15 Best Lakes To Paddle Board Near Me in The US
There were almost 4 million paddle boarders in the USA in 2022, and this number keeps growing. And the good thing is that even if you are nowhere near the extensive coastal shoreline this great country of America is blessed with, you can still find the best lakes for paddle boarding near me, in the USA.
And to those that ask whether you can paddle board in a lake, well, yes! You can. If you can enjoy paddle boarding in the river, you can enjoy it even more on a lake.
Here are the top, most beautiful lakes for paddle boarding in the USA:
1. Crater Lake in Oregon
I included this paddle boarding destination as the first one for a reason. You see, many people ask: can you paddle board in a crater lake. Yes you can, and such lakes do not come any better than Crater Lake, in Oregon.
Remember what we said in the article I wrote on: Is it safe to paddle board in winter? Well, it is, and since this is a high altitude crater at 6,178 feet above sea level, it will be super cold. So you had better dress up warmly for paddle boarding in cold weather.
This is also the deepest lake in the US, measuring 1943 feet at its deepest point. Craters usually form after a volcanic eruption and over the centuries, they may fill up with water from the snow melting, or from rain, to form a crater lake. The volcanic eruption that formed this one took place over 8000 years ago.
This is a fish-rich lake, so you can have fun fishing from the SUP board. It also has two islands which you can paddle to, or take a boat.
Also known as the cleanest lake in the US, it is popular with divers, snorkelers, anglers, and other adventure seekers. Unless it is the winter, you will hardly ever be alone on this lake.
2. Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri
On this lake, you can hire a speed boat and ride at break neck speed because there are no speed restrictions. It is also great for catfish and bass fishing, and in summer, it is so crowded.
If you know how to paddle board faster, get to this lake. You can try the highest speeds you can on a narrow and long SUP board designed for speed.
There are kayak and SUP rental shops, so you do not need to bring your solid or inflatable paddle board.
There are many activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, biking, golfing, swimming, and beach games. Also, there are lodging options for all people.
3. Lake Tahoe in California
California has something for every outdoor enthusiast, including one of the best lakes for paddle boarding in America.
Lake Tahoe strands the California and Nevada boundary and on the Nevada side, you can catch sight of the awesome Sierra Nevada mountains.
It is the second-deepest lake in the USA and the water is clear up to 70 feet. The water remains cold throughout the year, but in summer, the lake attracts a large crowd.
To make it a perfect family destination, there is the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, with many hiking trails and a lot of things to see and do.
You can go paddle boarding on this lake in winter, so that practically means it’s perfect for any season.
4. Lake Superior in Michigan
Actually, Lake Michigan is accessible from the state of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This is the biggest fresh water lake in the world, and it is home to various water sports, and related activities.
If you love surfing, you might want to try the northern side of the lake because it whips up good waves.
This lake is also rich in different species of fish, making it popular with anglers. In fact, fishing charters are very popular in summer, and you can arrange for one.
If you just want to SUP, this is the place to be in spring and summer, or any season. The waters are calm and clean.
5. Lake Powell in Utah and Arizona
No list of the best lakes in the USA can be complete without including Lake Powell, which is in both Utah and Arizona states. By the way, there are close to 130 lakes in Arizona alone.
Lake Powell is manmade, from the creation of a dam for the Colorado River. It is ranked as the top lake to paddle board in the USA. Besides, the SUP Connect Paddle Board shop is available for all of your SUP rentals.
This lake looks very good, and you can have fun on it with a SUP board or a kayak. Stretching over 200 miles, this is also a good destination for speed boating.
Remember to bring your underwater waterproof camera to take photos, with the stunning backdrops of the crimson cliffs in the distance. Remember, the lake has been formed by damming the Colorado River at the Glen Canyon.
Some of the places to launch your 4 inch or 6 inch paddle board from include Antelope Point Marina and Wahweap Marina on the Arizona side, and on the Utah side, there is the Bullfrog Marina, Stateline Launch ramp, and the Launch ramp.
6. Lake Michigan in Michigan: Can you paddleboard in Lake Michigan?
You can access this giant lake from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. And yes, it is open for paddle boarding and other water sports.
One of the most popular places to paddle board from include the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. When you stand on the SUP board, you catch the stunning sight of the dunes.
Because of the sheer size of the lake, you will get the same experience that you would get when paddle boarding in the waves in the ocean. You can also enjoy surfing because the lake offers conditions similar to those of the ocean.
In the past, paddle boarders have SUP-ed across the lake in less than 20 hours. You can ask the local rental shops when a similar event can be arranged and test your mettle to the maximum.
There are many places to paddle on Lake Michigan, but some of the popular ones include Warren Dunes, Deerlick Creek Park, Weko Beach, Jean Klock Park, and New Buffalo.
