Canoeing used to be a popular family-style vacation, hopping through the lakes in Quetico and the Boundary Waters or just a couple easy days downriver in Missouri or, hell, name you local stream. That started slipping away and falling out of favor in the late 70s and early 80s, for reasons unclear, but with the rise of Stand up Paddleboarding a newfound resurgence has developed for all paddlesports.
The natural advantage of canoeing and kayaking is that you can travel with gear. A little less in a kayak, though easier to keep dry. So even if you come to paddling through SUP, you recognize that it is difficult to go much distance for lack of payload capacity.
While you can paddle an open canoe in all flatwater and pretty much all downriver sections that aren’t too harrowing, there are a few favorite spots that people return to year after year for canoe vacations. Many are listed below and more will be listed as they become known.
Boundary Waters (Minnesota).
Colorado River – Grand Canyon.
Big Bend National Park (Texas).
Susquehanna (NY – Penn – MD).
Buffalo River (Arkansas).
Current River (Missouri).
Arkansas River(Colorado, though some good stretches in Oklahoma).
San Marcos River (Texas).
James River (Virginia).
Shenandoah River (WV – VA).
Upper Potomac (WV – VA).
Blackwater River (West Virginia, though there are many).
Green River (Utah, some of WY).
Illinois River (Oklahoma).
White River (Arkansas).
San Juan Islands. This is mainly a kayaking area, but many have done it in canoes.
Platte River (Nebraska, though some CO).
Chesapeake Bay (mainly for closed boats, but canoes back in the neck areas and around islands)