10 Best Places To Kayak In Upstate New York

Kayaking is enjoying an upsurge in popularity, and why not? It’s fun, inexpensive, great exercise.

With its endless lakes and gorges, Upstate New York is a great destination for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you want to explore the natural beauty of this area or unwind on the water with friends, kayaking in Upstate New York is the perfect choice.

Kayaks are available for rent at many different destinations in Upstate New York. You can choose to rent an inflatable kayak one day and paddle around a lake the next day. This blog will help guide you through some of the best places to kayak in Upstate New York.

Hudson River

The Hudson River is the longest river in New York. The Hudson River passes through Manhattan, Yonkers, and Albany. It also reaches the Atlantic Ocean in New York City. The Hudson River has many interesting places along its shores.

For example, Piermont is an old town located on the north side of the river. Other towns along the Hudson River include Nyack and Tarrytown which are located on the west side of the river. At one time, these towns were serviced by passenger trains that ran on a railroad bridge over the river.

Raquette River

Raquette River in New York is the perfect place for kayaking. The crystal-clear water, the peacefulness of the landscape, and the serenity it offers are just a few reasons to visit this location. You’ll find that every season has something special to offer you.

Spring brings with it the beauty of blooming flowers, summer allows you to experience wildlife up close, while autumn showcases the vibrant colors of fall. If you want to get away from the city for a while, the Raquette River is an ideal place to go. It’s great for kayakers of all skill levels.

Ausable River

The Ausable River is a pristine, scenic river in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. There are many different sections to kayak on the Ausable River. The upper section flows through the forest and is filled with beaver dams and flat water areas. It’s great for beginners.

The middle section is more challenging due to the whitewater rapids. And then there’s downstream, which features even more rapids that are difficult for novice paddlers to navigate.

These sections offer many opportunities for adventurers of all skill levels to try something new! For those who want to take their kayaking skills to the next level.

Buffalo River

It is a river in the United States that flows from south to north across western New York, emptying into Lake Erie. The Buffalo River has a watershed of 970 square miles of land.

The Buffalo River is part of the Great Lakes system and is not only a great kayaking destination, but also a place for hiking, fishing, and wildlife observation. You can rent kayaks from several places in Buffalo.

Moose River Plains

Moose River Plains is a beautiful, scenic river valley in New York. Its pristine water and gorgeous views make it the perfect place for kayaking. The Moose River Plains offers three major rivers:

The South Branch of the Moose River, the North Branch of the Moose River, and the West Branch of the Moose River. You can choose which one you want to paddle down depending on how long you would like to go.

You can rent kayaks on the east shore of Lake Fourth, where you will find a public launch.

Genesee River

The Genesee River is a great place to kayak, explore the outdoors, and enjoy nature. It’s also a great place to learn about the environment. The Genesee River is one of the most biologically diverse areas in New York State, with more than 250 species of fish, 120 types of birds, and 39 different kinds of trees.

The water flows through forests, parks, and neighborhoods while you take in the scenic views. The Genesee River includes three historic canals that were used for commerce in Rochester before being turned into public recreation areas.

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is a perfect place for kayaking. It’s located in the center of the town and is a great spot for people of all ages to paddle around. Whether you’re looking for a boat, a kayak, or both, Beaver Lake has you covered.

They have canoes and kayaks available for rent, as well as lessons if you need help getting started. If you prefer to bring your own boat, there are plenty of places to launch.

Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake is a waterbody and the longest and largest of the Finger Lakes. The lake is fed by ten different sources and drains through three different outlets. It is centrally located in New York State, midway between the cities of Ithaca and Auburn.

If you’re looking for a way to escape from your 9-to-5, or just want to see some beautiful scenery, there are few things better than kayaking on Cayuga Lake. Kayaking can be done year-round, as long as you dress appropriately.

Rondout Creek

Paddling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and feel like you’re in your own little world. You can take your kayak down a river, listen to the soothing sound of water and take in the beauty of nature.

Rondout Creek is a popular paddling destination for beginner and intermediate paddlers. It offers something for everyone; from flatwater to rapids, scenic vistas to wildlife sightings. Find out what makes this place such a great kayaking spot.

Lake George

Lake George has so much to offer! From the historic villages and mountain ranges to the wildlife and water sports, there is something for everyone. There are also a number of islands on Lake George that can be visited by paddlers.

What should you bring?

Your lunch, energy bars, a water bottle, and a flashlight are always necessities. Take your time getting settled in your kayak before you go for a leisurely paddle, but don’t leave anything to chance.

Take the time to read the instructions (instructions are included in the rental contract, which is also very helpful). Most boat companies will let you borrow a dry bag if you don’t bring one. Dry bags can be pricey and big, so bring an old grocery bag to keep your gear in. Be sure to wear a bathing suit to protect your clothing.

Kayaking doesn’t always have to mean paddling down a river. There are many small, well-maintained ponds, lakes and streams around Upstate New York

Paddler safety courses

Paddle New York is a program offered by the Outdoor Federation of New York State. Participants choose from various courses on kayak/canoe safety. Private Kayak and Canoe Trips and Cruises are also available at various times throughout the year.

There are private instructions on getting started, being safe, and having a good time in the water.


This summer, take a few moments to celebrate the best of summer at the following 10 local lake resorts and river outfitters. You can easily find all the information you need at each place. Just be sure to call ahead and ask to speak to the local innkeeper, or owner, for a personal tour of the property and to arrange a demo, or lesson, on a canoe or kayak.

After you have seen the beauty of this world around you, take a little time to sit down, relax, and enjoy a delicious drink on your porch before you decide where to take your next vacation.

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