7. Lake Havasu in Arizona
Lake Havasu has many points from which you can launch a paddle board. These include Grass Island, London Bridge, Pirate’s Cove, and Red Rock, to name but a few of them.
Not only do you get to SUP here, but you also get many options for kayak and SUP board rentals, instead of transporting your paddle board over long distances.
These shops include Nautical Watersports Rentals, Southwest Outfitters, Champion Rentals, and Lakeside Kayak.
With the lake covering an area of 19000 acres, it is large enough for all water activities, including hiring a boat for family fun, canoes and any other watercraft.
8. Lost Lake in Colorado
Despite the name, don’t worry too much, as you will not get lost when paddling in this lake. Colorado is one of the most mountainous states in the USA, and the scenery around the lake is awesome.
In the Lost Lake Campground, there is a rental store where you can hire a board, kayak, or canoe. The launch area is close to the campground.
You do not need to pay for a permit to paddle in Colorado. However, you need to ask about the SUP regulations for Lost Lake at the campground, before you hit the water.
9. Lake Mead in Nevada
The backdrop of the desert scenery makes paddle boarding on this lake seem so stunning, especially for people that adore vast spaces.
The lake is close to Las Vegas, but don’t worry if you need a lot of quiet, because none of the razzmatazz of the city gets to the lake. It is a perfect weekend getaway for someone who wants to paddle board the weekend away.
Boulder Beach is a perfect place for you to launch your board on Lake Mead. There is also enough parking on the beach.
10. Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire
This is also one of the most beautiful lakes in the USA, with clear and clean waters. It is definitely open to the SUP enthusiasts, to swimmers and beach revelers.
It is not a large lake and the waters are generally calm. Therefore, even if you are a beginner at paddling, this lake offers you the perfect opportunity.
For photo opportunities, there are the White Mountains in the distance, the green vegetation on the shores, and the turquoise waters.
If you want to bring your own paddle board, that is okay. The only charges you will have to pay is for parking your car.
11. Lake Santeetlah in North Carolina
Surrounded by lush, green hills that are characteristic of most of North Carolina, Lake Santeetlah is beautiful, calm and welcoming. The water is cold almost throughout the year, but it offers a nice SUP experience.
You can try paddle boarding from different places such as Morganton Point Recreation Area, Southern Water Trails, The Paddle Zone, and many others.
All of these kayak and paddle board rental places show how popular this sport is with many people who come to see the lake.
Also, there is no paddle boarding age limit, so you can take your kid along on your board. This is a calm lake, so you can paddle a long distance if you like.
12. Caddo Lake in Texas
This is a swamp lake, and it is surrounded by green vegetation on all sides. It is accessible from both Louisiana and Texas.
Texas is home to many lakes, so if you do not like this one, you can try Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Conroe, Lady Bird Lake, Lake Travis, and Lewisville Lake, to name but a few.
Remember, Texas is also one of the places to paddle board in winter in the USA, so you should have a lot of fun.
At Caddo Lake, there are paddleboard rentals, so you don’t need to bring your own. There is also parking for motor vehicles.
13. Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming
There are many things to do in Wyoming and one of them is paddleboarding in the Yellowstone Lake.
You do require to have your paddle board inspected to get a permit before you get into the water.
Besides SUP activity, you can also have a great family time enjoying the expansive flora and fauna of the 3500 square mile Yellowstone National Park. There are hots springs and geysers, as well as other wonders of geography.
14. Flathead Lake in Montana
If you are looking for the best lakes for paddle boarding near me in Montana, you should definitely try Flathead Lake.
It offers almost 200 miles of shoreline. You can enjoy many water-related activities, in addition to SUP fun.
Please note that Montana winters are cold, so you should gear up very well if you want to have solitary paddle boarding fun in the season.
Usually, the water temperature does not rise up too much during the year, but it is tolerable for swimming in summer.
Glacier National Park is not too far, so you can arrange to have some sightseeing there too. If you like, you can take horse riding lessons, and so on.
15. Hanging Lake in Colorado
There are many beautiful lakes in the US, but this one is in its own league. It is fed by stunning waterfalls, which form the most stunning photo opportunities. We are not sure that you can SUP in Hanging Lake, but it is worth seeing the stunning views.
You will pay a fee to hike the trail that goes to the Hanging Lake. Thus, it figures to expect to pay if they allow paddle boarding.
Also read my older posts on:
There are thousands of places to paddleboard near you in the USA, in any given state that has lakes or rivers.
Thus, if you can’t wait to get on your board for some serious fun, you will be spoiled for choice.
Besides, some places such as California offer the best paddle boarding for winter. So, if it is too cold in Wyoming, Montana, or Texas, try Lake Tahoe.
There is no need to travel with your board. You will find many rental facilities in the destination that you choose.
For instance, when paddle boarding on Lake Dillon in Colorado, you can hire a paddle, baddle board, and life jacket, in your SUP rental package.