Outdoor Recreation


A person paddles a kayak across a calm body of water. The colors of fall foliage are reflected on the water.
Ariel view of three kayakers paddling down a meandering river, surrounded by mountains.

Paddle Sports in Vermont

More than 800 lakes and ponds and more than 7,000 miles of rivers mean Vermont’s waterways intertwine to connect downtowns with conserved forest land. Remote campsites beckon paddlers to spend a night or two with what they can fit in their boats, and boat access points on lakes and rivers make it easy to spend a few hours or the day on the water. 

Two people paddle a canoe on a lake at sunset.
Seen from behind tree branches, a person paddles a canoe on a lake. A mountain is visible behind.

Vermont State Parks

Vermont’s 55 state parks are a gateway to scenic beauty and recreation on more than 800 lakes and ponds. Many state parks rent boats, including canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and paddleboards, and offer boat launches for ease of access.

Vermont is home to 802+ lakes.

A person on a stand up paddle board paddles across a calm lake.
A large bird flies right above a pond and tall grass.

Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge

At Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, paddle through a flooded maple forest and feel part of nature as you observe migratory birds taking shelter in the midst of their journey.  

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Adaptive Paddling

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports offers adaptive water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Their equipment is adapted for every age and ability need.

Learn More about Adaptive Paddling
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Start Planning to Paddle

You don’t need a license to boat under your own power in Vermont, making paddling more accessible. Explore places to canoe, kayak, and paddleboard and learn about regulations and where you’ll find boat launches throughout Vermont with resources from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.  

Learn More about Start Planning to Paddle