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Public Flat Water and Beginner Paddling Opportunities

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Public Flat Water and Beginner Paddling Opportunities

If you are new to canoeing or kayaking, we highly recommend you begin learning how to manage your craft on flat water, which more often than not is a lake. Once you feel comfortable and master some skills dealing with wind and waves, and you can confidently steer and stop your boat, you may want to graduate to the increased challenge of paddling rivers.

Middle River is the next step up in paddling difficulty. In normal water levels, Middle River is a good beginner river with long stretches of flat water (with moving current) punctuated by periodic Class I and Class II rapids, which are the easiest rating of rapids that exist.

Where does one go to find flatwater to practice on prior to trying rivers? Luckily, we have a lot of beautiful opportunities right here and in surrounding counties to occupy yourself with until you gain some competence.


Beaver Creek Reservoir, 104 acres

Albemarle Lake, 35 acres

Chris Green Lake- 53 acres and kayak rentals

Totier Creek Reservoir- 66 acres

Walnut Creek Park, 45 acres, kayak rentals


Sherando Lake, 24 acres

Hearthstone Lake, only 7 acres (very small)

Elkhorn Lake, 54 acres

Todd Lake


Arrowhead Lake, 39 acres


Lake Shenandoah, 36 acres

North River at Wildwood Park, Bridgewater

Paddle and put-in immediately upstream of the dam.

Hone Quarry, only 5.5.acres, (very small)

Briery Branch Lake, only 9 acres, (very small)

Skidmore Reservoir, 118 acres


Lake Laura, 44 acres

More Info for other Virginia opportunities


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