The Ultimate Guide on Finding Places to Paddle Board Near You

There are so many incredible places to paddle board all around you. The trick is learning where to go and what the rules are. 

This is our ultimate guide to learning how to find lake to paddle board near you, among other bodies of water. 

We also dive into the most popular place and our favorite place to SUP in each US State!

Let us know in the comments any additions you would make!

We deeply understand the struggle of Googling “Places to paddle board me” and it coming up with information that has nothing to do with you or what you want. Either you’re on a trip, or in your home state and you want to try paddling somewhere close by that aren’t the usual SUP spots. We write this ultimate guide for you, those who want to find unique places, and those of you who just want a general idea for common easy spots.

We have a Places To SUP collection that you can find here for more common places in each State, but for now we’ll take you over how to find more unique spots and what tools you should use to make finding the new SUP hot spot easily and then the most popular place to SUP and our number one pick for every State in US.

 

How to find unique place to paddle board near you

Use the right tools

 There are a few apps that every paddle boarder should have, including safety apps that you have with you on the water. But one of the more underestimated ones are to help you find paddle boarding spots you wouldn't have known about otherwise. 

It can be intimidating to try to find new spots, and not being about to find the local laws or property owners can easily keep you in the house or just going to your usual crowded SUP spot.

There is nothing better than having the water to yourself and being able to say that you knew about that spot before anybody else.

Our #1 recommendation for finding these kinds of spots is a free app called GoPaddling by Paddling Inc.

paddle boarding app

You can download it here for Apple iPhones and here for Android users.

On this app you can find spots that are well-known and ones that have recently been found. You can add spots with pictures and quick description to help others find those spots too.

All the spots are put there from other paddle boarders and will give you information on parking, where to launch, if you will need a permit, etc. It's so quick and easy to find incredible places you wouldn't have know of otherwise.

Another app you'll need is for the weather. Our recommendation is to use the weather app already on your phone and look up the area you will be paddling.

Lastly, you should download the Windy.com app by WINDYTY, SE 

windy weather app

There's a reason it's used by so many professionals; it has over 40 global weather map overlays and you can customize it to track any combination of those maps, choose your own colors for the different overlays you select, import map data, pin and save your favorite SUP spots, find nearby webcams to see for yourself how conditions look and too many other features to list.

You can download here for iPhones, and here for Android.

An underestimated tool is Facebook!

Most, if not all, States in US have a Facebook group for passionate paddle boarders. In there people post about different spots, or events that you can join. You can post and ask questions about certain areas if they're permittable or how the water levels are looking and someone will help you out. 

If you don't have one for your state then you should take initiative and start it!

 

shop inflatable paddle board

 

Important things to keep in mind

Every state has different laws and regulations for personal flotation devices (PFDs) also known as Life Jackets. A general rule over every State in the US is any child 12 years old or younger is required to have a PFD on at all times on the water.

We have an article about SUP safety requirements mandated by law in the US with more details and guidance on how to find your local laws. Also, feel free to check out our SUP Safety Tips that should always be reviewed before paddle boarding.

In addition, every state has different laws on if your Stand Up Paddle Board needs to be registered to be allowed on the water. It's a quick Google search to find the States local laws and they should be updated there. Those laws can change which is why we won't be including every states current position on paddle board registration. A great source to read on each state is by paddlecamp.com

Nearly every single state does require you to take an education course online about water boating. Some just require on certain bodies of water you have a permit that your board has been checked out and approved to be in the water.

 

Places to SUP in each US State

Each State divides into section that all Americans are aware of, and this how we’ll separate them for easy convenience for you to find, following this image below.

paddle boarding near me

THE WEST

The West Coast will always hold a special place in our hearts here at Glide Paddlesports, as it is where our company was created and where we run all our workings here.

The West consists of some of the most popular states in the US to foreigners and to Americans themselves. Here is our best places to paddle board suggestions for some the best states in all of America.

 

California State

Most popular SUP Spot

Mission Bay, San Diego

where to paddle board in California

Located just 12 minutes away from downtown San Diego, Mission Bay is where all on-water activities can be found. There is plenty of space to explore and social distance from other people having their fun. Not to mention, there's space for different forms of stand up paddle boarding. Such as, surfing opportunities and flat water for those who want to learn how to paddle board.

With so many different places to launch from the sandy beaches. There's no shortage of opportunities to go.

This would be a great place to tour around on our O2 Quest, or take your dog on an adventure on the O2 Retro All-Around Inflatable Paddle Board.

No permits are necessary, and you will have to find parking which will cost you a couple dollars. There are bathrooms around and beach access close by. 

 

Our favorite place to SUP

 Lake Almanor, Plumas County

places to paddle board in california

Located about three hours north of Sacramento between Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest, Lake Almanor is one of the most beautiful places to SUP in northern California.

The lake is actually a man-made reservoir built in the early 1900s. That doesn't make it any less majestic, though. If you want a peaceful place to view blue skies and evergreen trees, Lake Almanor is one of California's top spots.

This is a great lake to paddle board near you for the clear blue water, plenty of boat rentals and where a lot of people go water-skiing.

Due to its huge size, be sure to pace yourself and plan your trip with a companion to car shuttle between boat launch locations to avoid being stranded.

Lake Almanor Kayak Rentals is a Glide dealer and provides all of the equipment you need, so don't worry about bringing your own SUP. Other activities to enjoy on or around the lake include fishing, hiking and camping.

 

Oregon State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Trillium Lake, Mount Hood National Forest

 where to paddle board in oregon

Trillium Lake is a popular spot for fishing, camping, and all-round awesome outdoor adventures. Now throw in a stand up paddle board and we have got one of the best weekends up for grabs! 

The waters are calm and clear, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood that is just 7.5 miles away. Motorized vessels are not allowed on the lake, so beginners and young paddlers can safely navigate the lake. It’s also considered a smaller lake in Oregon which means the water stays on the warmer side of things for the area.

Trillium Lake is a lake situated 7.5 miles south-southwest of Mount Hood in the U.S. state of Oregon (a 25 minute drive from Mt. Hood). It is formed by a dam at the headwaters of Mud Creek, tributary to the Salmon River. It was created by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1960.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Willamette River, Portland

SUPing in Washington State 

Accessible from nearly a dozen docks between Oregon City and North Portland alone, the Willamette River is arguably the most approachable place to paddle board in Portland.

Running through the heart of Portland, the Willamette River’s Ross Island loop boasts beautiful views of the downtown skyline and up-close encounters with all sorts of urban wildlife.

Formerly the site of a mining operation, Ross Island today has been reclaimed by Mother Nature and provides a quiet rebuke of downtown's hustle-and-bustle.

Paddlers are welcome to explore the island's beaches, where they may see black-tailed deer, river otter, beaver, and any number of birds. More than 100 species of birds make use of the island during migration, including the bald eagle, osprey, and blue heron. 

Pick up a Glide board at Portland Kayak Co. or Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe. 

 

Washington State

Most Popular SUP Spot

 Lake Union, Seattle

Where to paddle board in Lake Union

 

Lake Union is a freshwater lake located entirely within the city limits of Seattle. It is a major part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

The easternmost point of the lake is the Ship Canal Bridge, which carries Interstate 5 over the eastern arm of the lake and separates Lake Union from Portage Bay.

The Seattle skyline and mountains make for a perfect backdrop for any paddle boarding adventure, but Lake Union is especially unique with seaplanes, house boats, and spectacular skyline views.  

As the sun sets over Queen Anne Hill, there are few better places to be in Seattle than Lake Union. Sitting just 2 miles from downtown Seattle, the Lake is a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

No matter the season, catching a sunset and dusk on the lake is absolutely stunning. 

There are several launch spots around the lake but the dock at 9th street to be the most accessible.

Pick up a Glide SUP rental board at Northwest Outdoor Center.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Sammamish River Slough, North King County

Sammamish River paddle boarding

 

The Sammamish River flows for about 14 miles from Lake Sammamish into Lake Washington. The water is slow moving with minimal current.

There are several drop points along the river, but if you want to do roughly the full river, you will want to drop in from Marymoor Park as you can’t get into the river by SUP directly from Lake Sammamish.

The water through Marymoor is the swiftest water you’ll find along the Sammamish River, which is still not that fast.

You’re likely to see hundreds of birds and, on a clear day, schools of fish directly below you. Through the duration of your paddle, you’ll pass through housing developments, business parks, golf courses, parks, and quiet wetlands.

This is a very peaceful paddle that parallels the Sammamish River trail where you’ll see bicyclists, runners, and occasional fisherman.

Pick up a rental board at What’s SUP.

 

Idaho State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls

Places to SUP in Idaho

Referred to as the “Niagara of the West” the iconic Shoshone Falls stands at a majestic 212 feet tall. Located in south central Idaho on the Snake River in Twin Falls, most people are only able to view the falls from the top, where there is a scenic overlook and a picnic area.

For hardy SUP enthusiasts the view is far more spectacular from the bottom! The trip itself is roughly 3.5 miles each way and even though you are on the Snake River the lack of current makes it more like a lake paddle.

The River Ranger will require you to have a PFD, whistle and an “Idaho invasive sticker” fixed to your board. Along the route, you will pass Pillar Falls which are almost as beautiful as Shoshone.

After Pillar, there is a portage requirement for about 150 yards so make sure your board isn’t too heavy. Rent or buy a Glide SUP at AWOL Adventure Sports.

You do need to have a permit on your sup. They sell them online or at a booth or tent as a sticker that's on your board. If you don't you can get up to a $250 fine.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Bloomington Lake, Bloomington

Prettiest places for paddle boarding in the West Coast 

This one will require you to have an inflatable SUP and be willing to hike a moderately trafficked trail with your iSUP on your back for 1.6 miles each way. The payoff is a picturesque mountain lake that sits at 8300 feet above sea level.

The lake itself is relatively small but the odds are that you won’t be sharing it with many others. The most striking features at Bloomington Lake are the sheer north facing cliffs which are the steepest in the Idaho portion of the Bear River Range.

