New England is a paddler’s paradise, with coastline, rivers, lakes, and ponds galore. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or just getting started, there’s a perfect spot for you to enjoy the peacefulness and calm of paddleboarding. Here are our top five places to paddleboard in New England.
Best Paddle Boarding Places in New England
Paddle boarding on the Charles River in Boston, MA
The Charles River is one of the most iconic waterways in New England, and paddleboarding here is a must-do for any paddler visiting Boston. The Charles River Locks and Dam offer gentle currents and sheltered waters, making it an ideal spot for novice paddlers. For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Head of the Charles Regatta course is open to paddleboarders when there aren’t any races taking place. Just be sure to stay clear of the buoys!
Paddle boarding on Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT
Lake Champlain is one of the busiest lakes in New England, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to paddleboard! There are plenty of spots along the shoreline to put in, and once you’re out on the water you can enjoy views of Burlington’s skyline and the Adirondack Mountains beyond. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife—Lake Champlain is home to everything from loons and ospreys to bald eagles!
Paddleboarding on the Saco River in Conway, NH
The Saco River is one of New Hampshire’s gems, and Conway is the perfect spot to put in for a leisurely paddle downstream. The river winds through picturesque forests and farmland, and there are several sandy beaches where you can take a break along the way. Be sure to keep an eye out for moose—you just might spot one wading in the river!
Paddleboarding on Squam Lake in Holderness, NH
Squam Lake is one of New Hampshire’s hidden gems—a quiet lake nestled in the White Mountains. Paddling here is a tranquil experience, as you’ll likely have the lake all to yourself. Keep your eyes peeled for loons—Squam Lake is one of their favorite spots!
Paddleboarding on Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod, MA
Nantucket Sound is definitely worth braving the crowds at Cape Cod for! This popular summer destination is perfect for paddling, with gentle waves and beautiful scenery. You can even paddle over to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island for a day trip! Just be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen—the reflection off the water can be intense!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts (SUP Nauset Beach)
Cape Cod is one of the most popular summer destinations in New England, and for good reason. It's beautiful, there's plenty to do, and it's home to some of the best paddleboarding in the region. There are many different spots to paddleboard on Cape Cod, but one of the most popular is Nauset Beach. Nauset Beach is located on the outer Cape and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. It's also a great place for beginners because the water is typically calm.
Newport, Rhode Island
If you're looking for a more luxurious paddleboarding experience, Newport is the place for you. Newport is home to some of the wealthiest people in the country, and you can definitely see that when you're paddleboarding around Gull Island or Easton's Beach. Both of these spots offer stunning views of Newport's famous mansions. If you want to paddleboard with a view of the city skyline, Brenton Point State Park is also a great option.
Portland is quickly becoming one of the most popular cities in New England, and it's easy to see why when you're paddleboarding around its picturesque harbor. SUP rentals, guided tours and lessons are easy to find. If you're looking for a challenge, Willard Beach is a great option. It's located right next to Fort Preble, so there are always interesting things to see. Or if you want something more relaxing, try paddle boarding Portland's calm Back Cove Park loop instead.
Paddleboarding is a great way to enjoy the fall or summer weather and get a workout at the same time. If you're planning on paddleboarding this summer, be sure to check out these great locations in New England. These are just a few of our favorite paddleboarding spots in New England—but there are plenty more waiting to be discovered! Happy paddling!