The 5 Most Scenic Places to Kayak in New England

places to kayak in new england

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New England arguably has some of the best scenery in the country. The foliage is absolutely breathtaking, and for those of us who enjoy kayaking, it’s easy to see the appeal in launching a kayak into a body of water that is surrounded by great scenery. Sure, there are plenty of places out there, and everyone is going to enjoy something different. However, these are five great locations are are widely considered to be some of the most scenic places to kayak in New England.

It should be noted that some of these locations are in the ocean. The ocean is a great place to kayak, however it also produces more risks, and it’s more congested. If you decide to kayak in the ocean, you should either be an expert or accompanied by an expert.

The 5 Most Scenic Places to Kayak in New England

1. Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts

To us, it’s easy to see the appeal to the Boston Harbor Islands. A few of our team members have spent considerable time in Boston. Every once in a while you just have to get away from it; kayaking around the Boston Harbor Islands is an excellent way to shed the city for a day and relax a bit. The harbor can get quite congested, but there are plenty of places around the harbor where you can have some space!

Additionally, there are places around the island that offers sea tours for beginners throughout the week. You’ll experience the beautiful scenery, the history overview and of course kayaking safety and skill development.

2. Kittery, Maine

Put simply, this is place is a must for vacationers who choose to go to Maine. There are plenty of places around Kittery that offer group and private tours for those who don’t have much experience, but would still like to give kayaking a try in Kittery. We recommend packing up a lunch and finding a sandbar to relax at for a bit.The scenery is amazing, and the wildlife is abundant.

Also close by is Portsmouth, NH. You’d likely recognize the picturesque sea town if you saw it. It’s an amazing, historic site that is only a short kayaking trip away. We highly recommend it!

3. Squam Lake, New Hampshire

Once the film location for “On the Golden Pond,” Squam Lake is known for its calm and smooth water, and it makes for a great kayaking experience. It provides an open area that isn’t usually congested with boaters and other paddlers. It’s a great place for beginners, and a scenic place for everyone.

There really is something for everyone here. Do you have someone in the family that doesn’t quite warm up to the idea of spending the day on the water? No problem! You’ll find hiking, biking, lounging options and some nearby restaurants and few family attractions too. It’s a great place with a timeless setting; everyone will enjoy it.

4. Plum Island, Massachusetts

Seal Paddles is a main attraction of Plum Island. Although sightings can never be guaranteed, you’re very likely to run into an abundance of seals surrounding the island when you kayak in. It should be noted that Plum Island kayaking is relatively regulated. For instance, before May 15th, the island only allows tandem kayakers to participate in the Seal Paddle tours. Regardless, the sites are amazing, and if you time your trip correctly, you’re almost certain to see some marine life you wouldn’t see anywhere else.

Plum island is a great option for everyone from beginners to experts. Not interested in groups?  This island offers plenty of rental options and also private tours.

5. Lake Champlain, Vermont

Aside from the very peculiar tale of the prehistoric monster still prowling the lake, Lake Champlain is a gorgeous New England set piece. It’s absolutely massive to boot, so there are plenty of places for kayakers to launch, fish, and generally relax. Lake Champlain spans between both New York and Vermont, and the scenery is some of the best you’ll see in New England. There are quite a bit of people out on the water, however, since it’s so large, you likely wont have trouble running into other boaters or paddlers.

Lake Champlain is a must see location for paddlers who value scenery.

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ll have the chance to check out these great locations. Do you know of a must-visit spot that we didn’t mention? Shoot us a message, and we’d love to include it!

Have anything to add? Check out the discussion on Reddit here.

Happy paddling!


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