If you’re a kayaker or kayak curious, you probably already know that a big part of those boats is the peace and solitude that comes with being on a calm bit of water.
The only sound coming from the light splash of your paddle into the water, or birds calling from the shore. Nothing else—no cars, no motorized boats, and no obscene noises of any kind. This is what makes kayaks special and why you should consider some.
However, you’ll need a good place to paddle, and that’s where these following locations come in.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
It’s almost unfair that Michigan gets access to not one, but two of the Great Lakes. And while there’s plenty of beautiful areas, one of the most beautiful is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
You’ll be floating on Lake Superior, along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The rocks get their name from vibrantly colored sandstone formations. You’re also able to view and access a number of rock caves.
North Fork Flathead River, Montana
Montana is loaded with tons of beautiful streams and rivers. The North Fork Flathead River is no exception. It’s listed as a scenic river. There are views of mountains and wildlife.
Another bonus? Fishing on the North Fork Flathead. The cool—and sometimes rapid—waters make for are perfect for vibrant cutthroat trout.
Boundary Waters, Minnesota
Probably the most obvious and most famous of all the kayaking areas in North America are the Boundary Waters. This wilderness area has more than 1,200 miles of canoe routes and is located in northern Minnesota.
The views here are unparalleled. Also known for fishing and camping, the area features waterways carved into the rock by glaciers leaving sheer rock faces with tons of deciduous trees.
Fox Island, Alaska
Of course, Alaska was going to be included in a list like this. The still heavily wooded, highly natural majority of Alaska, especially the Kenai Fjords National Park, make it a kayaker’s dream.
From unbelievably tall cliffs overlooking the water to gorgeous waterfalls, there’s no shortage of beauty that’s best viewed from the cockpit of a kayak. And who knows? You may be sharing the water with otters and sea lions, who are known to make Fox Island their home.
The Everglades, Florida
Sure, there are airboats—which are cool in their own right—but even those can’t make it into some of the really remote parts of Florida’s Everglades.
These parts of the swamp are still largely untouched and very wild, and thanks to overgrowth and the tangles of mangrove trees, paddling is the easiest way to reach them.
Ready to start paddling? Check out the selection of kayaks at Overton’s and hit the water.