With over 420 National Parks peppered throughout the United States, there is no shortage of pristine, protected and public lands (or waters) to explore by ocean, lake, and river. Here’s a round-up of some of our favorites in the Northern United States…
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Scenic Jackson and Jenny Lakes as well as the Snake River offer endless miles of shoreline to explore all set to a backdrop of the grand escarpment of the Teton Range. With a mountainous 7,000 foot skyline on the horizon and exotic subalpine wildlife like moose, elk, mule deer, lynx, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and trumpeter swans, there is no shortage of sights to see. No wonder Ansel Adams spent much of his time and life’s work capturing the land and water-scapes in Grand Teton National Park.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Just a hop-skip-and-a-jump (and a ferry ride) from our Eddyline Headquarters in Burlington, Washington, Olympic National Park overflows with sea-kayaking and lake paddling opportunities. Check out Lake Crescent, a gorgeous glacial waterway perfect for observing wildlife and a lodge or cabin stay. Lake Ozette, one of the largest lakes in the state, has boat-in campsites and the possibility of white-cap waves. For a paddle under forested peaks head to Lake Quinault and Lake Cushman. Inland not salty enough for you? The Strait of Juan de Fuca provides a sheltered kayaking route adjacent to seals, tide pools and jelly fish.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Paddlers won’t believe there are over 700 lakes scattered throughout Glacier National Park. Imagine the lapping of crisp, clear, glacial water against the side of your kayak as you paddle through a secluded waterway very few have ever seen, let alone paddled. Snow-capped peaks, resident wildlife, and towering forests surround these remote still water beauties and provide outstanding scenery during kayaking excursions. Lake McDonald, Lake Bowman and St Mary Lake are just a few to get you started.
Voyageurs National Park & Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
Millions of acres of lakes, forests, and rivers make up Voyageurs National Park & Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Bordering Canada, this is about as backcountry of a multi-day canoe or kayaking expedition as you can find in the lower-48. Squeeze in your trip before the end of October or all the lakes will be frozen, and you’ll have to tour by sled or ice skates. This is an ideal summertime destination!
Acadia National Park, Maine
Showcasing the best of the Atlantic Coast, novices will enjoy exploring inland waterways like small lakes and ponds while more experienced paddlers will delight in island hopping by sea kayak in the ocean. If tidal oscillations are of concern, seek out a guided tour through an outfitter, of which there are many in the area (Find an Eddyline Kayak Dealer - eddylinekayaks). Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, Echo Lake, and Great Long Pond are all areas you’ll want to check out.
... Stay tuned for a later post featuring some of our favorite National Parks to kayak in Canada and in the Southern parts of the United States! Happy paddling!