Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, there’s probably somewhere to go kayaking or canoeing near you. Finding that perfect location can vary greatly in difficulty, depending on the waterways and popularity of paddling in your area. That’s where we can help. Below you’ll find all the resources and tips you need to find the perfect place to go for a paddle, whether you’re looking for a whitewater run, canoe trip route or afternoon of kayaking.

Armed with these handy tools, you’ll not only be able to find the right place to paddle, but also where to rent, who to go with, which tours to take, where to get lessons and more.

Let’s get started so you can get out on the water that much sooner.

Finding places to go kayaking and canoeing near me

The two best tools you can use to find places to paddle, tours, lessons, and rentals are the Paddling Trip Guide and Paddling Maps.

Explore the Paddling Trip Guide

Our Paddling Trip Guide provides information about kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and rafting trips. It allows you to sort and filter for adventures based on location, activity, operator, waterway, trip length, accommodation, guided or non-guided, adventure level and more.

Start using Paddling Maps

This free website will help you find the best paddling near you including launch sites, put-ins, take-outs, river classifications and more.

Kayak and canoe rentals

Are you planning an adventure but need to rent a kayak? Kayak rental shops exist near almost every major waterway in North America and the world. Maybe you want to rent a paddle or pedal kayak. Or perhaps you want a fishing kayak. On a budget? No problem, cheap rentals aren’t hard to find. Hourly, daily and weekly rentals are usually available. Find the right kayak rental near you or check our ready-made, destination-specific guides below:

Kayak and canoe launches

Enter the water easily at specified kayak launches. These places are usually free boat launches or ramps. Sometimes a permit is required. Find a place to launch your kayak near you by consulting your local tourism website or using the Paddling Maps app.

Lakes near me

Exploring a lake by kayak can be one of the most fun ways to explore a new area. Find a lake near you using Wikipedia’s giant list of the world’s lakes. Or explore one of these popular lake hotspots in our Paddling Trip Guide:


Boundary Waters (BWCA)

Great Lakes

You can also view our round-ups of some of the best lakes to paddle:

Rivers near me

Where is the best river kayaking? That depends on your skill level and interest. An international river rating system is used to classify difficulty. Do you want a very adventurous river trip? Or is something moderately adventurous more your thing?

View some of our river-specific guides below:

Kayak & canoe tours near me

Paddle with whales, watch the waves crash with bioluminescence or simply take the stress away with a guided kayak tour. See some of our tour round-ups below:

Kayak & canoe trips near me

Looking for a self-guided kayak trip? Allow geo-location on your web-browser to find kayak and canoe trips near you using Paddling Maps.

You can also browse all of our paddling destination guides:




British Columbia


Nova Scotia










North Carolina









New York






Top kayak and canoe spots

With thousands of places to paddle, it’s easiest to first choose what kind of kayaking you’d like to do. Then choose a lake, river, stream or coastline, pack your bags, and head to the water.

To help with your planning process, we’ve put together the following articles:

7 River Safety Essentials To Take On The River

Kayak Camping: Ultimate Accessories And Gear List

7 Essentials For Long Kayak Trips

5 Underrated Kayak Safety Skills

Kayak fishing

Our Paddling Trip Guide has the low down on kayak fishing adventures. Alternatively, the Kayak Angler website, our sister publication, has a kayak fishing hotspots section with hundreds of articles on where to fish and when.

Kayak and canoe clubs

Almost everywhere with a major waterway has a kayak club. Find yours by asking other paddlers around town, searching for “kayak club” on Facebook, or contacting the organizer of a local paddling event.

There are also larger social media kayak and paddling clubs. These online communities are the perfect place to share your paddling photos, meet fellow paddlers and post about your best days on the water. Check out the Paddling Magazine – #PaddleForever Facebook group.

Kayak and canoe lessons

Learning to kayak with a certified instructor will save you time, money and maybe your life. Sign up for an instruction or skills clinic, practice your skills on a regular basis, and surround yourself with safety-conscious paddlers.

Used kayaks for sale near me

Buying a used kayak is no easy task. Learn everything you need to know in our article: How To Buy A Used Kayak.

Kayak and canoe stores and shops near me

Whether you’re looking for a repair shop or want to buy a new kayak or canoe, there are likely many shops near you. You can also order from many brands direct online; however, we recommend test paddling a kayak before you buy.



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