The range holds snow in the chutes well into the summer months. The steep walls provide a spectacular backdrop against the clear blue water, but they are also used as jumping platform for those daring enough to brave the icy waters of the lake.

 

Nevada State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Incline Village, Lake Tahoe

where to paddle board in nevada

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Incline Village is located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in Washoe County, Nevada. Just a 

This is a great place to get incredible pictures on your SUP, relax with your friends, or explore on this great big body of water that is 191.6 mi in the surface area.

There's approximately 15 million people who visit Lake Tahoe every year (according to Google). Even with the crowds you still have so much room on the water to feel like you have it to yourself! 

There are plenty of rentals for you to try out paddle boarding if you don't already own your own SUP.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

 Cold Lakes, Elko County

places to paddle board in Nevada

The Cold Lakes are located just an hour and 45 minute drive from West Wendover, Nevada that shares the border with Utah state. This lake is a pair of glacial tarns in the Ruby Mountains, in Elko County. You can find it at the head of Cold Creek Canyon.

This is an awe-inspiring place to paddle board that will truly be one of the most beautiful places you'll have on your SUP resume! It is at an elevation near to 10,000 feet so the water doesn't ever get very warm. You may want to wear a wetsuit, but it's completely worth it. 

There is a high chance you will be the only one there when you go, so if you love paddling in solitude then you have to check this SUP spot out.

We do recommend that you are leaning more towards being an experienced paddle boarder since it is such a remote location, and be sure to follow all the safety protocols (if you're interested in reading more about that check out our blog post SUP Safety Tips).

 

Utah State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Causey Reservoir, Weber County

where to paddle board in utah

Causey Reservoir is a reservoir located 15 miles northeast of Ogden, Utah, United States just off Utah State Route 39. Though it is a drive to get to for most Utahns, it gets roughly 250,000 to one million visitors every year.

With different areas to cliff jump, plenty of water areas to dock your paddleboard and scenic routes that could get you exploring all day. It's at 5,700 elevation which makes to a little chilly to be swimming for very long, but it makes it ideals for populations of trout and salmon, which run up Causey's tributaries in a beautiful sea of red every September.

There are no beaches as the "shoreline" consists of mostly rocks, and there isn't much shade to find so make sure you bring a hat, sunscreen and drinks lots of water.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Mirror Lake, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

where to paddle board utah

Mirror Lake is a lake in the high Uinta Mountains in Utah. It is a popular fishing and recreation spot. The lake contains three species of trout: rainbow, brook, and tiger. The lake has a Forest Service campground, picnic facilities, and a boat ramp for non-motorized watercraft.

There is space for camping, picnics, hammocks and even a boat ramp for non-motorized watercraft. There are no motorized watercraft allowed which makes the water stay nice and flat, and quiet. 

It is so quiet up there that you can talk easily with your friends across the entire lake which is 53 acres big, without having to raise your voice. It sits at an elevation of 10,050' so it's warmest during the summer when the sun is out.

It is located so high in the Uinta Mountains that it is more on the solitude side of the scale, but there are often people backpack camping in that area. We suggest you go with a buddy and that you are an experienced paddle boarder due to the distance.

You cannot rent a paddle board (or anything) up there as the entire area is self-serve.

 

Arizona State

Most Popular SUP Spot

 Lake Powell, Page

paddle boarding in Arizona

While Lake Powell shares borders with Arizona and Utah. It's still the most popular paddle boarding spot of Arizona. With 2 million people visiting nearly all year long, every year and an outstanding 254.1 mi of water to cover it's no wonder why so many people want to experience it for themselves.

There are incredible spots to explore on the Lake Powell waters, such as Antelope Canyon that no one other than paddle boarders and kayakers can get into.

There are many rentals companies in the area, and guided SUP tours through the canyons that can show you something you might would have missed otherwise. With that said, there is still so much to see on your own! 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

 Tempe Town Lake, Tempe

places to paddle board in arizona

Tempe Town Lake is an artificial perennial reservoir located just a few blocks away from Arizona State University. The reservoir receives much of its water from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project.

One of the best times to be at the lake is at sunset. There are many buildings right on the water that add a beautiful lighting to the many colors of a sunset. Plenty of these buildings have awesome local businesses that you should check out after your paddle! 

Launch from the boat beach or marina. The lawn area, near the parking lot on the lake’s north, is convenient if you want to set your board on the grass and park your car. You can also walk a short distance to the small boat ramp.

All watercraft require a Town Lake permit purchased at Tempe Public Library or Pyle Adult Recreation Center.

Riverbound Sports does SUP rentals and provides permits with all rentals.

New Mexico State

Most Popular SUP Spot

 Abiquiu Lake, Rio Arriba County

places to paddle board in new mexico

Abiquiu Lake is located between Sangre de Cristo and the San Juan Mountain ranges in the northern part of New Mexico state. There is 5,000 acres to explore here being enveloped by colorful rock formations of the red sandstones. 

You'll get a full view on the water of surrounding mountains like the imposing mesas, pinon pines, Cerro Pedernal peak, and ju-nipers. The water has a greenish hue which only adds more colors to your paddle board adventure that can last days to explore.

There are no rentals located here or nearby, but you can find some in driving distance if you don't own your own paddle board.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell

paddle boarding in new mexico

Bottomless Lakes State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of New Mexico, located along the Pecos River, about 15 miles southeast of Roswell. Established in 1933, it was the first state park in New Mexico. It takes its name from nine small, deep lakes located along the eastern escarpment of the Pecos River valley.

This, the state’s first park, is really a series of nine deep lakes along a limestone slope in the Pecos River Valley. The dark blue water of these almost perfectly circular lakes is created by aquatic plants and is in stark contrast to the muted tones of the surrounding desert. Only one of the nine, Lea Lake, is open for water activities, but it’s a definitive summertime swimming hole. A day of paddling around the lake is a low impact workout that’s just plain fun. It’s hot and there’s little shade, go prepared.

With 6 different lakes to choose from you've got options!

 

Colorado State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Big Soda Lake, Lakewood

where to paddle board in Colorado

A short 20-minute drive from state capital Denver, Big Soda Lake is a very popular choice for city-dwellers in summertime.

It has several places to rent SUPs along with equipment for various other water related activities. Be mindful however that the season here runs from Memorial Day (last Monday in May) to Labor Day (first Monday of September) so the shops won’t be open outside of these dates.

It’s situated within the Bear Creek Lake Park for which there is an entry fee. The current fee for a day pass however is $10 per vehicle, which is very reasonable. Complete with volleyball courts, a 400m swimming lane, a beach and several picnic shelters you can enjoy a whole range of activities or just relax with friends.

On a sunny day, be sure to arrive early as this is a very popular destination. Try and book equipment ahead of time too to avoid disappointment.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Grand Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

best place to paddle board in colorado state

The Town of Grand Lake is a statutory town located in Grand County, Colorado. At 500 surface acres it is the largest natural lake in Colorado and a popular spot for all sorts of water based activities.

The town itself (also named Grand Lake) is nestled right on the side of the lake so there are plenty of shopping and dining options available before and after your paddle. There is also a beach where you can sunbathe and relax, and a marina where you’ll be able to find several shops for rental equipment.

With breathtaking views and plenty to do, this is a great place to enjoy an active yet relaxing day, particularly if you’re travelling as a family or a group.

 

Wyoming State 

Most Popular SUP Spot

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

where to paddle board in Wyoming

Jenny Lake is located in Grand Teton National Park in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The lake was formed approximately 12,000 years ago by glaciers pushing rock debris which carved Cascade Canyon during the last glacial maximum, forming a terminal moraine which now impounds the lake.

If you are thrilled by the sights of mountains that are taller than the clouds, Jenny Lake has just that. Here, you paddle across greenish waters through huge steep stone walls backed by even larger mountains. The views are absolutely breathtaking and for those who don’t want to get wet they have scenic tours available too. As you can see from this picture you can definitely find freedom in exploring on your own.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Fremont Lake, Pinedale

best place to sup in wyoming

Fremont Lake can give the illusion that it is an endless lake with infinite paddle boarding opportunity, and that is because it stretches 11 miles long and a half mile wide. Because this lake is within the awesome Bridger-Teton forest, you will be stoked to hear that it has a coastline of undeveloped sandy beaches, perfect for a ‘day at the beach’.

This place has been notorious for grizzly & black bear sightings so make sure to bring your dog or bear spray just to be safe. 

Fremont Lake is Wyoming’s second-largest natural lake at 12 miles long and up to 1 mile wide and the 7th deepest lake in the country (610 feet).

Sandy Beach, a small natural beach where the water is relatively shallow, is just off the main access road is an ideal place for non-motorized boats to launch.

 

Montana State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

paddle board places in Montana

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. It is located at 48°35′N 113°55′W in Flathead County, Montana. Lake McDonald is approximately 10 miles long, and over a mile wide and 472 feet deep, filling a valley formed by a combination of erosion and glacial activity. 

Looking for somewhere with clear waters and an underwater world to explore? Well, you can definitely find all of that when you visit Glacier National Park.

Here you can paddle across millions of colorful rocks and enjoy the dense forests and rolling mountains around you.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

East Rosebud Lake, Custer Gallatin National Forest

where to paddle board in montana

About East Rosebud Lake Campground is located in the Custer Gallatin National Forest in southwest Montana. At an elevation of 6,200 feet, the water might be a bit brisk for swimming, but it's well worth the cold to see these incredible views. There are restrooms and hand-pumped drinking water available.

Even though it is not usually considered a SUP destination, Montana has some beautiful scenery, and in the winter the mountains will be covered in snow.

Something that you may spot on this lake that you don’t get to see every day is the bulls and moose in the swim zone! Get ready to relax as you’ll be able to hear the surrounding waterfalls crash through the rocks. This place is definitely a must see if you’re in the Treasure State!

 

MIDWEST

Home to some of the best paddle boarding spots we're excited to cover the Midwest of America with you! If you live for SUP Fishing then you'll make sure to hit almost any spot on this list because you will lose your mind.

