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Public Flat Water and Beginner Paddling Opportunities

Updated: Apr 25

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.


ALBEMARLE COUNTY

Beaver Creek Reservoir, 104 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/beaver-creek-reservoir/


Albemarle Lake, 35 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/albemarle-lake/


Chris Green Lake- 53 acres and kayak rentals

https://www.albemarle.org/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/52/360


Totier Creek Reservoir- 66 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/totier-creek-reservoir/


Walnut Creek Park, 45 acres, kayak rentals

https://www.albemarle.org/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/60/360


AUGUSTA COUNTY

Sherando Lake, 24 acres

https://birdingvirginia.org/augusta/hotspots/sherando-lake


Hearthstone Lake, only 7 acres (very small)

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/hearthstone-lake/#fishing


Elkhorn Lake, 54 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/elkhorn-lake/


Todd Lake

https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/todd-lake-recreation-area/


PAGE COUNTY


Arrowhead Lake, 39 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/arrowhead-lake/


ROCKINGHAM COUNTY

Lake Shenandoah, 36 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/lake-shenandoah/


North River at Wildwood Park, Bridgewater

Paddle and put-in immediately upstream of the dam.

https://www.theswimguide.org/beach/2483

https://www.visitharrisonburgva.com/places/wildwood-park2/


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

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/hone-quarry/#facilities


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

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/briery-branch-lake/#facilities


Skidmore Reservoir, 118 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/skidmore-reservoir/


SHENANDOAH COUNTY

Lake Laura, 44 acres

https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/lake-laura/


More Info for other Virginia opportunities

https://dwr.virginia.gov/lakes/

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/paddling


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