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.
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
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