 

North Dakota State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Harmon Lake, Bismarck

places to paddleboard in north dakota

Located just outside of Bismarck, Harmon Lake is one of the newest lakes in both the state and country, having been formed just a few years ago in 2009. This lake is extremely family-friendly, and while only 145 acres, its shallow waters make it well suited for beginner and younger paddlers.

If you are a beginner to the sport but want to learn how to become a better paddler, this lake is your best option!

Created in part to be a tourist spot, you can rent a paddleboard right on the beach to take out into the water, besides signing up for touring, racing, or yoga sessions with the local vendors.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Lake Sakakawea, Missouri River

where to paddle board in North Dakota

The third-largest lake in the US by volume, Lake Sakakawea’s surface area is over 480 square miles, with 1,320 miles of shoreline to sunbathe, rest, or camp at. Because it's such a large lake there is quite literally something there for every type of paddle boarder.

You can learn how to paddle board for the first time near the shore where there is very calm water, you can do some paddle surfing when you paddle into deeper waters, you can go fishing because there's 30+ unique fish species to get caught!

Located in the north-eastern portion of North Dakota, you’ll want to bring some warmer attire compared to the other state lakes. But with the right gear and attire, though, you’ll have a blast paddle boarding Lake Sakakawea.

 

South Dakota State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Pactola Lake, Rapid City

places to paddle board in south dakota

Pactola Lake is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States; it was created by the construction of the Pactola Dam. Contrary to popular belief there is no town at the bottom of Pactola Lake.

This lake is a popular padde boarding spot for not only Rapid City (which is the closest city) but the entire state. There is 16 miles of shoreline that you can launch from and options of places to rent SUP gear from. 

There is space for SUP surfing, some casual paddle boarding for those who just want to go have fun, and even SUP fishing. There are fish like Trout, Salmon, Cappie, and Bass for you to catch.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Slyvan Lake, Black Hills

where to paddle board in South Dakota

Sylvan Lake is a lake located in Custer State Park, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was created in 1891 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch Creek. The lake area offers picnic places, rock climbing, small rental boats, swimming, and hiking trails. 

While relatively small at just 18 acres, Sylvan Lake is famous for its very close proximity to Mount Rushmore, located only a few miles away. After you’ve seen one of our nation’s most famous monuments, you can enjoy the water and paddleboard through the beautiful Custer State Park.

With an average depth of 12.8’, the tranquil water is deep enough that you can comfortably fall into it or, if you’re daring, climb the many rocks around the small reservoir for a short dive.

 

Nebraska State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Glenn Cunningham Lake, Omaha

paddle board spots in Nebraska

Glenn Cunningham Lake is a 390-acre reservoir located in Omaha, Nebraska. The lake is located along 96th Street with entrances at State Highway 36, State Street, 96th Street and Rainwood Road. The lake is a part of Little Papillion Creek, which is part of the Papillion Creek watershed.

The 135-acre lake is quite fun to paddle on, especially for younger paddlers or beginner learners who prefer calm water as they develop their balancing abilities. The abundant, easy to catch Walleye, Catfish, Drum, and other fish species make this a popular paddling destination for fishing enthusiasts.

There are no SUP Rentals on the water but some options may be found closer to downtown Omaha.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Capitol Beach Lake, Lincoln

where to paddle board in nebraska

If you’re visiting the capital of Nebraska, you won’t have to drive around too long in Lincoln to find Capitol Beach Lake. Managed and supported by the Capitol Beach Community Association, the sandy white beaches and crystal blue waters are well maintained and attract several animals. Such as, raccoons, deer, minks, and red foxes.

Depending on when you visit, you’ll have pleasant and tranquil waters great for hanging out with friends or practicing yoga, or high winds great for sailing and surfing. There aren’t any direct SUP rental companies near the water, but there are a couple of companies in town you can stop by on your way to the lake. 

However, we feel we need to mention that it is incredibly hard to find any information on it you need a Stand Up Paddle Board permit or what the regulations are anywhere online.

 

Kansas State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Shawnee Mission Park Marina, Johnson County

where to paddle board in kansas

You need to put the Shawnee Mission Park Marina on your list as the next paddleboard destination to visit while you’re in Kansas and visiting Kansas City.

There are so many activities that are hosted there like, races, touring adventures, sailing, and other fun paddle boarding adventures to be available or on-going when you're at the Marina. Throughout the year, especially during the summer, concerts, fireworks, and other land events can also be seen, heard, or experienced from the water.

Shawnee Mission Park Marina offers boat rentals including kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats and canoes in the heart of the beautiful Shawnee Mission Park. 

The best part is that you're likely to see another Glide inflatable paddle boarder out there!

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Santa Fe Lake, Wichita

places to paddle board in kansas

Santa Fe Lake is a wonderful place for recreational activities. Not only can you paddle here with your family and friends, you can also go camping, swimming, fishing, etc.

The sandy beaches of the lake provide you with natural shelters against the boat traffic when you are paddle boarding. The scenery of the lake is magnificent. Around the lake you’ll see beautiful views like the towering cottonwoods, all kinds of wildflowers and plants, natural stone shorelines, etc.

It costs $8 to enter the park.

 

Missouri State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake of the Ozarks, Ozark Mountains

where to paddle board in Missouri

Lake of the Ozarks is a reservoir created by impounding the Osage River in the northern part of the Ozarks in central Missouri. Parts of three smaller tributaries to the Osage are included in the impoundment: the Niangua River, Grandglaize Creek, and Gravois Creek.

If you’re in Missouri, you won’t find a prettier sight than paddleboarding through the Ozark Mountains. The Lake of the Ozarks has a surface area of 54,000 square acres, which is why it never feels too crowded despite being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

If you’re looking to make friends and meet new people, Anderson Hollow Cove is a bustling spot and popular with yoga SUPs and those who want to cruise. August is a dedicated month for racing and hosts some of the largest races for those who wish to challenge its three-mile course.

Due to its large size and popularity, there are many local FM radio stations meant to be listened to while you’re on the water, which makes for quite the unique paddle boarding experience!

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Forest Park, St. Louis

places to paddle board in Missouri

Forest Park is a public park in western St. Louis, Missouri. It covers 1,326 acres.

While you can paddle the Mississippi or Missouri River while you’re in St. Louis, it’s just as fun to head to the Deer Lake and Grand Basin in Forest Park for a paddle boarding adventure. 

Many events and activities are hosted along the shore, so you’ll get to listen to performances and concerts thanks to Shakespeare in the Park stage and the Municipal Theatre stage. With an average depth of 5’, much of it is safe for kids and beginner paddlers, but the area also has 20’ deep spots that will attract anglers. 

 

Iowa State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Manawa, Council Bluffs

places to paddle board in Iowa

Lake Manawa is a lake located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the United States. It was formed from a Missouri River flood in 1881.

Lake Manawa is technically split between Nebraska and Iowa, but it is a popular SUP destination for both states for several reasons. The no-wake shoreline leaves the water calm and tranquil, great for cruising, touring, and yoga sessions alike on the 700-acre lake.

If you go out to the center, you’ll get fun surfing in, though it’s just as fun to race across the larger lake with a racing SUP if you have one.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Saylorville Lake, Des Moines

places to sup in Iowa

Saylorville Lake is a reservoir on the Des Moines River in Iowa. It is located 11 miles upstream from the city of Des Moines, and 214 miles from the mouth of the Des Moines River at the Mississippi River. 

If you want to get out of Des Moines, Saylorville Lake is a very fun, popular, and relaxing lake to visit located just ten miles outside of the city. Controlled by a dam, the overall water surface area varies throughout the year, ranging from a still large 6,000 acres to an overwhelming 16,000 acres.

While you’re on the water, you can get your taste of yoga or touring in as you paddle near the water or pull onto the shore to camp for the night. Bullheads, Catfish, and even Eels are common catches for anglers when the water is calm, though you can paddle near boats or wait for the wind to pick up to get some beginner to intermediate level surfing in as well.

Saylorville Lake is an excellent option for those who want a large waterfront that isn’t as crowded as other places on our list and worth visiting at least once for dedicated paddleboarding adventurers.

 

Minnesota State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Minnetonka, Minneapolis 

where to paddle board in Minnesota

Lake Minnetonka is a lake located approximately 15 miles west-southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today Lake Minnetonka is a collection of 16 interconnecting lakes with about 23 named bays and areas.

Another iconic spot to paddle is Lake Minnetonka. You can start off from either Excelsior Bay or Wayzata Bay and both have great options for dining before/after.

If you need rentals, head to Wai Nani SUP in Wayzata Bay. They also have SUP Yoga and Workout classes in the summer – they’re a great and fun workout!

Note that boat traffic is allowed so stay close to the shoreline and be aware of surroundings.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Cuyuna Mine Lakes, Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

paddle boarding spots in Minnesota

Portsmouth Mine Pit Lake, sometimes called the Portsmouth Pit, is the deepest lake completely within the state of Minnesota. It has a depth of over 450 feet.

Hands down some of the most beautiful lakes in Minnesota are the old mining lakes in Cuyuna. They’re crystal clear, incredibly scenic and motor boats are only allowed to go a max of 10mph.

You can find there loons, plenty of fish and you can see just about everything underneath the water because it's so clear!

Paddleboard rentals are available from Red Raven.

 

Wisconsin State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Upper Dells, Wisconsin Dells

places to paddleboard in Wisconsin

The most famous section of the Wisconsin River is in the Wisconsin Dells area.  This is commonly divided into ‘Lower Dells’ (below the Kilbourn Dam) and ‘Upper Dells’ (above the Kilbourn Dam). Paddling the Upper Dells is an amazing feast for the eyes of nature lovers.  

The sandstone cliff formations created through thousands of years of water action is a highlight of this SUP trip. This is a good round trip paddle board excursion. Paddle upstream as far you like and ride the current back. The current isn’t too challenging if the water level isn’t too high.  

