5 U.S. Canoe and Kayaking Adventures for the Best Summer Ever

KayakLead_Lee Brunjes

Whether you’re planning an adventure trip with your BFFs or a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, we’ve picked out five of the best summer paddling spots.

Juniper Run in Ocala National Forest, Florida

Named one of the best 25 canoeing runs in America, Juniper Run is a beautiful waterway that winds through the low-hanging branches of an old-growth forest. Bring your own canoe, or rent one at the launch point. This 7-mile adventure will take you 4-5 hours and is best for experienced paddlers, as the river can be swift.

Eleven Point National Scenic River in Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri


Ready to get away from civilization? This 44-mile river has a largely undeveloped shoreline. As you paddle your way through the scenic hills of the Ozarks, take in the majesty of the steep bluffs. And hey, why not bring along The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for some scenic reading? The river has 11 public access points so you can decide how long you’re out on the water. Though there are a few rapids, the river is beginner-friendly.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Anything is possible in Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which is home to thousands of miles of established water passages. Gentle hills, towering rock formations, rugged cliffs, and thousand lakes provide the perfect backdrop for camping and paddling. As there are no nearby towns, you’re going to need a good set of wheels for getting in and out of the forest, so make sure your tires will be up to the challenge.

Prince William Sound in Chugach National Forest, Alaska

For most residents of the contiguous United States, Alaska is a pretty far trip. If you’ve made the journey to this beautiful land, be sure to take the time to sea kayak through Prince William Sound. As you paddle the crystal -clear waters, you’ll be gazing up at glaciers and snow-covered mountains. If you’re considering this trip, remember – the remote campsites are the perfect place to really escape getting away from the city, but that also means help is far away. This trip is recommended for experienced sea kayakers.

Clearwater Canoe Trail in Lolo National Forest, Montana

weekend adventure

If you’re looking for a day trip with a slower pace, this might be just right. The 3.5-mile, meandering waterway of the Clearwater Canoe Trail takes just two hours to complete. The last stretch crosses the north end of Seeley Lake, so keep your eyes peeled for the bird life that lives in the marshes. To make your trip easy, there’s a 30-minute hiking trail back to the starting point of the canoe trail.

We hope that one of these trips created the desire for adventure and the spark to plan your next paddling trip! Whether you’re looking for adventurous sea kayaking, an easy day of paddling, or an extended kayaking and camping trip, there’s a perfect getaway for every paddler here.

Photos by: Lee BrunjesVladimir PustovitAlex Queiroz

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