What might be a gorgeous bucket-list destination for a keen paddler is evidently a nightmare for others. Using TripAdvisor and Yelp, we combed through the best of the worst one-, two- and three-star reviews of our most cherished paddling areas.

Even though the vast majority of reviewers raved about these locations, there’s always a few sour grapes in every bunch. Some made us laugh, some made us cry. See for yourself.

“Couldn’t see what all the fuss is about. Dragged here by the missus when I should have been playing golf. It’s just a hole in the ground. A big hole, mind.”

—Grand Canyon National Park

“Snooze City. I was advised to go here for the view, but I don’t get off on a bunch of grass. You’ll spend maybe 10 minutes here—tops. Perhaps there is more to be seen had I ventured further into the park or gone on a boat tour or something.”

—Everglades National Park

“There are so many outlooks and trails to try, and they are all a distance away. Warning: Trails are not flat! The trails are more uphill than downhill. And uphill there are more stairs than ramps. The views are really boring, more river than the falls itself. It’s not worth the effort.”

—Yellowstone National Park

“Scariest ****ing place! It felt like a scene from Deliverance. Fishermen warned us about local red necks. ‘Make sure you got a knife nearby or screwdriver will do,’ said one man. We hauled ass back, grabbed our camping gear and left quickly.”

—Campsite near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

“Nature is crap. I’ve been to a number of so-called landmarks in my time but what the hell was this? Just an overblown sandy ditch.”

—Grand Canyon National Park

“Our guide welcomed us aboard and promptly proceeded to tell the passengers about eating a lamb’s eye and other disgusting organs, which is not appropriate for a family trip. The trip had very few facts, mostly just the guide’s hearsay.”

—Outfitter on the Colorado River

“Forbidding and scary. No shade, very hot in summer. Very cold and frigid in winter. Too windy to enjoy.”—San Jaun Islands, Washington

“I was extremely disappointed with the lack of safety precautions taken, the complete disregard for us, and the fact that we never knew which way to go. And DO NOT use the vending machine, lost $2 and I wasn’t the only one.”

—Outfitter on the St Lawrence Seaway

“One of the kayaks had a crack in the bottom. It took on so much water that it went under and we had to pull it out and drain it. We called to get a replacement, no answer. Ended up stopping three more times to drain it out as we traveled. They gave us a $5 credit.”—Outfitter near Crystal Springs, Florida

“There was no snack bar at all. Could only get a cup of coffee. No hot dog. No hamburger. One star.”

—Campground on the Ottawa River, Ontario


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here