As you paddle up the river the scenery never seems to get dull. There are tons of bluffs and every now and then a new channel to explore. Walkways are built into the cliffs and you will see plenty of fish jumping and ducks paddling along with you.

Grab a SUP rental at Dells Paddlesports.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Apostle Islands 

places to paddle board in Wisconsin
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. The majority of the islands are located in Ashland County—only Sand, York, Eagle, and Raspberry Islands are located in Bayfield County.

The Apostle Islands are a group of 21 islands which are considered the “Jewels of Lake Superior.” This is a quintessential Wisconsin water adventure as you’re able to paddle within and through the many sea caves scattered throughout.

Lake Superior offers wide stone beaches off the shores of the islands.  Unlike the hard basalt rock of the north shore of Lake Superior, the south shore is mainly sedimentary rock.

Centuries of wave action, freezing and thawing have carved out sea caves begging to be explored by SUP enthusiasts in the summer months and by winter hikers and skiers when the Lake freezes. Your SUP will give you a great vantage point for checking out the clear shallow waters.

Rent your SUP from Rustic Makwa Den.

 

Illinois State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago

places to sup in Illinois

The Chicago Riverwalk is a better option for beginners and families than the lake due to the more shallow waters and the buffered shores that reduce the impact wind has on the area. If you want an alternative to visiting Chicago’s many beaches, take the time and paddle around the river walks instead!

The easiest and most popular section is the famous Chicago Loop, the second most popular commercial district in all of the United States. By exploring the district from a paddle board, you’ll be able to take your time and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the area without dealing with the heavy foot traffic that takes up the city streets.

You can rent a Glide paddle board from Urban Kayaks on the Chicago Riverwalk.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Starved Rock State Park, LaSalle County

where to paddle board in Illinois

Starved Rock State Park is a wilderness area on the Illinois River. It’s known for its steep sandstone canyons formed by glacial meltwater. 

Most visitors to the state of Illinois, especially Chicago, tend to forget that it’s a mid-western state, with beautiful sights and landmarks if you know where to look. The Illinois River provides water access to many of these sights, but if you want a place to go in particular, make a stop at the Starved Rock State Park.

While it’s located close to Chicago, the Starved Rock State Park is filled with sandstone bluffs, waterfalls, and lush fields of moss. You can catch a glimpse of the occasional bald-eagle or wolf, and you’ll likely see Gray and Red Foxes if you paddle around for long enough.

 

Indiana State 

Most Popular SUP Spot

Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk, Portage

places to paddle board in Indiana

Once a former industrial site for National Steel, the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk area in northern Indiana opened in 2008. With 57 acres to see and explore, visitors can enjoy access to the lakefront and beach, as well as trails and an accessible fishing pier.

There is also a 900-foot breakwater, which is spectacular. Come and enjoy the breathtaking views of the land as you paddle about.

The best time to paddle is during sunset as you'll get a panoramic view of all the beautiful colors. There are bathrooms centrally located and many food places you can hit up before or aftert your paddle board adventure.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Valparaiso Chain Of Lakes, Valparaiso

where to paddle board in indiana

Come to northern Valparaiso, Indiana, and check out an area that offers lakes, wetlands, ponds, and streams. Paddle along the tranquil and more private Long Lake, a more residential area or explore Rogers Lakewood Park, which has 122 acres of woodlands and two beautiful lakes, Loomis and Spectacle.

Here, you can also rent boards if you do not have your own. Paddle at your own pace and enjoy the scenic wildflowers, do some bird watching, and be on the lookout for curious wildlife!

 

Michigan State 

Most Popular SUP Spot

The Grand Haven, Michigan City

places to sup in Michigan

Grand Haven is a Michigan city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, known for its sandy beaches. A shop- and restaurant-lined boardwalk runs along the harbor to Grand Haven State Park beach and the south pier, home to the 1839 Grand Haven Lighthouse. The seasonal Grand Haven Musical Fountain features synchronized light and water shows. A trail with lake views winds through wooded dunes at Rosy Mound Natural Area

The Grand Haven area is an ideal place to take your board out. This scenic area offers numerous waterways that welcome paddlers to the interior waterways, as well as opportunities to head out on Lake Michigan.

Ride the Pottawatomie Bayou for excellent flat water conditions that are ideal for beginners and riders seeking solitude. Or try exploring Grand Haven State Park if you feel comfortable riding open waters with occasional waves. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Kensington Metropark, Milford

places to paddle board in Michigan

Kensington Metropark is a unit of the Huron–Clinton Metroparks system located between Milford and South Lyon, Michigan. The park covers 4,543 acres. It has wooded hilly terrain and surrounds 1,200-acre Kent Lake.

If you’re located further south, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy the best of Michigan’s great outdoors. Kensington Metropark is made for solitude and scenic routes. This Metro Detroit inland lake is one of the best places to learn how to paddleboard, as no wake is allowed.

Since the lake sits lower than the surrounding rolling hills, the water is generally calm. Enjoy stunning sunset views here and the beautiful natural surroundings. 

 

Ohio State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Erie, Cleveland

places to sup in Ohio

Most Ohioans know Lake Erie as a great fishing spot, but it's also one of the best paddle boarding locations around.

(me) As it is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America and the eleventh largest globally, there are many different SUP spots on this body of water. 

Some of our favorite spots to paddle board on Lake Erie are 

  • Lakeside Chautauqua, Lakeside.
  • Paddle & Climb, Sandusky.
  • West River Paddling Co., Vermilion.
  • Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Clendening Lake, Harrison County

where to paddle board in Ohio State

Clendening Lake is a reservoir located in Harrison County, Ohio. It is part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, which was created in 1933 to control flooding in the state of Ohio, primarily due to the Great Flood of 1913.

It’s got 43 miles of shoreline and is 1,800 acres, so it’s big enough for a long paddle, but it’s selling points are an undeveloped shoreline and a 10-hp limit. In short, it delivers a sweet and sylvan paddle.

There’s enough lake for a couple days of paddling to explore spots that you'll want to keep your phone out.

 

THE SOUTH

If you love green trees and hanging out with your friends on the water then I hope you're located or at least visiting anywhere in the South. There is amazing food to get after your paddles and keep folks everywhere you go. 

 

Texas State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lady Bird Lake, Austin

paddle boards

Lady Bird Lake is the epitome of the Austin lifestyle.

Every day of the week, the lake is filled with people taking advantage of this stretch of dammed-off Colorado River that offers endless recreation opportunities. Backdropped by the downtown Austin skyline on one side, Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores on the other, and featuring the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, this entire section of Austin represents the enthusiasm locals have for the outdoors.

So, if you're looking for the perfect on water Instagram spot this should be at the top of your list.

With eight official access points (and endless other places to put-in or take-out), the reservoir is a great place to spend a day on the water. People love the lake’s proximity to downtown and its ease of entry level access.

There are no motorized boats on the lake so the water is calm and clean and there are lots of SUP rental facilities either on the lake or nearby with great customer service.

There is loads of free parking at Zilker Park that is close to the water.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Sequin Paddle Trail, Seguin

best places to paddle board in Texas

 

This could be the best place to launch your SUP between San Antonio and Houston.

The entry point is approximately 30 yards prior to a small dam that diverted water to the old Seguin power plant which is a restaurant now. This keeps the water nice and calm for a gentle entry. The paddle distance is approximately 4-5 miles up-river where Hwy 46 crosses the river. 

The view along the river consists of much of Starkey Park which includes the golf course. Private homes line the river. Make sure you check out the boat wrapped around the tree from a prior flood. 

There is one bend in the river where the water often collects a layer of slime but it is very small compared to the overall length of the paddle. The entry point into the river is unusual as it includes a concrete wall with gentle stairs to descend from the parking lot. 

The concrete wall also has ladders to provide for easy exit. On weekends you will find families swimming in this spot which can produce a bit of a crowd. If you go early you will have the spot to yourself.

 

Oklahoma State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Broken Bow Lake, Broken Bow

best sup spots in Oklahoma

Broken Bow Lake is a reservoir in southeastern Oklahoma, located on Mountain Fork River and 9 miles northeast of the town of Broken Bow in McCurtain County. 

Broken Bow Lake has to be one of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma. There are many watersports which take place in the lake, because the water is crystal clear and the weather is delightful throughout the year.

PaddleSUP rents kayaks and paddleboards, if you need one, and there are plenty of places to camp and put your board in the water. The swim beach off Coyote Drive has easy access to the water. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Oologah Lake, Oologah

places to paddle board in Oklahoma

Oolagah Lake is one of the coolest paddle board spots and it's not just because of the name. It is just a few miles northeast of Tulsa, and it has over 29,000 surface acres of water. It’s a great place for SUP, and SUP Oklahoma is probably the closest rental location. They also offer lessons and classes.

There are 11 parks and many designated swimming beaches along the 209 miles of shoreline. You’ll find lots of camping locations to spend the weekend at the lake, enjoying all Mother Nature has to offer. 

 

Arkansas State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Beaver Lake,

where to paddle board in arkansas

Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and is formed by a dam across the White River. Beaver Lake has some 487 miles of shoreline. With towering limestone bluffs, natural caves, and a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs, it is a popular tourist destination.

As the state’s most popular lake, you can find plenty of local SUP vendors with rental equipment, private lessons, and guided tours available for curious paddling enthusiasts. As for aspiring anglers, the well-stocked fishery means you can have fun with a reel no matter when you visit. You can expect to catch fish such as Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass, Bream, and many other species.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Greers Ferry Lake, Greers Ferry

places to sup in arkansas

Greers Ferry Lake is the reservoir formed by Greers Ferry Dam, a United States Army Corps of Engineers dam in Northern Arkansas. It is located about 60 miles north of Little Rock.

No matter which part of Arkansas you’re living at or visiting, it’s a bit of a journey to get to Greers Ferry Lake. However, if you can make the journey, your reward will be a 40,500 square acre lake to explore, with 340 miles of shoreline to explore. Greers Ferry Lake has multiple activities and events made with tourists in mind, many of which can be enjoyed from the water.

