Kayaking is one of our favorite ways to destress and get away from the hustle of the city, and it is also a great activity to get your heart racing and increase your strength and flexibility.
Whether you are a teen or in your 50s, kayaking can be enjoyed by all!
Here is our shortlist of our top East Coast kayaking spots that we’re sure you’re going to love!
The Chesapeake Bay of Maryland and Virginia is known as the largest estuary in the United States. This 200-mile river is home to millions of people and a myriad of plant and animal species and flows across six states.
Many kayakers spend up to two days paddling on the river to discover all that this beautiful bay has to offer. P.s. You don’t want to miss out on fishing or Chesapeake Bay’s breathtaking sunsets!
Kayaking around Tampa Bay is a great way to get away from the busy city while still being close to the action. Don’t be too surprised if you see a resting alligator as you make your way through the Bay, and keep your eye out for mangroves, fish, birds, and snakes as you paddle. If you kayak through downtown Tampa, you may also see some dolphins and manatees.
If rapids are more your style, the Hillsborough River is a great choice!
Plus, if you drive 90 minutes north of Tampa, you’ll find Rainbow Springs State Park, where you can kayak on a spring-fed river. The water is a chilly 71 degrees year-round and is so clear that you can see fish below you as you paddle. Don’t miss out on this breathtaking trip where you will see towering cypress trees, turtles, and beautiful shorebirds.
Related reading> 5 Sweet Secluded Spots for Paddle Boarding in Florida
Allagash Wilderness Waterway
If you want to explore the untouched wilderness, head north to Maine to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway which flows through an expansive underdeveloped part of the state and offers rare glimpses into the Maine backwoods. You might see moose, bears, and other wildlife, and of course depending on the time of year, blueberries!
If you’d like to take a multiday trip, put in your kayak at Churchill Dam and paddle until you reach Allagash Village, a section of this trip that has Class II rapids, lakes, and a short portage around the Allagash Falls. (Trust us, it’s worth it!)
The Gauley River in West Virginia is a perfect place to start a kayaking trip. The river runs through a gorge, offering kayakers views of steep rocky cliffs as they make their way through the gorge. There are 25 miles of river to explore and is the ideal river for a day trip.
Keep in mind, due to its narrow passageways and ever-changing water conditions, we don’t recommend the Gauley River for first-time or beginner kayakers.
At the heart of the Ocala National Forest in Florida is Juniper run, seven miles of a spring-fed river that winds through a jungle-like forest. The distance is perfect for a full-day kayaking adventure, even for beginners. You’ll love spending a day out in the sunshine with crystal clear water beneath you and a jungle around you!
Since kayaking and canoeing are the only outdoor activities permitted on Juniper Run, you won’t have to contend with any motorized vessels or fishermen while kayaking.
When you think of kayaking, Massachusetts probably doesn’t immediately come to mind, but it should! Whether you want to paddle through protected marshes, tour along open waterways, or spot some wildlife, Plum Island, Massachusetts has all that and more!
Plum Island allows you to observe seals in their natural habitat and offers tours during the full moon, tours to find horseshoe crabs, and an isle of shoal’s kayak trip which takes you to explore some of the smaller islands.
There are some other great places to kayak in Massachusetts including the Boston Harbor Islands!
Assateague Island National Seashore
Considered the jackpot of kayaking spots, the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, is world-famous for its herds of wild ponies that sometimes can be seen galloping across the dunes. What would be more amazing than paddling along than seeing a herd of wild ponies running along the shore?!
Kayakers have many options to choose from open waters to small coves and salt marshes, plus, let’s not forget the entire Atlantic Ocean! (Though most people choose to explore the calmer waters of the bay where the wildlife is more plentiful.)
Don’t Have a Kayak? Lease One from 3RK!
If you want to get out on the water but don’t have a kayak, what are you waiting for? Sign up for our easy lease-to-own program and we will get you equipped with all the gear you need so you can start enjoying leisurely paddles in the sunshine on your favorite river, lake, or bay!