Kansas City, which is a part of both Missouri and Kansas, provides several opportunities where you can take your kayak for a spin. The city itself is charming and surprising. Wait until you discover its waterways! You are in for a treat! Although, in most cases, you have to drive a bit out of the city center.
Clueless about where to go kayaking in Kansas City? Do not be left wondering! Read on and we’ll list down some of the best locations to check out! Get your kayak, paddles, and wetsuits ready!
1. Missouri River
As the longest river in North America, the Missouri River presents plenty of opportunities for all types of kayakers. Whether you just learned how to kayak or you are an expert with years of experience, there is a portion of the river that is right for you. Regardless if you just have a few hours or several days to spare, there is an adventure that you are sure to love.
If you are on the Kansas City side, the best point of entry is at Kaw Point Park. You can also enter Platte Landing Park or EH Young Park depending on where you are coming from.
You can kayak at the Missouri River almost any time of the year. However, during the cold season, make sure to pay attention to winter kayaking safety precautions.
2. Kansas River
Often called Kaw by locals, Kansas River is another exciting pick when it comes to places to kayak in Kansas City. On a normal day, the water is pretty calm, making it an ideal environment even for beginners. While an inflatable kayak will be enough, most of the people who go here opt to use a touring kayak instead.
More than the water, there is diverse wildlife that surrounds the river, making your kayaking trip more entertaining. There are also sandbars where you can stop along the way, which can be a great area to have a picnic.
3. Lake Jacomo
This is one of the beautiful lakes that you will find in Fleming Park. It is only about 15 minutes away from Kansas City, so you won’t have to worry about ease of access. If you are traveling by car and you are bringing your own boat, make sure that you know how to strap a kayak to a roof rack.
Be as cautious as possible if you are kayaking in Lake Jacomo. It is part of a large recreational area where there are pontoon boaters and sailboats.
4. Blue Springs Lake
It is another lake that you will find in the 970-acre Fleming Park, making it an accessible location for kayaking in Kansas City. It is a freshwater reservoir with a total size of 720 acres, which means that it occupies most of the park and is smaller when compared to the size of Lake Jacomo.
There is a marina where you can get almost everything that you will need for an exciting water adventure. Aside from kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing, power boating, and tubing are other activities that you can enjoy. It is also known as the home of largemouth bass and striped bass, making it a good place to bring your fishing kayak.
5. Smithville Lake
This reservoir has a total size of 7,190 acres. Again, this is not in the heart of Kansas City. However, it is just a few minutes away, so accessibility will not be an issue.
At Smithville Lake, visitors will have fun beyond kayaking. With its massive size, there is an activity that almost anyone will be able to enjoy, including golfing, camping, biking, and hiking, among others. There are two marinas with boat rentals. It is open year-round, even during winter. If you decide to visit during the colder months, make sure that you are equipped with winter kayaking gear.
6. Longview Lake and Marina
At 930 acres, the Longview Lake is a freshwater reserve that covers not only Kansas City but is also a part of both Grandview and Lee Summit. Aside from kayaking, it offers other water activities, including swimming and fishing.
Most of the time, the water here is pretty much calm. Even with just an inflatable kayak, you are all good to enjoy this impressive destination for kayaking in Kansas City.
7. Swope Park
With a size of 1,805 acres, this has gained recognition as the largest park in Kansas City. The park is home to several attractions that draw locals, including the Starlight Theatre, which is a popular venue for Broadway musicals.
For those who would like to go kayaking, go to Lake of the Wood, which is also a great location for fishing and camping.
8. Shawnee Mission Lake
It has 120 acres of water filled with fish, making it another great destination if you would like to go kayak fishing. The lake also has nature trails, picnic areas, a marina, and a swimming beach, so you will not run out of ways to have fun.
The lake has flat and sheltered water, so you do not need to be an experienced kayaker to have fun as you go kayaking in Kansas City. Whether you have a recreational kayak or a folding kayak, you will enjoy it here.
9. Watkins Mill State Park
Located just near Kansas City, it is another area that is worth exploring if you want to go kayaking. It is a 100-acre lake that is surrounded by paved paths for biking. It also provides plenty of opportunities for fishing, not just for kayaking.
Want to stay for the night? No problem! The park has 96 campsites, most of which are equipped with electric hookups.
10. Lake of the Ozarks
This lake is just 2.5 hours away from Kansas City. It is serene and beautiful, making it worth the trip. This is a man-made lake that offers plenty of opportunities for fishing. So, be sure to pack your kayak fishing accessories to be prepared.
Whether it is a quick weekend trip or even if have more days to spare, the lake is a great place to be. At Lake of the Ozarks State Park, you can go camping. There are also many resorts that you can check out, each with their respective access points for kayaking.
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Regardless if you are in the middle of the city or the surrounding areas, you will find good places to kayak in Kansas City or just a few minutes away from the area. It is not difficult to find a spot to paddle, whether you are a beginner or an expert!
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