Visit Sandy Beach to watch some of the largest firework shows in the nation during July, or take a touring board and paddle out to Sugar Loaf Mountain Island for exquisite hiking trails offering great views of the surrounding area. If you’re not there for an adventure, though, you can have a great, peaceful time by paddling out to one of the many No Wake Zones for a calm and relaxing yoga session. If yoga, hiking, or cruising with friends are on your mind, Greers Ferry Lake is a great destination to go out to with a paddleboard.

 

Louisiana State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Salvador, Jefferson

where to paddle board in Louisiana

 

Lake Salvador is a 44,800-acre lake about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, in Jefferson, Lafourche, and St. Charles parishes. The lake has had multiple names.

Lake Salvador is one of the top paddleboarding destinations for those near New Orleans and also one of the friendliest. The lake is massive to explore, at 44,800 acres, but with an average depth of 6’, the water stays calm and easy to walk through, perfect for families or new paddlers training on their own.

If you want to practice yoga, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of nature, listening to the songs and chirps produced by over 300 unique bird species. The surrounding swamplands are great for photographers as well. The swamps are also home to large Catfish, Bass, and Red Drum. You’ll want to keep an eye out while you’re paddling closer to the ocean, as Bull Sharks have been spotted swimming in the lake these past few years.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Lake Fausse Pointe, Iberia Parish

places to sup in Louisiana

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is located in Iberia Parish, Louisiana and St. Martin Parish, Louisiana. It is located about 18 miles east of St. Martinville adjacent to the Atchafalaya Basin. The park is 6,000 acres in size and was once the home of the Chitimacha Indians.

Lafayette is another major city many travelers pass through in Louisiana. While Lake Martin and Spanish Lake are easy to reach options, we suggest driving a bit farther to Lake Fausse Pointe. Part of the greater Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is a bit larger than the before mentioned lakes, with about 6,000 acres of water to explore.

The land was once home to Chitimacha Indians, with historical artifacts leftover from their time living in the area still present. If you prefer wildlife to history, you’ll be able to spot Black Bears, Bobcats, Alligators, and other exciting animals, large and small, prowling around the area. Some of the state’s most popular fishing tournaments are hosted on the lake due to the large size and quantity of Catfish, Gar, Bass, and other fish that live in the water.

 

Mississippi State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Ross Barnett Reservoir, Ridgeland

 where to paddle board in Mississippi

The Ross Barnett Reservoir is a reservoir of the Pearl River between Madison and Rankin counties in the U.S. state of Mississippi.

The 52 square mile reservoir is the largest drinking water source in Mississippi and one of the most popular paddleboarding destinations for residents and visitors to Jackson. Five official campgrounds make the 105-mile shoreline, with dozens of other trails and beaches that you can rest or launch at as you explore the water.

This is one of the best fishing spots as well, with record 50 lbs Smallmouth Buffalo and 18 lbs Bowfin caught in this reservoir. The Bassmaster Classic World Championship and other fishing competitions are held at this reservoir as well. You don’t have to be into fishing to have fun here, though, as the calm waters average 11 ft deep, making it beginner and family-friendly without being so shallow as to force you to rely on a river SUP.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Ocean Springs Beach, Ocean Springs

places to sup in Mississippi

Convenient to Ocean Springs and Biloxi, Front Beach is popular for walking and enjoying the sunset. Sunbathe on the soft, white sands of this Mississippi beach or go for a stroll. Feel free to bring your dogs, along with bags to pick up any of their waste.

Ocean Springs Beach is one of the best launch points for those wanting to surf in the Gulf of Mexico. Several vendors are located within walking distance of the beach, all ready and willing to rent gear or help you improve your surfing skills.

If you have a touring board, you can cut up the Old Fort Bayou or the Gulf Island National Seashore Preserve to check out the marshlands and ancient oak trees that grow in the area. Snappers, Mullets, and Mackerels tend to swim along the coasts as well, along with several other fish as you paddle into the Mississippi bayous.

 

Alabama State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Nicol, Tuscaloosa

 places to paddle board in Alabama

Lake Nicol is an attractive, easily accessible, well-maintained, and popular wooded park on a substantial lake. It draws many local visitors, so the best birding is achieved on weekdays, early or late in the day, and days when traffic should be less than peak. Look for pine-woods birds all year, a few waders and shorebirds, migrant songbirds in spring and fall, and a few ducks and geese in winter.

Lake Nicol is a quick, easy to access lake near Tuscaloosa in West Alabama. While Lake Tuscaloosa is larger, and is worth paddling on, we recommend Lake Nicol due to the no-motor vehicle restrictions that keep the lake pristine and great for paddlers.

If you want to hang out with the kids or are interested in cruising or practicing SUP water yoga, Lake Nicol is an ideal location. At about 384 acres, there is a lot of water to explore, and it’s just a short hike away to Lake Tuscaloosa, Harris, and Holt when you want to paddle a few other lakes.

If you don’t have your own, you can rent paddleboards from Tuscaloosa Paddleboards, which cost $20 an hour or $60 for the whole day or after three hours.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Tennessee River, Tennessee Valley

paddle board spots in alabama

The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley.

For those who want to travel or are near Alabama’s northern border, our final recommendation is the Tennessee River. While named for Alabama’s sister state, the best parts of the Tennessee River for paddle boarding, including Wilson Lake, Wheeler Lake, and Guntersville Lake, are all located entirely on Alabama’s side.

If you put in at Decatur or Sheffield, you’ll be able to rent paddleboards, but the Tennessee River is meant for those who have touring boards. The Tennessee River is fairly calm, with some key stretches that have some light rapids for the more daring, which can be great for beginners or advanced paddlers alike. If you’ve ever wanted to do an overnight paddling touring trip, the Tennessee River is worth checking out!

 

Tennessee State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Douglas Lake, Knoxville

 where to paddle board in Tennessee

Douglas Lake, also called Douglas Reservoir, is a reservoir created by an impoundment of the French Broad River in Eastern Tennessee. This lake is located only a few miles from the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, and also the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

One of Knoxville’s most popular paddleboarding destinations, Douglas Lake’s 44 square mile surface is a volatile lake, making it one of the best locations in the state for sailing, wind foiling, and surfing. It can be a bit tricky due to the typically choppy waters, but you can catch some of the largest Walleye, Bass, and Sauger here if you have the skill to do it, especially if you’re willing to put up with the cold by fishing in late winter.

Douglas Lake is popular enough that there are five different marinas you can rent gear from before you launch, with hotels at the marinas and many campgrounds around the lake, depending on your overnight preference. With 513 miles of shoreline, you can tour every day for a month and see something new by paddling here.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP 

Norris Lake, Union County

where to paddle board in Tennessee

With a surface area of over 50 square miles, Norris Lake is one of the more popular paddleboarding destinations in the state for several different reasons. There is little to no vegetation under the water, which helps it maintain a clear, blue shine that is particularly attractive to water enthusiasts.

If you’re into fishing, it is extremely easy to reel something in due to the lake’s massive fish population, with more than 100,000 Crappie, Walleye, Sunfish, and Bass each. Stop by the marina to rent paddleboards and any other equipment you need, or hire experts to guide you around the lake or teach you a few new tricks.

Keep an eye out for the many boats that zoom around the water, and you’ll have a great trip paddle boarding.

 

Kentucky State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Grayson Lake, Carter County

where to go paddle boarding in kentucky

Grayson Lake is a 1,500-acre reservoir in Carter and Elliott counties in Kentucky.

The 1,500 square acre lake is a popular destination for those visiting the northeast section of Kentucky, with the lake being a part of the greater Grayson Lake State Park. This lake is one of windier, choppy lakes in the state, making it great for surfers and wind foilers looking for some waves.

Grayson Lake is well stocked with fish and is a haven for those interested in taking home a Largemouth, Smallmouth, Hybrid, White, or Spotted Bass. It’s a bit up the reservoir and away from the traditional launching points, but there is also the Grayson Game Refuge Area that will let you get up close to a variety of animals.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Cumberland Lake, Clinton County

 places to paddle board in kentucky

Lake Cumberland is a reservoir in Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne counties in Kentucky. The primary reasons for its construction were a means for flood control and the production of hydroelectric power.

Those who are down south in Kentucky will want to stop by massive Lake Cumberland, which features more than 65,000 acres of water to explore along with 1,255 miles of shoreline.

This is one of the top fishing destinations for the state, with record 30+ lbs Sturgeon and 50+ lbs Bass caught at this lake. More than a dozen paddleboard instructors and vendors make their rounds at this lake, offering tours and lessons to new, intermediate, and advanced paddlers alike.

While your typical assortment of birds and mammals frequent the shores, bears and bobcats are known to wander around as well. 

 

West Virginia State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Summersville Lake, Nicholas County

paddle board lakes near me

Summersville Lake is a reservoir located in West Virginia. The lake is formed by a rock-fill dam on the Gauley River, south of Summersville in Nicholas County. It is the largest lake in West Virginia, with 2,700 acres of water and over 60 miles of shoreline at the summer pool water level. 

This is an ideal SUP spot for beginners with 2,700 acres of water and more than 60 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty to explore. You can also go rock climbing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating.

You can rent paddleboards from Sarge’s Dive Shop and Summersville Lake Retreat, or take a guided trip with one of the local outfitters to learn the ropes (and find the most scenic spots on this massive lake!)

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Sutton Lake, Webster County

best SUP spot in Kentucky

Sutton Lake is surrounded by more than 10,000 acres of public land. Created by the Sutton Dam, the 1,440-acre lake sits along 14 miles of the Elk River. It's a quiet place to be surrounded by nature.

You won’t see any houses of commercial developments– just miles and miles of pristine water and green mountains. The lake’s 44 miles of shoreline forms hundreds of secluded coves to explore on your paddleboard.

 

Delaware State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Dewey Beach, Sussex County

 places to sup in delaware

Delaware Seashore State Park is located near Dewey Beach, in Delaware. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by Rehoboth Bay and Indian River Bay. The park covers 2,825 acres.

