Where to go kayaking?

kayaking adirondack pondCap2Cap asks via Twitter:

Where can I kayak and/or swim within an hour's drive? Need to rent the boat.

Got a suggestions for Cap2Cap? Please share!

photo: Flickr user dwstucke


Not sure about the distance, but I know Grafton Lakes and Moreau Lake both having "swimming" and rent kayaks and canoes. Which reminds me, I wanted to do that.

Try the Kayak Shack, just east of downtown Saratoga Springs off Stafford Bridge Road (take Lake Ave/route 29 east out of town.) As a bonus you can eat at the newly minted Best of Metroland pizza:

Harvest and Hearth

251 Stafford Bridge Road (County Route 67), Saratoga Springs

Flatbread gourmet pizza prepared with ingredients drawn as locally as possible, including a nitrate-free pepperoni that’s as good as any of the bad-for-you stuff. Owner Peter Michelin is also the ovenmaster, turning out such pies as the “Hearth House” (tomato sauce, mozzarella and asiago cheeses), “The Shrooms” (wild mushrooms, fontina and caramelized onions), “Sammy’s Free Range BBQ Chicken” “The Epiphany” with kalamata olives, goat cheese and roasted red peppers.

Right near the Rexford Bridge in Schenectady there is a place called The Boat House. You can rent kayaks and canoes for $15 or so and plop right on the Mowhak River. Very easy to get to.

Thank you!!!

Via Twitter:

@elisdraper: Atlantic Kayak rentals at Norrie Point State Park in Staatsburg, Dutchess Co. About 120 mins away. Kayak the Hudson!

@holliemiller: http://t.co/zQ02jOY in toga, then get wood fired pizza next door!

@JenIsGreen: Thompson's Lake?

The Kayak Shack in Saratoga is a good bet. If you rent one elsewhere and put it on a car, go to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem and go across the Hudson to the Papscanee Creek. I've seen turtles and bald eagles there.

Adirondack Paddle n' Pole rents kayaks, gives lessons and does local excursions. I took a class with Rich last week - and it was great. http://www.onewithwater.com/page1.html

We kayak all the time at grafton but we own our boats. This year there's a shop on Route 2 on the way that rents and sells kayaks, not too sure of its name, I suppose you could google it. Grafton with its multiple lakes and ponds is a great, quiet, scenic place to paddle.

The shop on route 2 is called something like Graftirondack. You can kayak the hudson river!

I second the nod to Kayak Shack. I wrote a review of it on yelp and they have both a website and facebook page with a bunch of info.

Also LL Bean has a "learn to" program for about $30 on the weekends that takes you on 6 mile waterworks and I also think they have kayaks and canoes for rent at Grafton Park.

Once you have secured your boats, transport them to Round Lake along Route 9. Paddle across the lake and find the entrance to the Anthony Kill. (It's really only accessible by kayak or canoe.) Paddle down in there to see amazing blue herons nesting and generally hanging out. Lovely boat ride but no rentals on the lake (that I know of).

The Eastern Mountain Sports locations in the area all rent various types of kayaks with all the fixin's for pretty reasonable rates. (~$30 for 24hrs)

A couple of quick safety & location tips:

If you've never boated before, the Mohawk & Hudson are both commercial and recreational waterways; that provides a much more complex (and not necessarily safer) boating experience. I usually encourage my novice friends to boat on closed bodies of water initially because flowing water makes things more complicated as well, both from a safety standpoint and a trip planning standpoint.

I love the Round Lake and Grafton suggestions.

A great rule of thumb when you're starting out is to paddle no further from shore than you can *comfortably* swim. Always wear your pfd (it only works if it's on you), make sure you have a whistle or other signal device with you, paddle with a buddy, and remember that your sweet, sweet cell phone won't work after it's wet.

Oh, and look at the weather before you go!

@Kate: I think the place you're referring to is called Graftondack Outfitters and Boat Livery. They don't seem to have a website yet, but I spotted them on Monday while I was headed to the park. They're right on route 2 a couple of miles before the park on the left. Grafton park does do their own rentals though.

In other words, I also endorse Grafton. Does anyone know if North/South Lake does kayak rentals? It's a little farther, but MAN is it nice there.

For everyone using craft in more than one body of water, please be sure not to transfer hitchhiking invasive species from one place to another. Good info on this at

Lake George Kayak is great - they rent touring kayaks, and their boathouse is right on the water: http://www.lakegeorgekayak.com/

Looks like they rent those stand-up paddle boards now too.

We ended up kayaking the Battenkill and getting kayaks from Battenkill Canoe Ltd in Arlington, VT. Coming from Albany, you'll make a left on 7A a few miles south of the shop, but if first you make a right and stop in the country store, you can get a sandwich to take along (recommended). It was very peaceful and beautiful, and it wasn't until we were close to our pick-up spot (near county road 61) that we were surrounded by drunk, tubing college kids. Didn't ruin the day, though. A quick change back at the shop and we were ready for a stroll around Bennington and some dinner. Only complaint about Battenkill Canoe Ltd was that they don't offer any real bathrooms for customers. Girls like real bathrooms. Staff was friendly, helpful, and overall in great spirits for workin' on the weekend.

Grafton is by far one of the Capital Districts hidden gems for outdoor recreation. The new Boat Livery in Grafton is a wonderful new buissness that stands to be the premier destination on the Rennselaer Plateau for Canoeing and Kayaking. Graftonondack Outfitters and Boat Livery is a family owned buissness that is committed to customer service and the needs of its customers.The rental rates are affordable and the outdoor resources in the area make this Company well rounded. Grafton boosts 26 ponds, numerous trails and scenic destinations. The Grafton Fire Tower, Dyken Pond Environmental Center, The Grafton Peace Pagoda and Grafton Stae Park make this Town a weekend getaway with a variety of options. Contact Graftonondack at 518-279-1008 or look soon for a website soon.

A great place I found to go is Spiers Falls which allows no motor boats which is so nice for us kayakers. Take Exit 17n off 87. Take left go a couple of miles and Spiers Falls Rd. Is on the left. Go a few miles and it will be on your right habpnd side. It's beautiful and you can go swimming there!

Liz Wilson, I kayak a lot at Spier Falls Road launch and Sherman Island launch. However there is s sign that says No Swimming and also there are occasionally motorboats. That said, it is VERY quiet, and beautiful. I highly recommend these two launches. If you want no motors, go to Moreau Lake (Free after Labor Day). It's small but beautiful.

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