If you’re looking to escape with a kayaking trip near Philadelphia, you’ll find no shortage of great options. With stunning views and affordable kayak rentals among dozens of locations, you’ll find a great option for you no matter how experienced a kayaker you are or what you’re looking for.
Located in downtown Philadelphia, the Schuylkill Banks is eight miles long and heads directly through Philadelphia. This is a great option if you’re looking for an urban kayaking experience with both a great view of the city’s skyline and lush forests. The waters are calm, so Schuylkill Banks is ideal for beginners. Hidden River Outfitters offers kayak rentals as well as tours.
If you’re looking to combine your trip with some hiking or a tour of historic sites, Wissahickon Creek is a great choice. There are over fifty miles of trails and streams with varying depths, making it perfect for any experience level. While you’re there, be sure to take in the Valley Green Inn and Philadelphia’s only remaining covered bridge. If you’re interested in meeting up with other kayaking enthusiasts, the Philadelphia Canoe Club is a great place to start.
Cedar Creek is tucked away in Bayville, New Jersey, and is a great spot for a weekend escape. You’ll find campgrounds and canoe or kayak rentals amidst the cedar trees that line the edge of the water, giving it a special tea color. The terrain here is a mix of bogs and marshes that house many different forms of wildlife. Cedar Creek is ideal for kayakers with some experience. Be sure to check out Cedar Creek Park, with walking and biking trails among the park’s 464 acres.
Marsh Creek State Park
You’ll find this beautiful lake oasis in Downington. With its calm water, Marsh Creek is perfect for an afternoon getaway. The lake also hosts night tours with a tour guide every other Friday, and lessons are also available. Marsh Creek State Park houses more than 1,700 acres, so there’s never any shortage of things to see and do. Swimming and fishing are also available. West Launch Boat Rentals offers rental equipment.
Housed in downtown Philadelphia, Penn’s Landing is a family-friendly recreation spot that recently started providing kayaking. Penn’s Landing is ideal for families who want a short, scenic trip. While there, you can sign up for classes at the Independence Seaport Museum. During the warmer months, you can also take in some live music and enjoy multicultural gatherings. Rentals are also available at the museum.
Kayaking is a great addition to our best things to do in Old City article where you can find lots of other great activities!
Nockamixon State Park
This state park is located in Quakertown and offers phenomenal kayaking almost year-round. It is one of the largest kayaking spots you’ll find and has over 1,000 acres of waterfront. Nockamixon Lake also offers some great fishing. If you’re interested in some classes, you can sign up to learn more about the outdoors no matter your age. Rentals are available at Nockamixon Boat Rental.
Core Creek Park
Core Creek Park is a smaller lake in Bucks County, perfect for beginners who want to ease their way into kayaking. Hiking and picnic areas are also available if you want to make a full day out of your trip, and access to the water from land is incredibly easy. If you’re more experienced, try the Moonlight Paddle Tour. Rentals are available at Core Creek Boat Rental.
With more than 13,000 square miles through four states, you’ll find plenty of water to kayak down along the historic Delaware River. You might also happen to encounter some wild elk, turkeys, or bears while you’re there. The river is also ideal for tubing, and Twin River Tubing has rentals available. With so much to do and see, you can turn your trip to the Delaware River into a whole weekend, and campgrounds are available. Rentals are available at Adventure Sports.
Darby Creek is nestled away in Southeastern Philadelphia and houses many of Pennsylvania’s best historical landmarks. There’s a diverse range of waters here, so it’s ideal for any experience level. Beginners can enjoy the creek, while more experienced kayakers may want to check out the tributaries for a more challenging experience. The creek flows into and out of the Delaware River, and there’s plenty of natural beauty to explore, including the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge and the Swedish Cabin. No matter what you’re interested in, odds are you’ll find it here. Rentals are available at the Ridley Marina.
If you’re looking for a scenic kayaking trip near Philadelphia, you won’t have to look far. Whether you’re looking for a quiet afternoon down a calm river or a more challenging outdoor adventure, you’ll find it somewhere close.