Perfect dog-friendly paddleboard adventures

Perfect Dog Friendly Paddleboard Adventures

istock/Marek Uliasz

Paddleboarding is a challenging and exciting sport, and a perfect way to have fun on the water. It’s also a perfect activity to do with your four-legged sidekick! Many dogs love to paddleboard, and it’s a good way for them to get exercise, fresh air, and mental stimulation. There are lots of great places to paddleboard in the U.S., and we’ve compiled a list of some of the best.

1.  LaJolla Shores in LaJolla, CA

What could be better than a quintessential Southern California paddle trip? With its rocky cliffs, balmy weather, and crystal clear waters, La Jolla boasts stunning natural beauty and an ideal paddleboarding experience. The prime launch spot is just a short walk southward from Shore’s parking lot–opposite to Scripps Pier. The most fun part of your adventure just may be watching the crowds of seals as they soak up the sun on the rocks.

2.  Mystic River in Boston, MA

When people imagine an ideal paddling destination, Boston doesn’t immediately come to mind. But it’s actually a great location, with plenty of opportunities for paddleboarding with your pup! Lots of paddlers head for the harbor, but if you’re looking for a more tranquil excursion, Mystic River may be for you. The seven-mile long river will take you on a scenic trip through the heart of the city, and you can pull your board right up to many shops and restaurants along the way. Best of all, lots of these unique venues welcome furry friends!

3.  Florida’s Sports Coast in Pasco County, FL

Warm, inviting, and scenic, Pasco County Florida’s Sports Coast has something to offer many an outdoor adventurer. This area includes Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. Paddleboarders will love trekking across the glistening Gulf of Mexico with their pups. When they’re done with the water, they can hike the scrubby, sandy trails of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. Once they’ve worked up an appetite, they can head over to Gill Dawg, a breezy, waterside tiki grill that offers a delicious doggy menu.

4.  Lake Powell in Page, AZ

Known for its unparalleled beauty, Lake Powell in Page is a must-do for paddleboarders in the Southwest. The location’s sheer red rock cliffs, shining water, and unique horseshoe trail have made it one of Arizona’s most famous and most popular paddleboarding destinations for people and pups.  

Sunrise is the most beautiful time of day to visit, and the site is best experienced on a smaller, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) that can easily navigate the narrow, long, and winding passageways in Antelope Canyon.

5.  Willard Beach in South Portland, ME

Tucked away in a charming little cove just near South Portland’s famed Fisherman’s Point, Willard Beach is a truly perfect destination for paddleboarders and their furry co-captains. The tranquil waters are easy to navigate, making it a perfect place for beginners and those looking for a relaxing getaway. In addition, the easy launch is located in a dog-friendly section of the beach, making it ideal for paddleboarding pooches. After your trip, you can take your good boy to Scratch Bakery for some delicious, freshly-made doggie treats.

6.  Santa Fe Lake in Augusta, KS

Only ten minutes from Wichita, Kansas, Santa Fe Lake is beautiful, tranquil, and begging to be explored. The calm waters of the lake’s south shore are easy enough for novice paddleboarders, but scenic and interesting enough for advanced paddlers to enjoy. Augusta’s Santa Fe Lake is a perfect option for anyone looking to get away and spend a peaceful day in nature with their pup.

7.  Green River in Saluda, NC

If you’re in the Asheville, NC area and looking for a great spot for paddleboarding, Green River is a perfect choice. The river flows through gorgeous mountain scenery and offers a pleasant, half-day trip for a range of skill levels. Beginners, and those paddling with their pooches, will want to try out the tranquil waters and stunning scenery of the lower level. Experienced paddlers looking for thrills will want to leave their pups behind to brave the rapids and drops of the upper level.

8.  Flathead Lake in Kalispell, MT

Flathead Lake boasts over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline–all of it just waiting for people and their pups to explore. Bordered on the eastern shore by the craggy, snow-capped Mission Mountains and on the west by the rolling Salish Mountains, Kalispell’s Flathead Lake is famed for its calm, crystal-clear waters.  The lake promises paddleboarders and their pups a real treat, with its exquisite natural views leading to peaceful paddling adventures.

9.  Skaneatles Lake in Skaneatles, NY

Just outside of Syracuse, you’ll find the tranquil and beautiful Skaneateles Lake. One of Upstate New York’s famed Finger Lakes, Skaneateles was one of the first upstate New York lakes to embrace the SUP trend, and is arguably the best for paddleboarding with your pup. The crystal-clear waters are quiet and still, making the ride smooth and peaceful. There are plenty of put-in locations, and there are lots of scenic views and landmarks to explore around the lake.

10.  New River in Pembroke, VA

Located near Roanoke and Blacksburg, in the small town of Pembroke, The New River is distinctive for several reasons. First, in spite of its name, this river system is actually ancient–the oldest in North America and the second-oldest in the world (only the Nile is older). Unlike most other major rivers on the eastern seaboard, the New River flows northward rather than southward. And, the river’s Pembroke Pond region is an ideal spot to paddleboard with your furkid! Its placid waters, serene atmosphere, exquisite scenery, and intriguing natural history makes it a true contender for a fave paddleboarding destination.

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