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Best Kayaking Spots In and Around the Upper Valley

Aug 11, 2022 01:35PM ● By Virginia Dean
Along with simply being fun and enjoyable, kayaking has numerous physical benefits. It’s the sort of thing that calls to you—gliding across a glassy stretch of water, the boat’s bow knifing through the mist and its wake shimmering in reflected light. With some light preparation, you can slip into the cockpit and put paddle to pond. But where?

Grafton Pond

A 319-acre pond located in western New Hampshire in the town of Grafton, Grafton Pond is part of the Mascoma River watershed, flowing to the Connecticut River. Locals love that motorized boat use is restricted here, so the kayaking experience is peaceful. It’s also considered great for beginners.

The Connecticut River

Kayaking along this 400-mile river is fun and relaxing. L.L.Bean teaches classes at the Wilder boat launch on the river. The Connecticut River Paddlers Trail is a series of primitive campsites and river access points spanning the waterway from its headwaters at the US–Canadian border to its terminus at Long Island Sound. It provides a unique opportunity to paddle through the heart of New England.

Silver Lake

Located in Barnard, Vermont, Silver Lake is beautiful and great for beginners. Its 84 acres offer swimming, picnic areas, and camping in addition to fishing and paddling. The 35-acre park, situated on the northern shoreline of the lake, is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation as part of the Vermont state park system.

Other Bodies Of Water in the Upper Valley

New Hampshire’s McDaniel’s Marsh in Springfield is great for beginners with little water traffic and an easy in and out; Goose Pond in Canaan; Keysar Lake in Sutton; Clark Pond in Canaan; and Crystal Lake in Enfield. Also, check out Lake Fairlee in Fairlee, Vermont.

Outside the UV

For those interested in kayaking beyond the Upper Valley, try Lake Gunnison in Goshen, New Hampshire; Newfound Lake in Grafton County; Chittenden Reservoir, which is a hidden gem about 8 miles northeast of Rutland, Vermont; Lake Sunapee in Sunapee, New Hampshire; and Kent Pond and Colton Pond on Route 100 in Killington, Vermont.

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