The 5 Best Places to Kayak in Washington State

Best Places to Kayak in Washington State. There are plenty of reasons to explore Washington State by kayak, from the breathtaking scenery to the solitude and comfort that only an inflatable kayak can provide. You can even find plenty of opportunities to get in some fishing while you’re out on the water! Here are the top five places to kayak in Washington State.

Lake Sammamish

Located just east of Seattle, Lake Sammamish is a 712-acre man-made lake that offers ideal kayaking conditions. With several campgrounds nearby, it’s easy to plan an overnight trip that lets you sleep under a canopy of stars as you paddle along. If you’ve never tried backcountry camping, Lake Sammamish is a great place to start-your gear and tent can be transported by boat from your campsite (or towed behind your kayak) and pitched on land! After all, there’s nothing quite like waking up to an alpine forest after spending a peaceful night out on the water.

Mercer Slough

Mercer Slough, located outside Seattle and Bellevue, is a small marine habitat that offers both calm-water paddling opportunities as well as challenging whitewater excursions. The slough attracts more than 80 species of birds, including osprey, red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. It’s also home to cormorants, herons and beavers. Mercer Slough is a haven for kayakers of all skill levels; it even has kayak camping sites for overnight trips. You can enjoy nature and wildlife from your kayak or just take it easy on Mercer Lake until you get your fill of beauty. Mercer Slough also connects via Lake Washington to Seward Park in Seattle.

Freeland Waterfront Park

Freeland Waterfront Park is a really wonderful place for some calm kayaking on Lake Whatcom. This spot on Lake Whatcom’s west shore is perfect for those looking for some peace and tranquility, and it’s also a good place for kids to get their first introduction to kayaking. There are picnic tables and restrooms nearby, so it’s an ideal location to spend a sunny afternoon with friends or family. Plus, there are opportunities here for fishing. However, if you visit Freeland Waterfront Park during peak times, you may want to consider going early or staying late as parking can get congested here.

Tolt MacDonald Park

The Tolt MacDonald Park is a great place for families and beginner kayakers because it’s close enough to Seattle, but still feels like you’re far away from all that hustle and bustle. When you arrive at the park, there will be a small parking lot with plenty of space. After exiting your car, make sure you walk over to check out Tolt Creek; there are tons of opportunities for taking pictures. From here, grab your kayaks and head into one of two entry points (depending on which section of Tolt MacDonald Park you want to explore). The only reason why I ranked Tolt MacDonald Park at number four is because it does not feel as outdoorsy as some of my other recommendations.

Kachess Lake

Kachess Lake is located near North Bend, approximately 75 miles from Seattle. During spring, summer and fall months, it’s a great spot for kayaking, fishing and swimming. The Kachess River enters into Kachess Lake with many creeks flowing from nearby mountains. The lake offers excellent bird watching opportunities year-round with over 165 species recorded.

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