Incredibly Beautiful Kayaking Destinations In North Carolina

Kayaking can be a great way to see some of the best sights in North Carolina while enjoying the peace and quiet of nature. And there are several great kayaking spots in North Carolina if you’re looking for the perfect place to go kayaking. The Nantahala Gorge, Rocky River Blueway, Cape Fear River, and Alligator National Wildlife Refuge are all covered in this article. 

North Carolina is known for its beautiful beaches, but kayakers and fishermen can also find plenty of great spots to explore in the state. The Outer Banks is a popular spot for kayaking and fishing, with crystal-clear waters and some of the best fishing in the country! 

There are also plenty of sheltered coves and river systems to explore in the mountains. North Carolina is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the Southeast.

On your trip, you might find some places you didn’t expect! There are plenty of other places to go kayaking, too. Read on to find out more about these places.

Top Kayaking Destinations In North Carolina

Kayaking is a great way to spend a day out in the outdoors. With top kayaking destinations in North Carolina, you can find the perfect place to take your Kayak and paddle around. Some of the best places to kayak in North Carolina include the Catawba River, Outer Banks, Pee Dee River, and Morehead River. Kayaking can be done either on the water or on land.

Here are all the top kayaking destinations in North Carolina;

Falls Lake

Falls Lake is a beautiful reservoir located in the western part of North Carolina. The lake is part of the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, which includes seven different park locations and regular programs. It is a popular spot for kayaking and swimming. 

There are several places to kayak around the lake, including a stretch of rapids known as The Class IV Rapids. The Class IV Rapids are challenging but doable for most beginner kayakers.

Black River

The Black River is a popular kayaking destination in North Carolina. The river has many Class II-IV rapids and is excellent for beginner kayakers. However, there are some kayaking regulations that you should be aware of when visiting the area. 

Campsites are located near the riverbanks and offer views of the rapids. Kayakers can launch from the banks or take out at one of several designated landing spots. Fishing for bass, bream, sunfish, and catfish is also popular in Black River.

Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake is a manmade lake located in Transylvania County, North Carolina. It is a popular destination for kayakers and easily accessible by taking Jordan Lake Road from the town of Brevard. The lake is surrounded by mountains and has several attractions, including a campsite, a waterfall, and a swimming hole. 

Kayaking on the lake is an enjoyable experience, as the water is crystal clear, and there are many different types of trees and wildlife to see.

A Brief History Of Jordan Lake

The lake was created by the construction of the Jordan Dam in the 1930s. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River and creates Jordan Lake, which is about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide at its widest point.

The history of kayaking and canoeing at Jordan Lake goes back to the early 1900s. In 1906, an American named William Satherly built a small cabin onshore near the mouth of Jordan Creek, which flows into the lake. He used the cabin as a fishing camp and store for supplies he traded with Native Americans who frequented the area. 

In 1927, James Hutchinson built a small resort on what is now Hutchinson Island near the northern end of Jordan Lake.

High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake is a beautiful spot for fishing and kayaking. The lake is surrounded by mountains, making it a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking. There are several places to fish in the lake, including bait or fly fishing. Kayakers can enjoy paddling around the many coves and islands in the lake.

There are many different species of fish in the lake, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, perch, and walleye. The best time to fish High Rock Lake is during the fall and winter months when the water temperature is cooler.

Lake James 

Lake James is a beautiful, crystal clear freshwater lake located in North Carolina. It’s perfect for kayaking and fishing because it’s large enough to offer plenty of fishing opportunities but not so large that you can’t easily navigate around. The lake also has a variety of different fish species that you can catch, including bass, catfish, crappie, and more. 

Kayaking is a great way to explore the entire lake, while fishing provides an extra layer of excitement by giving a chance for a big catch. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely day trip or try your hand at some serious fishing, Lake James is the perfect place to do it.

It’s perfect for kayaking because it’s large, has many recreational areas, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Cape Fear River

Kayaking and canoeing are two popular adventures on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. The river has several Class I and II rapids, making it perfect for kayakers of all levels of experience. Kayakers can take on challenging Class III and IV rapids or leisurely float through the slower sections. The scenery is beautiful, and there are plenty of places to stop for a snack or a drink.

It is a 202-mile-long river that begins where the Deep River and Haw River meet near Moncure. This river flows through wetlands and forested swamps and eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Fear. Early European settlements relied on the river to transport supplies and people.

Today, the river offers excellent kayaking, swimming, and fishing opportunities.

Mountain Island Lake

Mountain Island Lake is the ideal place for a relaxing day of paddling, fishing, and stand-up paddle boarding. The lake is located in the North Carolina mountains, and it is one of the most popular fishing spots in the state. 

It has a surface area of 2,000 acres and is home to largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. There are several boat ramps and campsites on the lake, and it is also a popular spot for hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Besides, Mountain Island Lake is close to Charlotte but still offers a natural and tranquil setting. The lake’s unbroken wooded banks and reduced motorized traffic make it a peaceful destination for kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. The lake’s waters are home to blue catfish, channel catfish, spotted bass, crappie, and striped bass.

