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Vermont Watersports: Places to Kayak, Canoe, & Paddle Board

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Water sports go hand in hand with Vermont summers, and there's no better way to take a break from the pool than by visiting these awesome places to kayak, canoe, or paddle board in southern Vermont. These quiet, low-impact water activities are fun for the whole family, and let you experience the beautiful scenery of Vermont in an entirely new way.

Vermont kayaking

Since many of Vermont's locals are pretty protective of their favorite canoeing and kayaking spots, we've collected a list of some of the best locations in southern Vermont to get your paddle on.

1. Somerset Reservoir

Just a few miles outside of Wilmington lies Somerset Reservoir, an 8.5-mile-long lake known for its pristine beauty. Because it is surrounded by National Forest land, the lake maintains an air of quiet solitude, and the natural views are unspoiled by homes or other structures. Somerset Reservoir is a popular area destination for canoers, kayakers, and paddleboarders alike, but beware of the strong winds that can sometimes make going a bit more difficult.

2. Harriman Reservoir

South of Somerset, the Harriman Reservoir is another great place for some Vermont kayaking or canoeing. Its long, winding layout gives lots of room for exploration, and its location near Route 9 means it's easy to find - and get home again at the end of the day. Coupled with a public picnic area and free parking, this is a great choice for a family paddling adventure.

3. Grout Pond

Only a tiny jump north from Somerset Reservoir, Grout Pond is a very popular location for canoeing, kayaking, and camping in southern Vermont. Campsites are even accessible by canoe, sometimes the easiest way to get to a choice site. There is a small fee to camp at the pond, but trust us - it's worth it. The pond sits in the middle of National Forest land, the natural views are breathtaking. There are also a number of trails that go around the lake and through the surrounding woods, giving you some land-based activities for when your arms get tired of paddling.

4. Emerald Lake

Vermont Paddle boardThough it's a bit farther north than the other places to kayak and canoe, we think you'll find that Emerald Lake is worth the journey. A hotbed for any kind of water activity, Emerald Lake has a large stock of kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and stand-up paddleboards for rent at reasonable prices. You can also camp in the beautiful wooded campsite, lie out on the sandy beach, and hike the miles of trails - that is, when you aren't having a blast out on the water. You can even take your fishing gear along and catch some perch, bass, or pike for dinner! This is one Vermont kayaking destination that comes highly recommended.

After a long day of fun in the sun, the best feeling in the world is being able to come home and collapse into your nice comfy bed. And with our special deals on long-term and short-term Vermont rental houses near some of the best places to kayak and canoe, you can get that same feeling even on your vacation. Take a look at all of our listings to find one that works for you.

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  1. Patty Killion on

    [...] Outside of the festival itself, you’ll find plenty more things to do in Wilmington and Dover. There are lots of great restaurants, nightspots, and outside activities to do in the area. For instance, the southern Vermont region is well known for its beautiful covered bridges and scenic drives, and there are also lots of opportunities for hiking, biking, and watersports. [...]
    • Patty Killion on

      […] you’re coming this way on vacation this summer and wondering what to do in Vermont during the warmer months, we recommend that old summer staple: the outdoor festival. Vermont’s […]
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