The Delaware Seashore State Park is one of the most popular state parks on the East Coast, largely because of the Dewey coastline. While the shore itself is mostly made up of soft white sand, the Dew/Seashore coastline water is ranked as the clearest and cleanest coastline water by the NRDC. Because of its crystal clear waters, Dewey Beach is packed during the summer, but thanks to the long length of the coast, it’s not hard to find a patch of water to float, meditate, or cruise.

Sailing and wind foiling are both popular activities for the area, and outside of fishing, you can paddle out to shallow spots for some clamming. If you find the beaches too busy, the Indian River Inlet offers excellent surfing and fishing, but without the crowds that flock to the other parts of the Seashore State Park.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Bethany Beach, Sussex County

where to paddle board in delaware

Bethany Beach is a small coastal town in Delaware. It’s known for its wide, boardwalk-backed beach. North of town, Delaware Seashore State Park is a barrier island with miles of beaches between Rehoboth and Indian River bays and the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, Fenwick Island State Park has dunes and a surf area. The shoreline, fields and forests of Holts Landing State Park attract birdlife like herons and osprey.

Down south from Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach is another option with fantastic blue water, but without the crowds that Dewey Beach attracts in the summer. Bethany Beach offers easy touring along friendly beaches and sand dunes. If you’re in search of waves, paddle a little further out from shore for surfing, sailing, and wind foiling.

If you bring a camera, Herons and Osprey frequent Bethany Beach, especially the shore near Holts Landing State Park, with Songbirds and Hawks, rarer birds that also appear from time to time.

Holts Landing State Park offers a look at Revolutionary and Pre-Columbian history, but most tourists who visit Bethany Beach and Holts Landing come for the crabbing. 

 

Maryland State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Solomons Island, Calvert County

 where to paddle board in maryland

Solomons, also known as Solomons Island, is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Calvert County, Maryland. It's a major boating center located at the mouth of the Patuxent River.

The island is about an hour and a half drive from Washington DC or two hours from Baltimore.  As you approach the island, you’ll cross the rather impressive looking Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge.  The bridge is a tall one, reaching 135 feet.  You’ll get a nice view of Solomons as you cross.

There are a lot of wildlife, panoramic views, and areas to explore that you wouldn't get from anything other than stand up paddle boarding.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore

paddle board spots in maryland

Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean. The northern two-thirds of the island is in Maryland while the southern third is in Virginia.

Unlike some commercial paddle board locations, Assateague offers a variety of places to launch and back bay areas to explore. From natural canals to open bay with the occasional sandy beach. 

The wild horses are still the biggest attraction, but stand-up paddleboarders can get an even better view of the action from the Chincoteague Bay and Sinepuxent Bay.

 

Virginia State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Mason Neck State Park, Fairfax County

where to sup in Virginia

Mason Neck State Park is located in Fairfax County, Virginia. The park is on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay on the north, Belmont Bay on the south and the Potomac River to the east. The park has an area of 1,814 acres and is home to bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, and many other types of wildlife. There are also 200 species of songbird, 31 mammals, and 44 different types of reptiles and amphibians. 

Mason Neck State Park is one of the most famous kayak locations in Virginia. Located about 20 miles southwest of Alexandria, it’s a huge state park on the edge of the Potomac River and there are several locations where you can rent a kayak in and around the park.

Probably the best place to begin your kayaking is in Belmont Bay. You can then venture around the Mason Neck Peninsula and into the Potomac River. 

There are few hazards on this kayaking trip, but you should check the weather and water conditions before you begin. After a large rainstorm, the Potomac is a lot rougher. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Claytor Lake, Pulaski County

places to paddle board in Virginia

Claytor Lake in Pulaski County, Virginia, is a 4,472-acre, 21-mile-long reservoir on the New River, created for an Appalachian Power Company hydroelectric project.

Claytor Lake came to be after the mighty New River was dammed. The large mountain lake stretches over 20 miles in 4,500 winding acres of surface water, plenty of room to paddle.

You can head down lake toward the impoundment’s dam, or head up lake along the shore of the state park. Small inlets beckon while mountain views enhance the paddle.

There is so much green, open water and little animals to see when you paddle board at Claytor Lake. There is no SUP Rentals options here for now so you will have to bring your own equipment.

 

North Carolina

Most Popular SUP Spot

Roanoke River, Halifax County

where to paddle board in North Carolina

The Roanoke River is a river in southern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina in the United States, 410 miles long.

The Roanoke River and its tributaries offer a unique wilderness experience for paddle boarders.

The river meanders from the Coastal plain to the Atlantic Ocean and fans out through the largest intact bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem east of the Mississippi.

This vast natural corridor is home to black bear, river otter, white-tail deer, bobcat, and beaver, plus more than 200 bird species. Ancient bald cypress trees and towering tupelos form a lush overhead canopy along the Roanoke. 

There are sixteen unique camping forms that were built along the river, making for a unique paddling experience.  

The water varies from very shallow to approximately 8ft. There are several small rapids that add a bit of excitement for those without a lot of river SUP experience. 

Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard Company offers SUP rentals on the Roanoke.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Fontana Lake, Graham County

 places to sup in north carolina

Fontana Lake is a reservoir impounded by Fontana Dam on the Little Tennessee River, and is located in Graham and Swain counties in North Carolina. The lake forms part of the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the northern border of part of the Nantahala National Forest. 

Fontana Lake is by far one of the most beautiful and tranquil lakes in the Southeast. 

The dam was built during WWII in part to provide electricity for the war effort and is the highest dam east of the Rockies - standing at 480ft tall.

There is very little boat traffic, especially up on the western part of the lake towards the dam. The water is nearly perfect in terms of temperature and visibility. When standing up to your shoulders in the lake you can still look down through the water at your feet.

The 'greenish' tone of the water comes from old, abandoned copper mines at the bottom of the lake that existed prior to the dam being built. The lake has many fingers to explore and because of the complexity of the shore, we suggest either hiring a guide or chart your trip out on a map.  

Give Smoky SUP a shout for your SUP rental.

 

South Carolina 

Most Popular SUP Spot

Folly Beach, Folly Island

places to sup in south carolina

Folly Beach is one of the best places to paddleboard if you’re hoping to surf or visit the Charleston area. Those who bring their camera will appreciate the various wildlife habitats, including one of the country’s largest Pelican Rookeries. The beach area is one of the best saltwater fishing spots in the state, and events are held throughout the year to reel in Flounder, Seatrout, and Triggerfish.

Paddle out into the sea if you want to get your surf on, or go with the local tour guides and explore Charleston by cutting up Stono River or Folly Creek. With refreshing and clear blue waters, you’ll quickly discover why Folly Beach is one of the most popular paddle boarding destinations in the state of South Carolina.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Lake Wylie, York County

places to paddleboard in south carolina

Lake Wylie is a census-designated place in York County, South Carolina. Located on the border of North and South Carolina, residents of both love to visit Lake Wylie for all sorts of water sports, including stand up paddleboarding. The large 13,400 square acre lake has 325 miles of shoreline. Plus, there are plenty of paddle boarding vendors to rent boards from, guide you in yoga sessions, or provide private lessons.

Lake Wylie has some of the most diverse fishing in the state, with Drum, Eel, Catfish, Bass, Sunfish, and a dozen other fish species populating its waters. The water stays pretty shallow near the shore, which is great for beginner paddlers, but if you paddle out towards the center, you can catch the wind for some light surfing or sailing.

 

Georgia State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Tybee Island, Savannah

best sup spots in Georgia

Tybee Island is a barrier island and small city near Savannah, Georgia. It’s known for its wide, sandy beaches, including South Beach, with a pier and pavilion. 

Tybee Island is our top recommended surfing SUP location. Tybee Island has some of the most recommended paddle boarding surfing instructors in the state, great for beginners who want either group or private lessons to ride the waves.

Tybee Island’s beaches and waters tend to be warmer than the other coastal parts of Georgia, making it better for surfing with its more consistent waves. If you’re not into surfing, you can still have plenty of fun by exploring the waters. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Carters Lake, Gilmer County

where to paddle board in Georgia

Carters Lake is a man-made reservoir located on the Coosawattee River in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Gilmer and Murray counties in Georgia. It is the state's deepest lake.

Carters Lake has several features that make it another fantastic paddleboarding location to visit while you’re in Georgia, though you’ll likely have to drive a couple of hours to get there. Some of the biggest Spotted Bass caught in the state were reeled in here, making it a popular destination for anglers.

Outside of being the deepest lake in Georgia, Carters Lake is also home to the biggest earthen dam in the United States. Carters Lake is very calm, with 3,200 acres of surface water to spread out on, but if you are looking for a challenge, you can start paddling up the Cartecay River towards Ellijay for some Class II and III rapids. For those who wander towards the Georgia and North Carolina border, we suggest stopping by Carters Lake.

 

Florida State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Rainbow River, Dunnellon

paddle board must see spot in Florida

The Rainbow River is located in Dunellon, Fl, about 20 miles southwest of Ocala, in Marion County. The headspring, Rainbow Spring, is a 1st magnitude spring that ranks 4th in the state for volume, discharging 400-600 million gallons of water a day.

The spring is composed of numerous vents rather one single vent. There are many smaller springs along the river, discharging water from numerous caves, crevices and sand boils.

As you paddle your SUP with the current from the headspring, the 72-degree water stays clear for the 5.7 miles that it runs before flowing into the Withlacoochee River, where it’s crystal water meets the dark tannin water of the Withlacoochee.

The Rainbow River is exceptionally popular with paddle boarders because it is so clear. In fact, it’s so crystal clear that when you gaze into the river from your SUP, you can see the shadow of your paddle board on the sandy bottom.

You peer into the water and the fish look like they’re in an aquarium, and they too cast shadows on the sandy bottom.

It’s no wonder Rainbow River tubing is a sensation and that in winter especially, Rainbow River SUPing is so special. No need to bring your own SUP as Rainbow River Canoe and Kayak has plenty of Rentals for you!

