East Coast/Southern Locations within a 20-minute* walk of an Amtrak stop?

*20 minutes f you were a middle aged woman of reasonable joint health with a 30 pound portable kayak+kit on her back

East Coast OR South, or Southern East Coast? If you’re including the Northeast, Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is coastal and many of the stops along it will probably be near a potential launch point. I know Boston, Providence and Westerly are. In Boston, there is a public dock less than half a mile from South Station:

In Providence there is a public canoe & kayak launch about 3/4 mile from the Amtrak station:

In Westerly, the Amtrak station is on the Pawcatuck River, where multiple canoe & kayak launch sites recently opened. The closest is Donahue Park in Stonington CT (other side of the river), about half a mile from the station.

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Thank you for the suggestions… and the opportunity to clarify, too.

ISO flat water locations
Was thinking specifically of Southeast to offer hope over winter but please I’m happy to gather options for next season too.

Hmm, well in that case it might be more difficult to find what you’re looking for. I don’t live in the southeast so maybe someone else will chime in. But I’ve been on a lot of the Amtrak routes. Many stations are either not near water or not in a walkable area. Also the southern routes only run once a day in each direction, so you’d be at the mercy of the schedule… Columbia, SC has a station near a riverfront park for example, but the trains arrive in the middle of the night!

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Since no one else has thrown any suggestions out here try this.

Open up the Amtrak route map here:

Travel Planning Map | Amtrak

Zoom in on an area you are interested in. You have to zoom in a lot to see the minor stations. For example, there is a station in Dillon SC between Fayetteville, NC and Florence, SC.

Look for stations that are near lakes, rivers or bays.

Next go to the Go Paddle map to look for launch points in the areas identified from the Amtrak map.

Using this method I easily found the following sites for further investigation:

The Amtrak station in Clemson, SC is close to Larry Abernathy Park launch point on Lake Hartwell.

The Amtrak station in Palatka, FL is close to Riverfront Park launch point and also to Palakata Boat Ramp both on the St. Johns river.

Keep in mind that most of the Amtrak stations are in built up areas, so you will have to contend with traffic, etc. Also, as @narrby mentioned the trains do not run very frequently and may arrive/depart at awkward times.

You could use Google street view to get an idea about the streets and neighborhoods where they are located. You could also use Google maps to find a nearby motel/hotel to stay at during your visit.

I know nothing more about these places, I have never been to any of them.

Maybe some of our other members can add more information about these two places or any others that you find.

Good luck!

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I think there is a stop in Sanford, FL I don’t know how close it is to the St. Johns and Lake Monroe.

It’s been years since I would pick up my wife at the Palatka station. I think it is about a mile from the river.

I have gotten off in the middle of the night at the Columbia Station. Not the best place to walk at that time. Always glad to have a ride waiting.

I have a couple of suggestions.

See if you can connect with a couple of the folks here that live in FL. There are fabulous places to paddle in the state. They may be willing to help out or even paddle with you.

Use Uber or Lift to get to places to paddle from the station.

Lots of good campgrounds at many of the FL paddling locations.

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The Woodbridge, VA station is less than a mile walk down US Rt. 1 to Occoquan Harbor Marina. Call the marina to verify they will allow kayak launching (and if there’s a fee). The marina caters primarily to power boaters, but a right turn out of the marina and a 3 mile paddle will take you to Mason Neck State Park. (Never paddled there myself, but its on my list.)

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Just looking at the map, that looks like an interesting paddling location … I kind of want to try it myself! (No folding kayak though … now I have this mental image of carrying a kayak onto a train and then rolling it down route 1 on a cart… :laughing: )

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The Shore Line East train runs along the shoreline ( whoda thunk) of Connecticut. Most all the stations are within walking distance of boat launches. Some just a few blocks
You can take Amtrak to New Haven or Old Saybrook ( which is also close to water but a little trafficky)


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I’m so grateful for the suggestions/ideas, mates! The Occoquan may be the perfect test-run of this whole rail-to-river concept (though maybe not this weekend brrr) but longer out, I love the idea of getting out for a weekend southbound as my comfort zone expands.

LOL I am definitely here for the view of someone checking their hardshell onto the commuter car

If you pick up the North Jersey Coast Line from New York or Newark you have a very short walk to the Navesink River which connects to the Shrewsbury River, Sandy Hook and the Atlantic. The last 10 stations on that line are all less than a mile to the beaches , Barnegat Bay, Shark River, Manasquan River, Metedeconk River, and other sizable bodies of water. You could easily spend a season there and not run out of new places to paddle.

Be aware that inlets leading to the ocean can have very strong currents at peak tidal flow.