Northeast Ohio: A Paddler’s Paradise

September 19, 2023

Northeast Ohio is a paddlers paradise, and offers a variety of waterways to explore. Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, the area offers a variety of paddling opportunities for any skill level. Here are some of the best kayaking destinations Northeast Ohio has to offer!

Cuyahoga River Water Trail: The Cuyahoga River has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Launch your kayak at points like Kent, Peninsula, or Boston Mills, along the easy-to-access Towpath Trail and paddle through everything from scenic slow-moving stretches to exciting rapids. Keep an eye out for wildlife and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad along the way.

Lake Erie Islands: Venturing out to Lake Erie's islands can be a thrill! Paddle around The Bass Islands or Kelleys Island, enjoying views of cliffs, caves, sandy beaches, and clear blue water. Launch out of Catawba and paddle across, or take your kayaks on the Miller Ferry to South Bass or Kelleys! Beware of boat traffic, and be sure to have the proper safety equipment on board.

Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail: This 27-mile long water trail offers both river and open water paddling along the lake shore. The trail begins at the Vermilion River Reservation and stretches out to Lake Erie, taking an eastward turn down the coast, and finishing up at Bur Oak Reservation on the Black River. On this adventure you’ll pass sights such as the Lorain Lighthouse, Lakeview Park, and a Heron rookery on the Black River. There are several access points along the way to cut the distance shorter.

Portage Lakes State Park: This area is a paradise for kayakers. You can launch your kayak on Turkeyfoot Lake, Nimisilla (which only allows electric motors), or numerous others and enjoy the picturesque scenery. The park is also a fantastic spot for fishing and birdwatching.

Headlands Beach State Park: Located near the mouth of the Grand River, this is the longest natural sand beach in the state. This area also offers hiking trails, excellent fishing, wildlife viewing, and a view of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse. As always, beware of boat traffic and bring along the proper safety equipment.

These are just a few of the numerous areas to paddle Northeast Ohio. There are plenty of great opportunities, so grab your kayak and go explore!