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We have been lucky enough to paddle in different areas across North America over the last few years.

Some of these locations were fabulous for families and some were harder to work around, for a variety of reasons.

When I think about what makes a great family friendly paddling place there are 5 locations that really jump out at me (in no particular order):

1. Chattahoochee River Columbus, Georgia
2. Kananaskis River, Kananasis, Alberta
3. Ottawa River, Beachburg, Ontario
4. Kelly’s Whitewater Park, Cascade, Idaho
5. Arkansas River, Buena Vista, Colorado

The things that all five of these locations have in common are:

• A diversity of paddling options, from flat water up to class three so there is always something for every member of the family AND there is progression opportunity
• There is a diversity of features so you can practice different skills
• There is a diversity of features so you can use different toys (boogie boards, surf boards, SUP’s, Sit-on-top kayaks, rafts etc.) to keep things fun
• There are great places to just sit and play at the edge of the river if one member of the family doesn’t feel like paddling that day – they can still come out and feel a part of things
• There are fun off water activities – biking, hiking, climbing to round out the experience
• The surrounding community (people, local governments, local shops) are very paddler friendly and go out of their way to welcome you and help make your stay fun.


We have been lucky enough to paddle at all 5 of these locations more than once and they continue to stay at the top of our list. If you have a chance, be sure to check one of them out this summer!

We look forward to seeing you out on the river!

The Vincent Family