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Crystal River, Kings Bay

 best sup spots in Florida

The Crystal River is everything that is still wild in Florida–a labyrinthine world of seven rivers, crystal-clear springs, open bays and freshwater lakes that go on forever.

When the water temperature drops in the Gulf of Mexico, manatees move to the warmer waters of the Crystal River, followed closely by nature-loving tourists and other visitors.

We’re talking about a veritable SUP paradise that you just can’t find anywhere else in the US.

The West Indian manatees are very large aquatic mammals, weighing in around 1,000 pounds and measuring about 10 feet in length. They are docile, slow-moving swimmers that eat 10-15 percent of their body weight daily in aquatic plants.

They often surface for air every 30 seconds while active and every 20 minutes while sleeping. Manatees have no natural enemies and the biggest threats to their survival are interactions with watercraft and loss of habitat.

They were placed on the endangered species list in 1966 and have since been under close watch in order to ensure the survival of the species.

It can be a bit unnerving when one surfaces near your paddle board so make sure you’ve been doing your SUP balance exercises!

Pick up a Glide rental paddle boards at A Crystal River Kayak Co. or Paddle Outdoors Rentals.

 

THE NORTH-EAST

There are a lot of fun things you can do in these states. One of them being the most visited in all of the US which is New York State!

 

Pennsylvania State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Blue Marsh Lake, Reading

where to paddle board in Pennsylvania

Blue Marsh Lake is an artificial lake located northwest of the city of Reading, Pennsylvania. It is in western Berks County, fed into by the Tulpehocken Creek.

Blue Marsh Lake is an excellent option if you are in the Reading or Philadelphia area. The 1,147-acre lake is very popular in the summer and has several vendors who help beginners improve their SUPing ability while keeping the latest SUPs stocked at their stores.

It is well lit, so paddleboarding is often just as fun during the day as it is in the evening and early at night. Crappie, Bass, and Perch are some of the fish you can expect to catch here, though you’ll probably spend more time touring and exploring the islands on the lake, such as the ghostly Bern Township.

There are no fees charged at Blue Marsh Lake.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir, Howard

places to sup in Pennsylvania

Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir is a reservoir located near the borough of Howard, Pennsylvania. The lake is formed due to the damming of Bald Eagle Creek, a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River, as well as other smaller creeks.

The Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir is a calm, mostly flat water lake with over 1,700 acres of water to explore. Part of the greater Bald Eagle State Park, there is plenty to do on and off the water, making this one of the more popular places to take a paddleboard in the state.

The calm water is very beginner-friendly, and a great place to practice yoga as you gaze upon the abundant Pine, Oak, and Chestnut trees. If you want to fish, Sunfish, Catfish, and Bass are the most popular game fish, with fishing tournaments held throughout the year at the reservoir.

Lastly, this is the most popular reservoir for students studying at Penn State University, so you’re likely to meet plenty of students taking part in paddling clubs while you’re there. 

 

New Jersey State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Ocean City Beach, Ocean City

where to paddle board in new jersey

Offering up 8 miles of pristine white sand, Ocean City is one of America’s favorite resort towns.  Long known as a family resort town, Ocean City has outlawed alcohol sales within its city limits since its founding in 1879.  

The area offers a nice variety of SUP options.  On one side of the peninsula that the city sits on, beginners can paddle the bay which is protected and quite calm.

There is also a plethora of wildlife to take in when you paddle the salt marshes of Great Egg Harbor Bay. There are 67 species of fish, an average of over 12,000 waterfowl and, of course, you have large, magnificent birds like egrets and herons.

On the beach side, more experienced paddle boarders can try their hand at SUP surfing as the waves are very impressive.  Ocean City is ranked the number 4 surf town in the U.S. by surfer.com. That puts it ahead of such perennial California favorites as: Huntington Beach, San Clemente, and Ventura. 

Rent your Glide SUPs at DAKS Kayaks & Paddleboards.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Monksville Reservoir, West Milford

places to sup in new jersey

The Monksville Reservoir is an artificial lake created in 1987 by damming on the Wanaque River in West Milford, New Jersey. It is named after the former community of Monksville, which was relocated and flooded upon its completion

Located in northern New Jersey, Monksville Reservoir was created following the flooding of the nearby Monksville community. While only 505 acres large, the reservoir’s calm and friendly waters, along with its location, has made it a popular training and competition spot. SEAS, or the Society for the Education of American Sailors, practices on this lake, as do several other fishing rowing, and sporting clubs and organizations.

Some of the state’s largest Walleye, Bass, and Trout can be caught at this lake, though its calm waters make it just as popular for yogis wanting to practice their asanas on the water. If you want to meet some new people and make some paddling friends, you’ll be able to do it quickly at Monksville Reservoir in New Jersey.

 

New York State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Hudson River, New York City

places to paddle board in new york
The Hudson River is a 315-mile river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States.
Let me be clear, this is not a paddle board outing for the faint of heart. There are a lot of boats, and it can get pretty windy out there. It's recommended for experienced paddle boarders.

When in New York City, there are many truly spectacular areas to SUP. With over 500 acres of park area, Hudson River Park offers a range of water sports experiences, including SUP rentals from Manhattan Kayak. Offering free to guided tours (recommended if you are a new paddler), Manhattan Kayak is one of the most popular and well-respected paddling companies in the city.

Hudson River Park is one of the most iconic places to go stand up paddle boarding in NYC, offering sweeping views of the skyline.

If you are nervous about paddling on higher-speed waters, Manhattan Kayak +SUP offers guided kayak and SUP tours from Pier 84 ranging from 3 to 30 miles, depending on how far you want to adventure. And with views of the Statue of Liberty from downtown and the Empire State Building from Midtown, you may never want to stop adventuring.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Fulton Chain of Lakes, Adirondack Park

where to paddle board in new york state

The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a string of eight lakes located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. The chain is the dammed-up Moose River, and the dam which creates the chain holds back nearly 6.8 billion US gallons of water. The lakes are located in Herkimer and Hamilton Counties.

The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a historic, scenic, and incredibly wonderful place. Each of the eight lakes has a storied past, and today, the lakes are great places to recreate. The famous 16-mile Fulton Chain is a heavily traveled route.

From First Lake to Fifth Lake, the waterway is continuous and lined with summer cottages. Sixth and Seventh Lake are also connected.

At the edge of Eighth Lake, a one-mile carry connects you to Raquette Lake and northern routes. Old Forge Ponds marks the start of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Pick up your paddle board rental at Rivetts Marine.

 

Connecticut State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Mystic River, Whitford Brook

where to paddle board in Connecticut

The Mystic River is a 3.4-mile-long estuary in Connecticut. Its main tributary is Whitford Brook. It empties into Fishers Island Sound, dividing the village of Mystic, Connecticut between the towns of Groton and Stonington. Much of the river is tidal.

The 3.4-mile-long Mystic River is one of the go-to spots for paddleboarding for those visiting Connecticut, with a little bit of something to offer everyone who visits. Those who enjoy checking out older American historical sites will enjoy the old manufacturing and shipbuilding firms that remain in Mystic, Groton, and Stonington. 

The Mystic River flows reasonably fast, with some Class II and even III rapids at certain parts for those who want to experience whitewater from a paddleboard.

Guided yoga sessions and tours, along with SUP rentals, are available from local paddleboard vendors in the nearby city of Mystic. If paddling along the river and coast of Connecticut sounds fun, besides excellent local pizza, then make sure you paddle on the Mystic River for your next CT vacation!

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Candlewood Lake, Fairfield County

places to sup in connecticut

Candlewood Lake is a manmade lake located in Fairfield and Litchfield counties of Western Connecticut. At 8.4 square miles, it is the largest lake in Connecticut and the largest lake within a 60 mile radius of New York City.

A human made lake located in the western half of Connecticut, there is plenty of water to explore with 5,420 square acres and 60 miles of shoreline to navigate around. Several paddleboard vendors and companies support Candlewood Lake. A few of which offer group classes and yoga sessions for those visiting with friends and family.

Chicken Rock is a 25-foot tall rock that visitors can jump or swing from for those who are a bit more daring. Be warned, though, that injuries are common around this area. Due to the road system and cliffs that once marked the area before the water drowned it, old plane wrecks and automobiles, including Model T vehicles from before 1920, have been found within the lake.

 

Rhode Island State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Conanicut Island, Narragansett Bay

where to paddle board in rhoad island

Conanicut Island is the second-largest island in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It is connected on the east to Newport on Aquidneck Island via the Claiborne Pell Bridge, commonly known as the Newport Bridge, and on the west to North Kingstown on the mainland via the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge.

Conanicut Island is the sunset paddle boarding location in Rhode Island. You can also soak up all the beautiful views across other places, including:

  • Beavertail Point
  • Bonnet Cliffs
  • Mackerel Cove

There are several launch sites across the island and Jamestown region. We recommend you head to East Ferry Beach and paddle a short distance south towards Fort Wetherill State Park for the best views. Just watch out for hidden currents, channels between land can mean deceptive rips. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Pawtuxet River, Warwick

Pawtuxet river

The Pawtuxet River is a river in Rhode Island. It flows 12.3 miles and drains a watershed of 231.6 square miles. There are four dams along the river's length.

Launch your SUP from the North Branch of the Pawtuxet River for a relaxing float downstream. There are plenty of sandy beaches along the river so you can take a break whenever you fancy. 

Remember, when you paddle on a river, you need to check water levels as this will affect the flow speed in places and depth of where you’ll be paddling. We always recommend using stumpier river fins in your SUP ensuring you don’t catch on shallow parts of the riverbed.

 

Massachusetts State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Charles River, Boston

places to paddle board in massachusetts

The Charles River is an 80-mile-long river in eastern Massachusetts. It flows northeast from Hopkinton to Boston along a highly meandering route, that doubles back on itself several times and travels through 23 cities and towns before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

The Charles River is one of the most popular waterfronts in Boston due to a mixture of its calm rivers to the cityscape that you can get a great view of once you’re out on the water. Depending on when you visit, the Charles River can be even easier to paddle than the Mystic River. Those wanting to do some paddleboard sailing still prefer the Charles River when the wind picks up.

