There’s no better way to experience a beautiful landscape than by water.
The great thing about canoeing is that it can be as vigorous or as mellow as you want it to be. Other than the fact that it’s a great workout, canoeing can be a great way to clear your head and enjoy some solitude in the wilderness.
These stunning locations offer both beginner and advanced trails, so regardless of your experience, you can bask in the breathtaking sights while having the adventure of a lifetime.
1. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
Located in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) boasts more than 1 million acres of beautiful, rugged wilderness.
Bordered by both Quetico Provincial Park in Canada and Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, this stunning area features over 1200 miles of canoe routes. If you’re looking for solitude, this is the place to be.
Dive into nature and paddle through canyons, rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and thousands of lakes, streams, and rivers sprinkled with small islands. Add in the surrounding forest and this place is pretty magical.
2. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
Okefenokee Swamp is the largest blackwater swamp in America, and it just happens to be one of the 7 wonders of Georgia.
This 700-square-mile swamp features 120 miles of water trails, 70 of which are open to motorboats under 10 horsepower during the day.
In the marshlands or “prairies,” grasses, plants, and colorful water lilies rise out of the shallow water towards the open sky while the mysterious cypress forests and dark woods make this an otherworldly adventure.
The canoe paths are marked if you feel like venturing out alone, but if you fear you may get lost, there are plenty of guides available. Oh, and watch out for alligators and bears.
3. Everglades National Park, Florida
If you want to explore the Everglades, canoeing is the way to go. This beautiful landscape is home to a number of endangered species such as the rarely seen Florida panther, the American crocodile, and of course, manatees, also known as adorable gentle giants.
There are around a dozen water trails that run through Everglades National Park and the neighboring wildlife refuges of Ten Thousand Islands and Big Cypress. Paddle your way through mangrove islands, open marsh, mangrove creeks, and shallow ponds.
Nine Mile Pond, a great trail for beginners, is popular for its mangrove tunnel, beautiful scenery, and abundance of wildlife.
Looking for a challenge? A favorite phrase associated with Hell’s Bay Canoe Trail is “Hell to get into and hell to get out of.” This 10-mile round-trip trail winds through a maze of mangroves and small ponds.
4. Buffalo National River, Arkansas
The Buffalo River is famous for being America’s first national river, and rightfully so. This stunning river features 135 miles of unspoiled wilderness in the Ozarks – making this the perfect location for an epic adventure.
Whether you’re looking for running rapids or quiet serene pools, the scenery along the Buffalo River is to die for. From the Ozark Mountains and massive bluffs to beautiful waterfalls and an abundance of explorable caves, paddling never gets old on this river.