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Upstate is a Canoeing, Kayaking, and Standup Paddler’s Paradise

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-05-27 21:47:00

An excursion into nature with a canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard is a truly rewarding and unique experience. If you’re craving the chance to immerse yourself in the solitude, peace, tranquility, and beauty of nature, look no further than a paddling trip to find it—and look no further than Upstate New York for some of the best paddling routes around. From the remote areas of the Adirondacks and Catskills to the bigger, wider waterways of the Great Lakes, Thousand Islands, and the Finger Lakes, to the lakes, streams and canals of Central New York, Western New York, Chautauqua-Allegheny Region, the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley, there are lots of places to go paddling in Upstate New York—safely and away from others.

The most important thing, of course, is safety. Best to start small, and if you haven’t gone paddling in certain place before, do your research before hitting the water. Make sure to choose known paddling routes, and avoid rivers, creeks and streams that you’re unfamiliar with—some of them may look calm, but turn rocky or into rapids down the line, which are not safe to navigate for beginners or those who aren’t in a specific whitewater kayak. On larger bodies of water, stay close to the shore and far away from motorized boat traffic, which may have a hard time seeing you in a canoe or kayak. And of course, always wear your lifejacket, also known as a PFD. But as long as you prioritize safety and use your common sense, a paddling trip can be one of the most relaxing activities you can enjoy in nature, and it’s getting to be the perfect time of year to enjoy it.

Rivers and ponds, creeks and streams, and lakes ranging from tiny and remote to expansive and well-travelled are scattered throughout the Upstate New York’s incredible natural landscape.  Quiet creeks and meandering streams make for passages back into places seemingly forgotten by man. Broad lakes offer seemingly endless horizons, with miles of shoreline to explore. Many areas of the state are home to clusters of remote ponds and small lakes that provide the chance to paddle back into the most remote reaches of the wilderness, where ticking clocks and traffic lights are but a faint memory. There are also plenty of places to begin a paddling trip that are easy to reach from the roadside, but just a few minutes’ paddling makes it seem like civilization couldn’t be further away.  Bird watchers and other wildlife enthusiasts can hope to find a variety of creatures to observe along the way on a paddling trip, especially in quiet, remote areas, where the nearly-silent nature of a canoe or kayak affords the chance to observe quietly without intruding or scaring the wildlife away. What could be more relaxing than that?

Are you ready to get on the water? Just make sure you’re being safe, and if you have any questions or doubts, ask a local outdoor shop or do your own research before you go. Once you have safety squared away, you’ll be ready to experience why Upstate New York is home to some of the best paddling in the Northeast—and welcome in the beginning of another beautiful summer season!

Solo kayaking photo credit Teresa Farrell
Kayaking down a quiet stream photo credit Teresa Farrell
Kayaking with mountain background photo credit Robyn Hadfield
Kayaking past the trees photo credit Teresa Farrell

posted at: 2020-05-27 21:47:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 16:43:59

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