Great places to sea kayak/camp

I would like some ideas on great places to sea kayak/camp in the United States or Canada.

Please list place and some reasons you like it.

Here are the only 2 I know of.

South Bass Island, OH Lake Erie camp at state park, the lake water is pretty clear around the islands, nice campgrounds, you can walk or kayak into town for food and beverages, other islands to explore

Kelly’s Island, OH Lake Erie camp at state park, the lake water is pretty clear around the islands, nice campgrounds you can walk or kayak into town for food and beverages, nice sand beach at campgrounds

Pick a corner.

– Last Updated: Apr-21-11 8:05 PM EST –

I can personally only vouch for my corner, the extreme North Eastern shoreline of the US, although I've drooled over others' accounts of paddling destinations in the NW corner (Oregon/Washington/BC), and the even northwester NW corner, Alaska. And I have a friend who has spent a number of winters paddling the Southeast corner of the US, in Southern Florida, and he's found some real wild gems there too.

The Maine coast from Portland east to Lubec is literally thousands of miles of shoreline (more than the state of California), most of it wilderness, and all of it within an easy days paddle of numerous idylic island campsites. There are no crowds, the summer weather is pleasant, and the abundance of wildlife is superb.

For whale watching by kayak (or by camp chair) I don't think you can beat the Saguenay Fjord area of Quebec, along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence. Not the most interesting paddling, but the whales just keep coming, by the scores, and hundreds. You will be literally surrounded by minke, fin, beluga, humpback and blue whales virtually anytime you paddle up there. We were blown away. (Camp at Paradis Marin in Bergeronnes)

Just About Anywhere…

– Last Updated: Apr-21-11 8:16 PM EST – and around Newfoundland and Labrador.
Here's a link to Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador's website. Dig around a little, and you'll find some great trip reports...

My three favourites - Dildo Run, miles and miles of well-sheltered runs and tickles, islands, coves, nooks and crannies - a most amazing place...and Dildo Run Provincial Park is one of the real jewels of the provincial park system - the staff there are just the most welcoming and helpful people you'll ever meet...

The Grand Codroy River Estuary - just off the Trans-Canada, just an hour from the ferry - mountains and birds like nowhere else in Eastern Canada...excellent private campground there, and they'll put kayakers right next to the river...

Pinchgut Tickle - a lovely day run along the side of Colinet Harbour, then in behind Pinchgut Island - there's an abandoned community, one old house still standing but windowless, right at the far end of the Tickle. Great spot for a long afternoon paddle with a good solid boilup and beach lunch to keep you going...or bring a tent and stay the night, just like you can virtually anywhere on our island...

Come down sometime - this is truly one of those "..last best places..."

Second Maine
Water on the cool side, but island camping is great. Recommend joining Maine Island Trail Association.

There are too many to list them all
But one that no one has mentioned yet are the 10,000 islands of Florida in the Gulf.

Jack L

Lake Superior
Pick US or Canada

I will be going to the Canadian Shore…Almost all of it wilderness.

Lake Nipigion, Western Ontario…the possibilities are boundless/

beginning list…

Pick a state!

Narrow down what you are looking for there are over 400,000 miles of waterways in North America…check PNET and look at “places to paddle” they have hundred of trip reports listed.

I can think of thousands of great place.


– Last Updated: Apr-25-11 6:05 PM EST –

Definitely not a comprehensive list for the U.S., just some from my own experience, not in any order:

* Southeast Alaska. For sheer remoteness (and this is the most heavily-settled part of AK!), I doubt you can match this within the U.S. except elsewhere in AK. Incredible abundance of wildlife, lots of places to camp, freshwater available from many streams. Downsides: logistically a PITA and expensive to get to; fairly buggy and drizzly; need to take bear precautions.

* Lake Powell. Technically not wilderness due to presence of powerboats but there are few roads accessing it. At night off-season, you can get total silence and enjoy bug-free sleeping under the stars; great stargazing. Fantastic redrock canyons and high vertical walls, with resultant fun places to play with echoes. Generally dry and sunny. Downsides: gets overrun with powerboats and jetskis in the hot season.

* Shoshone Lake (in Yellowstone NP). Access only by hiking or by paddled boat via Lewis Lake and Lewis River. The largest backcountry lake in the lower 48. Beautiful, clean, cold water. You won't be crowded here because the NPS limits camping to reserved, designated sites only. That's also a downside due to less flexibility in camping. Other downsides: can be extremely buggy; strong t-storms arise frequently and quickly in summer.

The above three do not have recourse to towns or food stores from shorecamp, other than a couple areas along Lake Powell. Even there, you are basically wilderness-camping despite the presence of motorized vessels.

***** Edited to add:

Forgot to mention an important draw for Shoshone Lake: the Shoshone Geyser Basin. Accessed only by a long day hike or by paddling to it, the geyser basin is primitive--no boardwalks, signs, or other dumbie stuff. It probably looks much like it did a century ago, and it is huge, with lots of varied thermal features.

Thanks for the responses. I will start researching the named places.

How about …
Catalina Island, Paddle over from San Pedro.

Lower COlorado River

Lake Powell

Hoover Dam to Davis Dam
Beautiful. Easy camping.

San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington: Orca watching and other great wildlife, along with a view of some big mountaintops. Apostle Islands (Lake Superior): sea caves, fantasic rock formations and some big water. Barrier islands off coast of Georgia (Cumberland,Little Tybee, etc.): great wildlife and some beach camping. While a little south of the border, the islands off La Paz (Baja Mexico on the Sea of Cortez: fantastic sea life. I’d also second Glen Canyon, especially near Rainbow Arch.

If you’re citing Lake Erie as your knowledge base, my guess is that you’ll want to stay farily local if you’re looking to extend your skills and knowledge. My gut says you won’t be loading the car for Labrador anytime soon.

Stick with the Great Lakes and even then it will take years to cover the territory. I’ve listed just a few spots below in no particular order. There are camping and paddling opportunities all around and with the power of the web, you can do a lot of the research form your den.

  1. Eastern Lake Erie Shoreline is supposed to be beautiful near presque Isle and parts of PA and NY.
  2. Tip of the thumb in Michigan, offers camping and lots of shoreline.
  3. Western Shore and north and south manitou islands.
  4. Upper peninsula and the Keweenaw Peninsula.
  5. Upper peninsula near Grand Maris, go to the annual symposium.
  6. Upper Peninsula, Pictured Rocks and Grand Island.
  7. Apostle Islands
  8. Drummond Island.
  9. Kilarney
  10. Northern shore, inside passage of Georgian Bay.
  11. Georgian Bay, French River
  12. Georgian Bay, Parry Sound and Mink & McCory Islands
  13. Georgian Bay, Eastern shore of the Bruce Peninsual.
  14. Thunder Bay, Alpena MI.
  15. Au Sable River offers multiple camping and paddlign opportunities.

    I could go on and on, just pick a state or lake and start ticking off the trips.

Just put a map of the Great Lakes on the wall, throw a dart and go there.

A rarely visited gem in Canada, just north of Lake Superior and about two hours away from Thunder Bay is Lake Nipigon. It has 500 islands. Yep, 500. It’s remote. It’s also mainly wilderness except for some very minor development.

And anywhere in Georgian Bay. I like the Byng Inlet to Bustard Islands area. Lots of islands to explore.

Gulf Island’s National Seashore and
Deer Island, Horn Island, Cat Island, Petit Bois Island. But you ain’t gonna be walking into town.