Exploring the Best Paddle Boarding Spots in New York State!

Introduction: New York State, with its diverse geography and stunning waterways, offers a plethora of opportunities for paddle boarding enthusiasts. Whether you're a seasoned paddle boarder or a beginner eager to embark on a new adventure, the Empire State has something for everyone. In this article, we will delve into some of the best paddle boarding destinations in New York State, highlighting their unique features and the experiences they offer. So lets grab a paddle and take a virtual tour on where to paddle board in New York.

  1. Adirondack Region:

    woman doing headstand on paddle board

    The Adirondack Mountains, situated in the northern part of New York State, boast an impressive assortment of lakes, rivers, and streams, making it a haven for paddle boarding enthusiasts. Within this region, Saranac Lake stands out as one of the most popular destinations, offering a tranquil environment surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. Another notable gem in the area is Mirror Lake, nestled in the heart of Lake Placid. This picturesque lake is renowned for its calm waters, which create stunning reflections of the surrounding landscape.

    Both Saranac Lake and Mirror Lake provide an ideal setting for paddle boarders of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a beginner, these lakes offer excellent conditions for exploration and enjoyment. As you navigate the waters, you'll have the opportunity to discover secluded coves, witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Adirondack wilderness, and even spot wildlife in their natural habitat.

  2. Saranac Lake:

    With its serene ambiance, invites paddle boarders to immerse themselves in a serene and peaceful environment. Surrounded by majestic mountains, the lake's tranquil waters provide a sense of calm and serenity, allowing paddlers to connect with nature. As you paddle along the lake's surface, you'll be captivated by the awe-inspiring vistas that unfold before you.


  3. Mirror Lake:

    nestled within Lake Placid, offers a unique paddle boarding experience characterized by its calm and glass-like waters. The lake's name is fitting, as its still surface reflects the scenic surroundings, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere. Paddling across Mirror Lake is akin to gliding through a mirror, with the picturesque landscape mirrored beneath you. This enchanting environment provides an excellent backdrop for paddle boarders seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

    Both Saranac Lake and Mirror Lake present paddle boarders with opportunities for exploration and adventure. Along the shores of these lakes, you'll find secluded coves and hidden alcoves waiting to be discovered. Paddling into these serene nooks and crannies allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the peaceful solitude of nature.

    Moreover, the Adirondack wilderness surrounding these lakes is teeming with wildlife. As you paddle through the pristine waters, you may have the chance to observe a variety of animals, including birds, deer, and even the occasional glimpse of a curious otter or loon. The Adirondack region is known for its rich biodiversity, and paddle boarding offers a unique perspective from which to appreciate and interact with this natural habitat.

  4. Thousand Islands:

    Situated on the St. Lawrence River, the Thousand Islands region boasts a picturesque landscape with more than 1,800 islands and pristine waters. This area offers an unparalleled experience for paddle boarders seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Wellesley Island State Park and Grass Point State Park are popular launch points, providing access to calm bays and channels. Paddle boarding here offers breathtaking views of lush green islands, historic castles, and the opportunity to spot diverse wildlife, including bald eagles and herons.

  5. Finger Lakes:

    man sitting on paddle board

    The Finger Lakes region, known for its long, narrow lakes resembling fingers, offers a variety of paddle boarding options. Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes, is a favorite among paddle boarders. The lake's size allows for longer excursions, and its clear waters are perfect for exploring the shoreline and enjoying the stunning scenery. Skaneateles Lake, with its crystal-clear water and charming lakeside villages, provides a delightful experience for paddle boarders of all levels. Canandaigua Lake is another popular choice, offering calm waters and the opportunity to paddle along picturesque vineyards.

  6. Hudson River Valley:

    women doing yoga on paddle boards

    Running through the heart of New York State, the Hudson River Valley is a paddler's paradise. The river's majestic beauty, surrounded by rolling hills, historic landmarks, and charming towns, creates an unforgettable experience. Paddle boarding on the Hudson River allows you to soak in the region's rich history while enjoying breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains. Popular launch sites include Croton Point Park, Kingston Point Beach, and Cold Spring, where you can paddle past iconic landmarks like the West Point Military Academy and Bannerman Castle.

  7. Lake George:

    paddle board yoga

    Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is often referred to as the "Queen of American Lakes." Its crystal-clear waters, framed by lush forests and stunning mountain peaks, make it a top destination for paddle boarders. The lake offers a range of paddling experiences, from calm bays and inlets to more challenging open water adventures. Paddling along the shoreline reveals secluded beaches, hidden coves, and majestic cliff faces. Numerous launch points and rental facilities are available, ensuring a hassle-free paddle boarding experience.

  8. Long Island:

    Long Island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, and it also provides excellent paddle boarding opportunities. On the North Shore, the Long Island Sound offers calm waters and picturesque scenery, making it an ideal spot for beginners. Popular launch sites include Sunken Meadow State Park and Port Jefferson Harbor. On the South Shore, the Atlantic Ocean provides more challenging conditions for experienced paddle boarders, with spots like Long Beach and Montauk offering fantastic surf and stunning coastal vistas.

  9. Lake Ontario:

    Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, is a vast body of water that offers exciting paddle boarding opportunities. Located on the northern border of New York State, the lake provides ample space for paddling adventures. Sackets Harbor, located on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, is a popular spot with calm waters and a picturesque harbor. The lake's size and proximity to the nearby Thousand Islands region allow for unique exploration opportunities.

  10. Lake Erie:

    Lake Erie, another of the Great Lakes, offers paddle boarders a chance to experience its vastness and beauty. The lake's southern shore in New York State features scenic areas such as Barcelona Harbor and Dunkirk Harbor, which provide access to calm waters and stunning sunsets. Paddling along Lake Erie's shoreline allows you to appreciate its sandy beaches, charming coastal communities, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

  11. Niagara River:

    The Niagara River, connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, presents an exhilarating paddle boarding experience. While it is important to be aware of the river's strong currents and occasional rapids, skilled paddle boarders can navigate its waters for a unique adventure. Paddling near Niagara Falls offers a truly awe-inspiring experience as you witness the power and beauty of this natural wonder from a unique perspective.

  12. Jamaica Bay:

    Located in the borough of Queens, New York City, Jamaica Bay is a hidden gem for paddle boarders. Its calm waters and proximity to urban surroundings make it a convenient and accessible spot for city dwellers. Paddling in Jamaica Bay allows you to observe a variety of bird species and explore marshy ecosystems. Launch points such as Floyd Bennett Field and Canarsie Pier provide easy access to the bay's tranquil waters.


paddle boards in central park

New York State presents an array of paddle boarding destinations that cater to various preferences and skill levels. From the tranquil lakes and mountains of the Adirondacks to the historic Hudson River Valley and the picturesque Thousand Islands, there is something for every paddle boarding enthusiast. The Finger Lakes region offers a unique blend of natural beauty and vineyards, while Long Island showcases its stunning coastal landscapes. So grab your paddle board, explore these incredible locations, and immerse yourself in the beauty of New York State's waterways.