Many of Boston’s famous landmarks, such as the Zakim Bridge, the John W. Weeks Bridge, and the Museum of Science, can be seen when you’re paddling the Charles River. If you prefer to get out of Boston, the Charles River is eighty miles long and stretches through 23 other towns and cities as you head deeper and deeper into Massachusetts.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Walden Pond, Concord

where to paddle board in massachusetts

Walden Pond is a pond in Concord, Massachusetts. One of the most famous lakes in all of America, Walden Pond is a 61-acre kettle hole (formed by retreating glaciers) memorialized by Henry David Thoreau’s writings. While Thoreau was captivated by the lake’s beauty, it is now a popular tourist and recreation spot and becoming an increasingly popular place for paddleboarders.

Given the beauty of the landscape, it’s a fairly common to see paddleboarders practicing yoga on the water, many of them even listening to Thoreau’s writings as they meditate on the water. Bluegill, Trout, and Bullhead are a few of the catches you can reel in at the lake, though if you want something more intense, you won’t have to paddle far to find someone to challenge in a race.

Due to the lake’s fame, you can paddle around and see several historical sights, even from the water, such as a replica of the cabin Henry David Thoreau once lived in. 

 

Vermont State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lamoille River, Lake Champlain

 where to paddle board in vermont

The Lamoille River is a river which runs through northern Vermont and drains into Lake Champlain. It is about 85 miles in length, and has a drainage area of around 706 square miles. The river generally flows southwest, and then northwest, from the water divide of the Green Mountains. 

Lamoille River runs through northern Vermont and drains into Lake Champlain on the border of New York and Vermont. With roughly 83 miles of various water conditions and campsites dotted throughout, Lamoille River is a great option for both experienced and beginner paddlers. 

Its tree-lined riverbanks, views of farm fields, and incredible surrounding mountain ranges will make you feel at one with nature. Trout fishing is extremely popular on the Lamoille River, so if you’re a SUP angler, be sure to bring your rod and fishing gear.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Lake Willoughby, Willoughby River

places to paddle board in vermont

Lake Willoughby is a lake in the town of Westmore in Orleans County in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The lake's southern end is surrounded by the Willoughby State Forest. This state forest includes Mount Pisgah, Mount Hor, collectively "Willoughby Gap".

Lake Willoughby, a glacial lake known for its clarity and chilly temperature, makes a fantastic stand up paddle destination for paddlers of all abilities. The Willoughby State Forest meets the south side of the lake, and in the north are public beaches that are perfect launch sites for paddle boards. 

Rated as one of the most beautiful lakes in Vermont, Lake Willoughby is a popular place for paddling, swimming, fishing, and relaxing. The sunset over the water is also a spectacular sight to see and is definitely worth sticking around for. 

 

New Hampshire State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Squam Lake, Grafton County

places to paddle board in new hampshire

Squam Lake is a lake located in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, south of the White Mountains, straddling the borders of Grafton, Carroll, and Belknap counties. The largest town center on the lake is Holderness. The lake is located northwest of much larger Lake Winnipesaukee.

Squam Lake is seated in the center of New Hampshire and is a very popular paddleboarding destination for a few different reasons. The famous On Golden Pond was filmed at this lake, notable for being the final movie Henry Fond starred in and the many awards the film won. For non-movie buffs, there are plenty of reasons to visit the lake as well, such as the thirty islands that dot the lake.

Besides being fun to explore, these islands are popular nesting points for Bald Eagles, Loons, and Great Blue Herons, especially during summer months. Lastly, Trout, Salmon, and Whitefish, along with several other fish species, are popular catches for fishing enthusiasts. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Lake Winnipesaukee, Belknap County

places to paddle board in New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, located in the Lakes Region at the foothills of the White Mountains. It is approximately 21 miles long and from 1 to 9 miles wide, covering 69 square miles —71 square miles when Paugus Bay is included—with a maximum depth of 180 feet.

The water stays quite warm as its surface elevation is just 500’ above sea level. Due to the lake’s large size, you can have a ton of fun going on touring adventures, checking out the over 250 natural islands that are all explorable by foot.

Alternatively, you can participate in the various races, sailing, fishing, and other SUPing competitions put on by locals and visiting university students, including those from Yale and Harvard.

 

Maine State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert

places to paddle board in Maine

The photo featured above is specifically located at Jordan Pond in the Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre Atlantic coast recreation area primarily on Maine's Mount Desert Island. Among the wildlife are moose, bear, whales and seabirds.

The island and its waterways were formed by a continental glacier over a mile high, almost 2 miles thick in some places. Once this giant glacier eventually melted and retreated, it left rounded and bare mountain tops, as well as elongated ponds and lakes.

It also formed the seven-mile long Somes Sound which was once considered a fjord but is now designated a fjard as its cliffs aren’t as tall as most fjords. There is a cornucopia of paddling options here from the pristine glacier formed lakes, to the Northeast Creek to the fjard itself. 

Get your rental SUP from Acadia SUP. 

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Moosehead Lake, Somerset County

where to paddle board in maine

Moosehead Lake is a deep, coldwater lake located in Northwestern Maine. It is the second-largest lake in New England, and the largest mountain lake in the eastern United States. Situated in the mostly undeveloped Longfellow Mountains, the lake is the source of the Kennebec River.

At 40 miles long and 10 miles wide, the lake has an incredible assortment of wildlife which includes moose if you are lucky enough to see one. 

Much of the lake is undeveloped so it has a very “wild” feel.  Because the lake is so large, it can get choppy so the earlier you can get started, the better.

Circumventing Sugar Island is a popular route although it’s a long paddle as the island is 5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. Bring a lunch and take in the beautiful scenery as you rest on the island’s craggy shores.  

Northwoods Outfitters can hook you up with a SUP.

 

PACIFIC

The two states that are the most beautiful in all our the United States! We can't wait to dive into these best SUP spots. It was very hard to choose just two for each!

 

Hawaii State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

paddle board hawaii

If you are heading to Oahu and you have any interest in surfing your SUP, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you to spend a day at the actual beach that credits itself as the place where stand up paddle boarding originated (as well as surfing) – Waikiki Beach.

The long rolling waves a Waikiki are easy to learn on and you can get some epic rides.  Our one kibble with Waikiki - and it’s not a small one - is that it’s so congested.  Somehow all those high rises detract from the “get away from it” feel that most of us are looking for, which is why we are recommending Lanikai Beach for the best SUP experience.  

Lanikai is a 30-minute drive from Honolulu and the eastern side of the island in the town of Kailua.  The beach itself is half a mile long and is consistently ranked amongst the best beaches in the world. The water is impossibly blue and the sand a sparkling white. It’s truly a remote paradise. 

Drive your iSUP out there and paddle out to the Mokulua Islands - also known as the Mokes - which are about a mile out from the beach. Both islands are bird sanctuaries so you will only be able to paddle your SUP around the perimeter of each island.  Since there are no beach breaks on Lanikai, the water stays quite calm.  

You will want to make a day of your trip to Lanikai so we suggest grabbing dinner at our favorite Japanese fusion restaurant the Uahi Island Grill.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Keauhou Bay, Hawaii

paddle boarding in hawaiiKnown as “The Big Island” Hawaii is the newest of the island chain and is unique in that it is one of the world’s most geologically diverse spots.    

You can venture from the snow-capped peak of the Mauna Loa volcano to Papakolea Beach which is one of only two greensand beaches in the US (Guam has the other one) or to Panaluu Beach Park with is a picturesque black sand beach. 

For some of the best paddle boarding, we recommend Keauhou Bay which has historical significance in that it was the birthplace of King Kamehameha III and was a favorite retreat for Hawaiian royalty.  

The harbor in Keauhou Bay is one of the most scenic spots in all the islands and its waters tend to be calmer than the neighboring bays.  If you are looking for more of a SUP adventure, head south to what is affectionately known as “The End of the World” where there are quite a few sea caves. Just be forewarned that the calm of the bay gives way to lots of chop and rocky outcrops on that excursion.

 

Alaska State

Most Popular SUP Spot

Lake Clark, Port Alsworth

 places to paddle board in Alaska

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is an American national park in southwest Alaska, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The Lake Clark National Park And Reserve is where you’ll find this beautiful piece of nature. It is one of the most popular lakes in America, having more than 22,000 visitors annually who all come to enjoy its magnificent views.

Getting there is somewhat an adventure on its own, as there are no roads to get you there. You need to make arrangements for a boat or seaplane to convey you.

Fishing, kayaking and boating are the most common activities there. You can also hike, camp and watch the birds as a pass time.

 

Our Favorite place to SUP

Eklutna Lake, Anchorage 

where to paddle board in Alaska

Eklutna Lake is a 1,424.5 hectares artificial lake in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, near the village of Eklutna. It is located entirely inside Chugach State Park and is about 1 mile wide and 7 miles in length. 

One of the most scenic rides you will ever have is driving 35 kilometers from the city of Anchorage, through the Chugach State Park, along the east side of Eklutna Lake. Simply breathtaking!

This site is filled with various plant life to feed your eyes (and photo albums) with. It’s excellent for fishing, boating and picnicking. Great for family trips.

There are 50 sites at the campground, which is located at the very north tip of the lake.

Take note that the surroundings change with the seasons. During the winter, the Eklutna Lake is perfect for snow mobile rides and skiing.

Good news for paddle board lovers, the lake and camping ground is open all year round!

 

Conclusion

There are many beautiful places to take your Stand Up Paddle Board in every State in America, and many places that haven't been put on any lists like these that are waiting for you to explore them. I hope this was helpful to learn how you can find paddle boarding spots near you and that you found some exciting places from our our favorites and the most popular in each State.

We would love to hear more suggestions of places to paddle board that we can put into our bucketlist. No matter the State we want to hear from you! 

 

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