How to Find a Water Trail Near You

Are you looking for a new paddling spot near you? Here’s a resource to find your next favorite water trail…

kayaking a mountain lake

The American Canoe Association has a resource on their website for discovering water trails for paddling. Whether you want to stay local or venture outside your own region or state, you can look at ACA’s database to find one.

How to Use ACA's Database

On the Explore Water Trails page on ACA’s website, scroll down until you see the option to select a country. When you choose “United States” you then have the option to select a state.

(A little quirk: Even though you have the option to select many, many other countries besides the United States, there are no search results for them! That makes sense—after all it is the American Canoe Association. But then why the option to choose other countries?! But I digress…)

So you’ve chosen United States and your state. Let’s say it’s Aqua-Bound’s own state of Wisconsin.
Six results come up. Along with the name of the water trail is the closest town or city.

We’ll click on the top one: Buckhorn State Park Canoe Trail. It brings us to a page with a couple addresses, website links, a short description of the water trail, a map and boat rental information.

The list doesn’t seem complete. For example, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway isn’t included in Wisconsin’s list, but is one of the best paddling stretches in the Midwest.

So the database has its faults. When we chose Utah as our state, nothing comes up. Since Utah has miles of rivers, we must assume the information simply hasn’t been added in yet.

When we choose Minnesota, 37 trails are listed, but almost all of them say they’re in St. Paul! Since I live here, I happen to know there aren’t that many rivers in St. Paul :)

Maybe the one(s) developing this database is from North Carolina—there are 146 listings for that popular paddling state!

Another Resource

Paddling.com has a “Locations” map to help you find a great paddling spot near you. Since this resource depends on users adding their comments and suggestions, there isn’t much information for some spots, while there’s plenty for others.

Check them out and see what you can find. You might just come up with a few new favorites!

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