you’ve visited that aren’t on the map.
Can you kayak anywhere?
Yes, generally, you can kayak anywhere legally as long as the body of water is navigable. This principle was ruled by the Supreme Court of the United States and applies to the whole country. Officially, any river is considered public land, and it is, therefore, legal to paddle on them.
However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check the state and local regulations for the section of the river you are planning to kayak on. In addition, some landowners along the rivers sometimes consider the river part of their private property and could make things difficult for you as well.
As for lakes, it entirely depends on if it is located on public land or on private property. You will be able to kayak only on public lakes.
Do You Have to Register a Kayak?
Kayakers should be aware of the different state regulations regarding the use of boats and other equipment. Some states require specific licenses or permits while others do not. You may want to take a look at these local regulations before heading off into the wilderness. Keep reading below.
More Information about Local Regulation and Access to Paddling
Once you choose to have your own kayak instead of taking kayaking tours, your need to make sure you comply with paddling laws. Kayak laws usually vary among countries and even among US states. However, one can expect general paddling practices like wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while on the water and not consuming alcohol when in charge of a vessel to be consistent with most kayak laws.
In the US, each state has a Department of Natural Resources that have a website where paddlers can check the local paddling laws and regulations in their areas as well as safety recommendations.
DNR Websites For All 50 States
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
There is also the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators website where you can find more information about paddling laws and regulations.
Having a resource where you can easily find kayaking locations near you or in any location, you intend to visit is something that can always come in handy. I also like that you can find reviews and reliable information about different kayaking spots from paddlers that have visited the spots. This is invaluable information to plan the perfect kayak trip.
I think it’ll be a good gesture if you update any kayaking spot you visit with current and relevant information to help improve the map.