Active SportsBoating

Tips for Finding the Best Kayaking Spots for the Fall

Kayaking is often thought of as an activity for spring and summer months, but you can really kayak as long as the body of water you want to kayak on isn’t frozen over.

This means you can stay out on the water even well into the winter months. However, before we get to the winter, there’s plenty of fall weather left to love. 

Fall is a fantastic time of year for kayaking because of the beautiful natural views you can see. It’s also fantastic because there are generally fewer people out on the water. Dress appropriately, and you’ll have a fantastic time.

Look for Wooded Areas

Landscape featuring the Mill River flowing under the East Rock Road Bridge surrounded by fall foliage
Image from Getty

The leaves on trees change color and fall to the ground in the fall. We all know this. Scenic drives are a fantastic way to see the beautiful fall trees, but what’s even better is kayaking down a twisty river when the leaves are turning.

Beautiful orange, red, and brown leaves are everywhere. Depending on where you are, the leaves may have already fallen, but you should still make a note for next year.

Wooded areas with bodies of water that run through them are a fall kayaker’s delight. Use Google maps to locate the best places to take your Kayak or drive around until you spot some places you think you’d like to be and then find a public access spot for you to get your kayak out on that body of water.

Try a Smaller River or Creek

My best experiences in a kayak have been on a small creek outside my Indiana hometown called Cedar Creek. It’s not a creek that many people take their boats on because it’s small. It’s plenty large enough for a kayak, but many areas are only a few feet deep.

Smaller rivers and creeks like this still attract wildlife and you’ll usually wind through some interesting areas that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. People’s backyards end at the creekbank on Cedar Creek, and I found myself constantly waving at folks along the way.

Just make sure you have a good place to put your kayak in and a good place to take your kayak out. Scope things out beforehand and you’ll be able to plan your trip in advance.

Don’t Forget the Lakes

Colorful fall colors reflect along the shoreline of Bay Mountain Lake Park in Kingsport Tennessee.
Image for Getty

There are thousands of lakes across the country worth kayaking. I prefer to kayak smaller lakes, but large ones can be equally rewarding. Look for lakes with a public beach or access point. From there you can explore the banks and take in the beautiful lake cottages and wildlife.

Don’t be afraid to explore channels off the lake either. Some of the best views I’ve had kayaking have come from following a small channel off a lake in the fall and finding myself immersed in a beautiful and colorful wooded area. Let your inner explorer come out and you’ll be rewarded.


Do you have any tips for finding the best kayaking spots in the fall? Leave a comment below!

Tips for finding the best kayaking spots for the fall

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