Whether you’re looking for a new adventure or just looking to enjoy North Carolina’s scenic waterways, then kayaking is the outdoor activity for you this summer. With over 40,000 miles of rivers and streams, there is a location perfect for you to put a kayak in and explore for a few hours.

Merchants Millpond State Park

One destination well suited for kayaking is Merchants Millpond State Park. Visitors can rent a canoe to paddle the 760 acres of the millpond. Along the way, they will see tupelo gum and bald cypress trees. Those who paddle far enough will come across the Lassiter Swamp. However, boaters are advised to follow the white post guides to avoid ending up in the Great Dismal Swamp.

Lake Johnson

Lake Johnson is another popular destination for kayaking. At 150 acres, it has a lot to offer. Boaters are advised to navigate the lake’s central area, though experienced boaters often paddle their way into Avent Ferry Road, which features marshy wetlands. Those who venture further may end up in Walnut Creek.

The Dan River

The Dan River is also a place to go kayaking. At 6.5 miles long, it’s just enough for visitors to explore nature without venturing too far into it. By taking the official Dan River Adventures tour, kayakers will paddle their way through HammerStern Wilderness Preserve and, beyond that, on to Hanging Rock State Park. This takes them through the Sauratown Mountain. Above and below them, kayakers will see Peregrine falcons and freshwater clams, an endangered species.

Lake Norman State Park

Lake Norman State Park is also a popular spot to go kayaking. It is one of the ten parks throughout the state where visitors have the option of renting a boat. Kayakers often choose lake Norman because it is 32,150 acres, leaving visitors with plenty to explore. It is the biggest man-made lake in the state of North Carolina. Experts recommend that visitors confine their kayaking to the lake’s many fingers. These fingers are extremely narrow, making them impossible to be accessed by anyone on a powerboat. Kayakers prefer this because it makes the experience safer and more enjoyable for them. Visitors can only access Lake Norman only between May and September.