Bond Lake NC

Bond Lake is a picturesque freshwater lake located in the North Carolina Mountains. The lakeshore offers kayak fishing opportunities for those who are looking to experience a unique outing. 

There are six species of fish that you can catch from a Kayak: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, and Catfish. Boaters should remember to bring their licenses and proper gear in order to enjoy these exciting aquatic adventures!

Other Popular Kayaking Destinations Near North Carolina

Kayaking has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of exploring the natural beauty of North Carolina. There are several excellent kayaking destinations close to the state, each with its own unique appeal.

If you are just starting out, I would advise you to stay away from the Whitewater Run. It has Class III and IV rapids, making it less suitable for those who are just starting out. 

Listed below are some popular kayaking destinations around North Carolina;

Rocky River Blueway

The Rocky River Blueway in North Carolina is home to some of the best kayaking in the country. There are more than 50 miles of paddling on the river, with plenty of waterfalls and plant life to enjoy. You can also paddle down the tranquil lake or forest that surrounds the river.

Lake Wylie Kayaking In North Carolina

If you are looking for a unique activity during your next vacation, consider kayak rentals in Lake Wylie, North Carolina. The area is a great place to go bird watching, and you can enjoy a fun-filled day of water sports on Lake Wylie. The city of Lake Wylie is located near the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. If you are planning on staying at one of the many resorts or hotels in the area, you may want to consider kayak rentals.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

For an ideal paddling destination, head to the eastern part of the state to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a 152,000-acre wilderness area in eastern North Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean. Established on March 14, 1984, this refuge was created to protect a unique wetland habitat type. You can even paddle alongside the pocosin, a local species.

Whether you are looking for a kayaking adventure or a scenic cross-country hike, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect destination. You’ll have endless opportunities to view the wildlife here, as well as hike through the forest. It’s a great place to spot bears and wild deer, and the bird-watching is endless!

In 1984, conservationists noticed the unique landscape and decided to establish the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Today, the refuge protects the rare pocosin wetland and a reintroduced red wolf population. While kayaking in North Carolina, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery, including red wolves. It’s also possible to see and hear these creatures as they live in the surrounding habitat.

Masonboro Island Estuarine Reserve

A barrier island, Masonboro Island Estuarine Reserve is an excellent spot for kayaking or sea kayaking. Its eight-mile coastline is 87% marsh and tidal flats, with some beach uplands. A trail from the water edge leads to a trail across the island, which provides miles of shoreline to explore. During the summer, you can take advantage of the island’s unique flora and fauna.

If you are a beginner, you can start your adventure by taking a tour.

There are guided kayaking tours available for beginners. For more advanced paddlers, you can try sea kayaking. The waters are calm, and the sand is soft, making for a fun and safe adventure. Kayaking trips are best planned during high tide, so you can enjoy the best conditions. Be sure to watch out for water moccasins and other local residents.

Rhodhiss Lake Kayaking In North Carolina

Rhodhiss Lake is a beautiful and serene lake located in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. It is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding due to its calm waters and scenic surroundings. The lake is also great for fishing, as there are many fish species that can be caught here.

There are largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and perch. Numerous fishing opportunities are available, including fly fishing, baitcasting, and trolling. A variety of boats are available for rent or purchase, including pontoon boats, johnboats, and canoes. Fishing licenses are required for residents age 16 and older.

5 Things To Remember When Kayaking In North Carolina

Kayaking is a great way to enjoy nature and see some of the beautiful sights North Carolina has to offer. However, there are a few things you should remember when kayaking in North Carolina.

For example, always wear a life jacket and obey the rules and warnings. It’s also important to stay aware of your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards, like rocks or other boats.

Nowadays, the water is rougher, and there are more boat traffic jams than ever before. But don’t forget the good old days when kayaking was all about enjoying the natural beauty of our state.

Furthermore, make sure to follow the regulations for the area you are kayaking in. This includes staying away from wild animals and sticking to designated routes. And, be aware of your surroundings at all times and never kayak alone.

When you are kayaking in North Carolina, there are a few things to remember to have a safe and fun experience. 

  1. Always stay aware of your surroundings and be alert for other boats, people, or wildlife. 
  2. Don’t attempt any stunts or flips that you aren’t sure can be done safely. 
  3. Avoid crossing into other people’s kayaks or waterways without first asking permission. 
  4. Respect the natural resources around you by using common sense when selecting your route and minimizing impacts on the environment. 
  5. Have a Plan B in case of emergency – know where the nearest safe place is should something go wrong while kayaking, and know how to get there safely if necessary. 

In summary, North Carolina offers some of the best kayaking and fishing in the country. With miles of coastline and myriad waterways, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a beginner looking for gentle rivers to explore or an experienced angler searching for challenging waters, North Carolina has something for you. So come on out and explore!