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.

10 worst reviews of the best paddling destinations

man stands with arms out at lookout over Grand Canyon
Give the Grand Canyon its due. | Photo: Suyash Dixit/Pixabay
“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

alligator swims among lilypads in the Everglades National Park
Don’t sleep on your chance to see all sorts of wildlife in Everglades National Park. | Photo: Philippe Kron/Pixabay
“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

Spectacular scenery seems almost endless at Yellowstone National Park. | Photo: Omar Anukrati/Unsplash
“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

moss-hung trees overlook the water in Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge
A sense of adventure will help you fit in at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. | Photo: Donald Weird/Pixabay
“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

Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon
Havasu Falls is an oasis in the Grand Canyon’s dramatic, rocky landscape. | Photo: Jan Kronies/Unsplash
“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

a group of kayakers stop for a rest along the Colorado River
A group of kayakers get first-hand experience of the mighty Colorado River. | Photo: Vit Ducken/Pixabay
“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

Washington's San Juan Islands on a cloudy day
Washington’s San Juan Islands on a calm, temperate day. | Photo: E. Thorson/Pixabay
“Forbidding and scary. No shade, very hot in summer. Very cold and frigid in winter. Too windy to enjoy.”

— San Juan Islands, Washington

Sunset at Crystal River, Florida
Don’t bail out! The sunset on Florida’s Gulf Coast is worth it. | Photo: Mick Haupt/Unsplash
“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

shipwreck on the St. Lawrence River
A shipwreck leans precariously at Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, on the St. Lawrence River. | Photo: JP Valery/Unsplash
“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

Aylmer Ruins on the Ottawa River
Visit the Ottawa River for world class paddling, not ballpark franks. | Photo: 999kasya999/Pixabay
“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

“I give your sterning abilities one star.” | Feature photo: Tim Romano



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