Trip planning, what are you favorites?

Trip planning, what are you favorites?

My wife and I are trying to plan a few trips for the season of 2024. This summer we had a memorable 3-day kayak camping trip in Quebec. We traveled in the Saguenay Fjord National Park from L’Anse-Saint-Jean to Tadoussac.

What have been your favorite paddling areas in North America. We live in the Mid-Atlantic.

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Green and Colorado Rivers
Boundary Waters
Sea of Cortez Mexico
Baja Pacific Coast
Big Sur Coast

  • Adirondacks - St. Regis Canoe Area; Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Fulton Chain of Lakes, and more. (NY)
    Boundary Waters Canoe Area (if you don’t mind some portaging) and Voyageurs if you’d rather not. (MN)
    San Juan Islands (WA).

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway in ME - not far from where you were in Quebec. Nothing too stressful - nice combination of lake and river paddling and plenty of nice campsites. When we were there a couple of weeks ago we met up with a couple there from VA.

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Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. Of the trips there, French River.

Isle Royale gets honorable mention.

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What a great question! As somebody slowly trying to paddle in all 50 states, I’ll give you the bad news: there are great places to paddle everywhere! No state has been unworthy although some require you to look a little harder. I tend to gravitate toward moving water so if it is flatwater it has to be pretty magical! Time of year is very important when trip planning. What may be great one time of year can be miserable in a different season. Water levels also need to be figured in. My list by season:

Dec. Jan & Feb: florida- paddling various springs and flowages around central florida. Some county parks have camping and are less popular but are more available. Oahu is also really nice with a lot of protected bays and reliable trade winds (good for a beginner).

April and March Okefenokee Swamp in GA- lots of options here, tent platforms in the swamp, campground or cabins at Stephen Foster. I’ve evolved into just doing daytrips and setting up a basecamp and just renting one of their canoes- simple. I bring my own paddles and pfds. Louisiana is also good as well. Paddling around buffalo cove (achefalaya) is pretty cool and remote and the local cuisine is po boys, gumbo, and etoufee!

I also like spring paddling in southern wv. Lots of seasonal class 2-3 whitewater. You could get snow or sunshine or rain but flows are generally good with numerous options and great mountain scenery. Just plan on wearing a drysuit. In a good week I might hit the bluestone, cherry, top gauley, paint creek, 2nd creek, and anthony’s creek.

May- I’m kind of partial to Rocky Fork in Ohio (releases), the Mulberry and Buffalo in Arkansas, big south fork in Ky/TN and need to get back and explore some more of Mississppi and Alabama.

June- Wisconsin and Michigan- a ton of great float streams, I did okay with bugs ( better than New England for June) and water levels are still pretty good.

July- Adirondacks, go after the middle of the month to decrease bugs, good public access and camp spots. Turn it into a real adventure and check out the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. I also like colorado, wyoming, and idaho in July. Water levels tend to settle down and it is hard to beat the mountain scenery. If you want remote then head to Maine.

Aug. Lots of places the water levels start to drop, I’m usually close to home, Upper New River in WV. Missouri float streams are a great option since many are spring fed. Go during the week to cut down on crowds. If you are comfortable paddling around wood on whitewater check out the spring fed Metolious in Oregon, a class III freight train.

Sept. and Oct. think ponds in Vermont and New Hampshire. I also like PA and DE . Leaf peeping on the water. i’ve been told boundary waters is nice then- less bugs and boyscouts but have yet to make it there.

Nov. I like south carolina- ACE basin, cedar creek, edisto, just watch out for duck and deer hunters when you make your plans and consider paddling after things warm up in the morning and the duck hunters are headed home.

Enjoy and consider adding some stops along the way (paddling enroute) rather than just one final destination. Good paddling everywhere!

Embrace the diversity, Tony,

PS if you want some company just message me up

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For something a little different, I was happy to learn that the excellent paddler’s laminated map and guide set for the West Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail that flows through north central and north west Pennsylvania has been updated and re-issued. This 228 mile long river has been recommended for national certification as a Wild and Scenic River and offers quite a variety of scenery and campsites as it winds through the tree-lined canyons of the Allegheny mountains. It is mostly flatwater, with a few class 1 and 2 sections and occasional portages at dam sites. I paddled some of the eastern sections often during 4 years I was spending most weekends with a boyfriend who lived directly on the river (just below Shawville) with about 1/3 mile of shoreline. It goes through a number of small towns, so for an extended camping trip there are a lot of opportunities to re-supply.

This website has photos and descriptions of various parts of the route as well as a link to buying the trail guide, which has an incredible amount of information on camping areas and other resources along the river.



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The Grand Canyon, AZ
The Grande Rhonde River, OR
The John Day River, OR
The Klamath River, CA
The Trinity River, CA
The Green River, UT
The Upper Missouri River, MT
Lake Shasta, CA


Sabine River in Texas
Buffalo River in Arkansas
Current River in Missouri
Suwannee River in Florida
Green River in Utah
Upper Missouri River in Montana


Looks like you may sea kayak & have a reasonable skill set. If so, may I suggest Lake Superior. Many options for day trips as well as multi-day camping. One does need to remember that the Lake is an INLAND SEA and needs considerable respect. She is cold, makes her own weather, and cell coverage is often non-existant.

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What a great topic! :+1:t3:

I was just going to post a “destinations” thread.

I second Sea of Cortez (Loreto) and San Juan islands

Gig Harbor, Wa, Lake Mohave, Az

All these Alpine Lakes

lake Garda Italy

Victoria BC! Even the harbor is so fun, going to restaurants and tying up

Here is a place on my dream list:

And also Colorado River, we plan to float to Lake Havasu


beautiful stretch of coast.
I left the area years ago, when there I often paddled the Cape Flattery area.
I would put in at Neah Bay or Hobuck Beach.

Am now in FL, you might want to add to your list ‘The Wilderness Waterway’ in the Everglades (and/or the 10,000 island area). To be done in Winter, NOT summer.

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I’m afraid of alligators :crocodile: :laughing:

My 87 year old mommy paddles down there in Punta Gorda a few times a week.

This is her in the middle last a couple winters ago and she still water skis!

I hope the gators don’t get her.
My dad used to make me ski down there and I could see the alligators all along the river at the edges so I never fell.

And my husband is afraid of snakes. When we were at Central Command we lived in Clearwater and we had three rattlesnakes in the pool. I don’t think I’ll ever get him back to Florida and his folks live on Amelia Island.

She loads her boat right there by little tiny self.

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If you visit Cape Flattery by the hiking path to the overlook, do NOT use the stepping “stones” along the way through the evergreens. They use thin slices of tree trunk, and being as the Olympic Peninsula is a foggy, misty rain forest region, these are constantly wet and slimy.

Slipped on one and broke my arm (tucked to roll but my proximal humerus landed on a sharp rock hidden in the fir needle duff) – kinda put a damper on the 2 week PNW adventure biking/hiking/kayaking trip we had just started.

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Oh that’s where :grimacing:

The Batiscan River in Quebec is low-key one of my favorite places on earth. A week or so of canoeing, best in spring.

The San Juan Islands, WA were one of the most interesting places to paddle. There are lots of tidal rips and standing waves. You need a tide table and it is like playing chess with Mother Nature. The currents are frequently stronger than you can paddle against. Cold water and plenty of rain, but really beautiful and you can paddle with seals and salmon.

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I thought Lake Garda looked like a good place to paddle so maybe we will take the kayaks and return.The thing I liked was it wasn’t too crowded and it seemed fairly protected in this cove. Lots of good little quaint hotels and places to eat. Shopping.

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what country?