10 Best Places to Kayak For Families in The U.S.

If your children are of school age to older, taking them on a trip on a kayak is a fantastic method to create a bond as families. Additionally is that this part of the United States is home to numerous of the best locations to kayak and some of them may be located within the state you live in.

10 Best Places to Kayak pin

Kayaking is a fantastic option to spend a family vacation (day excursion or even longer) because it requires teamwork, physical activity, and an opportunity to take in stunning views.

In order to help you select the best location, we’ve come to know the most popular spots for paddling in America and picked our top 10 locations for you.

1. Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

It is believed that the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is among the most memorable river trips in North America. It’s not just about exploring the nation’s most famous scenery however, you visit towns that are as diverse as Flagstaff and Sedona along the way. where you can find gourmet eateries along with historic outposts and unique shops.

Colorado rapids span from I (the most gentle) through V (intense) So it’s simple to organize a Colorado excursion that is suitable for both ages alike.

  • Location: Arizona;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: No;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 1-5.

2. The Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay

Kayak the beautiful, calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay. You’ll find new perspectives as you explore the most popular waterways in the region and fall in love with the beauty of its natural surroundings. Learn more about the Bay’s best activities on both land and water.

The largest estuary in America is the Chesapeake Bay. This river, which runs 200 miles long through six states, is home to millions and thousands of species. Most famous is the diamondback turtle. The bay is a beautiful place that tourists can explore for up to two days.

The Chesapeake Bay is home to some of the most thrilling activities, including fishing. A kayak or canoe with an efficient motor is the best choice. This will allow you to see fish swimming through the water, then chase them and net them. No motorboat can offer this unique experience.

You don’t have to be an expert paddler. Just paddle along the Chesapeake Bay flat water and enjoy the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay. Many wildlife species can be seen, including bald eagles and blue crabs, ducks as well as hawks, and herons.

You will never forget your unforgettable Chesapeake Bay kayaking adventure when you spend a wonderful kayaking vacation in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • Location: Maryland, Virginia;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 1-3.

3. Lake Yellowstone

Lake Yellowstone

There’s no better way to discover Yellowstone National Park than by kayak. With kayak tours, you will be accompanied by an expert guide who is familiar with the park well and will guide you through the amazing nature along with the rich history as well as the beauty and grandeur of this very first national park to be established within the United States.

You can opt for either a full-day, half-day, or a six-day excursion to see the whole park. There are unique places that show the splendor of Wyoming. Small groups of visitors are with knowledgeable naturalists who are able to provide many details on the sites you visit.

The small dimensions of these trips permit you to have a greater chance of interacting with nature. It’s common to have surreal encounters with wildlife during these excursions. It is possible to explore the whole park with interconnected waterways that increase your experience.

  • Location: Wyoming (largest part), Idaho, and Montana;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 1-4.

4. Gauley River

Gauley River

The Gauley River is known as one of the most ideal areas for rough water. In general, fall is an excellent time to be for the state of West Virginia. But that’s not all the reason that people from across the globe enjoy the season. Every year, during the fall, water flows down from the Summersville Dam, creating the perfect river for those looking to get their feet wet. This time of the year is also known as West Virginia’s 5th season, also known as the Gauley season.

Additionally, the peaceful scenery you’ll encounter while rafting along the Gauley River will give you some time to relax from the rush. Make the most of your time during your visit, as these places aren’t accessible by foot.

  • Location: Gauley River National Recreation Area, West Virginia;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 3-5.

5. Chattooga River

Chattooga River

The Chattooga River is born in North Carolina’s high Appalachian Mountains. Here spring water and fresh mountain rainfalls cause small streams to flow into the river’s watershed. The water has dropped many thousand feet to its terminus at Lake Tougaloo by the time it reaches Lake Tougaloo. It then runs through some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.

The Chattooga River is a popular spot for kayaking in the south. It is also a great option for groups that want to experience rapids of class II-III. Although the river will provide thrills, it is best for families with teenagers.

Chattooga is considered a wild and scenic river because it is one of few rivers in this region that has not been dammed. It creates a feeling of wilderness and natural beauty. Within a quarter-mile radius of the river, cars, trucks, and all other types of motorized vehicles are prohibited. There are also very few structures along its banks and the river can be crossed only by hiking trails.

Amazing rock formations can also be seen along its banks, as the river cuts through the bedrock. There are narrow channels that flow quickly and large, clear pools. Also, there are towering cliffs covered with lush greenery.

After drying out, the family can enjoy the many entertainment options and dining options available in Asheville, South Carolina. They also have access to many hiking trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

  • Location: South Carolina, Georgia;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 2-3.

6. Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

Kayaking along Tampa Bay not only gives you the sensation of being far from the bustle of the city, however, but it also provides the perfect amount of adrenaline.

Don’t be too surprised to see an alligator resting while you are paddling through the waters. The mangroves, the snakes fish, and a variety of species of birds make your experience even more memorable.

If you take a kayak out in the downtown area of Tampa it is possible to capture manatees and dolphins and take in the gorgeous cityscape.

For adrenaline-inducing rapids For thrilling rapids, it’s the Hillsborough River is perfect. While you’re there you can taste the diverse cuisine of Tampa, and discover its distinct culture.

  • Location: Florida;
  • Permit required: None;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 2.

7. Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound
Sea Kayaking in Harriman Fjord, Prince William Sound

Named in honor of the third son of King George III Prince William Henry, this sound is part of America’s second-largest forest known as the Chugach National Forest. It is further surrounded by the rugged snow-capped Chugach Mountains. This is why it is known for being”the “kayaker’s paradise”.

Kayaking on this sound can be an unforgettable experience due to its size and the diversity of wildlife you’ll encounter. If you’re lucky enough, you may even see seals, humpback whales, and sea lions, as you gaze at the magnificent mountains and icebergs that surround you.

The majestic trees, wild animals, various kinds of fish, the pure snow, and the enthralling sound of the ocean make this an adventure you’ll hold on to for the rest of your life.

  • Location: Chugach National Forest, Alaska;
  • Permit required: No;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 3.

8. Tyger River

Tyger River

Spartanburg County’s biggest river system, the Tiger River, is home to densely wooded forests that include cedar, Hemlock pine, cedar, birch, and oak. The Tiger River runs through northern Spartanburg County, and it reaches its confluence with historic Pinckneyville. There are many bird species in the area, including blue herons (ospreys), bald eagles, and many species of waterfowl. This diverse plant life includes the rare Rhododendron Eastman (Santee’s Azalea). The area surrounding the Tiger River is rich in history. There are many historical landmarks, such as Anderson’s Mill (Price’s House), Weaver’s Cotton Mill (Weaver’s Cotton Mill), historic Rose Hill Plantation, and historic Pinckneyville. You can also find parks and hiking trails. There is something for everyone.

The Tiger River has been a great resource for water-based and land-based recreation. This river offers many exciting opportunities for visitors and residents of the county. While the Tiger River Rapids might not be the best way for you to get your adrenaline pumping, they are a great way to feel calm and relax as you cruise through its waters and admire the beauty of nature. It doesn’t take much to enjoy the Tiger River. The rapids are not difficult. If you have kids, you can bring them along. It is an unforgettable experience that they will never forget.

  • Location: South Carolina;
  • Permit required: Yes;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 2.

9. Eleven Point National Scenic River

Eleven Point National Scenic River

The river is internationally renowned for its breathtaking scenery and rich past. Kayaking along the Eleven Point National Scenic River will open your eyes to the splendor of sycamore and birch trees. In certain places, the trees can form an impressive cover on the banks of the river.

Fishing is also popular practice on this river, however certain kinds of fish require permits to be taken. A tandem kayak for fishing will allow you to have an enjoyable experience.

There’s more. The river flows through the beautiful Ozarks Hills of Missouri which were once utilized for gold mining by people from the past. You can even ask around and learn more about the fascinating history of these hills. You won’t find it boring.

  • Location: Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri;
  • Permit required: Yes;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 1-2.

10. Salmon River

Salmon River

The Maine Salmon River (or “River of No Return”) is the perfect combination of thrilling adventure and relaxing recreation. Many Class III and IV rapids can be thrilling for anyone. However, even an inexperienced inflatable kayaker or rafter can handle them. Charter flights to small Idaho towns add to the sense of adventure and adventure. In the most remote and wildest wilderness area in the United States and the second deepest canyon in the country, rafting provides an unparalleled sense of escape and isolation not available elsewhere.

The Maine Salmon River is the perfect place to raft in America. On a typical trip, you may see mountain sheep, black bears, deer, and the occasional moose. Rivers of No Return Canyon is a place where you can make new friends and meet old ones. You will also socialize with children and return to Idaho refreshed after being in the Idaho wilderness.

Fall is a great time to visit the canyon. The tourists are gone, things are calmer, the wildlife is coming back, and the fishing can be excellent.

  • Location: Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho;
  • Permit required: Yes;
  • Camping is available: Yes;
  • Kayak and canoe rentals: Yes;
  • Whitewater Quick Classification System: Class 3-4.

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