When the melt is on and the snow is getting slushy, it’s time to start thinking about a spring paddling trip. This is arguably the best time of year for big water, but you don’t have to be an expert kayaker to enjoy all of these parks for early season kayaking adventures.
In this article, we’re going to highlight three of the best RV parks for early season kayaking. We’ll also provide recommendations for renting kayaks, finding guide services, other nearby attractions you might enjoy during your stay.
Lake City RV Resort, Florida
Lake City RV Resort lies in the heart of North Central Florida. The park itself offers full hookups and accommodates big rigs up to 66 feet in length. Pets are welcome, although they do have some restrictions on breed and quantity, so you should be sure to call ahead and check on that before booking.
The town of Lake City is convenient to many great paddling locations in the region. There’s the Suwannee River State Park is just under 35 minutes west. The park is filled with ancient Cyprus and pine forests. There are also a total of 22 freshwater springs that feed into the river at various locations, helping to account for the astounding water clarity.
If you travel about 40 minutes south of the resort, you can enjoy a beautiful paddle at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Located in part of Florida’s agricultural flatlands, this state park offers opportunities to view river otters, blue heron, turtles, and other native wildlife. Jacque Cousteau once called the springs that feed into the Ichetucknee River “the clearest water in the world.”
For this destination, it’s best to have a small vehicle towed behind your RV that can transport you and your kayaks to and from the region’s many great paddling destinations. On an off day, be sure to swing into historic downtown Lake City to check out the digs at the Blanche Hotel, which is famous for once housing notorious mobster Al Capone.
La Conner Thousand Trails, Washington
Heading far to the northwest, La Conner Thousand Trails is located on the eastern shores of Similk Bay about an hour and a half north of Seattle. The park has a total of 22 sites with water and electric hookups and a dump station. Pets are welcome (with some restrictions) and the park offers a lot of recreational facilities, including a rec hall, outdoor games, nature trails, an exercise room, and more.
While you might not pick the Pacific Northwest as your first destination for a spring kayaking trip, the nearby San Juan Islands provides a seasonably favorable climate for ocean kayaking. This is, in part, because they are protected by the mountains of Olympic National Park and insulated by the water temperature of the ocean.
But right from your site in La Conner, you’ll be able to paddle on the protected waters of Similk Bay and even explore Rainbow Bridge and Shelter Bay to the south. If you’re planning a trip to this area for the first time, it is recommended to seek out a knowledgeable guide service. While the La Conner Marina is a great starting point for gathering some local knowledge on tides and weather patterns, the closest kayak guide service to La Conner is Anacortes Kayak Tours.
The wildlife viewing from a kayak in this region can be truly breathtaking. On any given outing, you’re likely to spot orcas, porpoise, seals, and a variety of migratory bird species. On your off day, head into the historic fishing village of La Conner. This area is rich with the history of early settlement including the existence of a European Beech Tree planted in 1890. Today, it is believed to be the largest of its kind on the entire West Coast!
Campbell Cove RV Resort, Arizona
Campbell Cove RV Resort is located in Lake Havasu City on the eastern banks of the Colorado River. It lies on the Arizona side of the river, which serves as the border between Arizona and California in this area. The RV park offers a total of 100 sites with a maximum length of 60 feet. All sites include full hookups and, while pets are welcome, the park does have some restrictions and you may be asked to pay a pet fee.
From the park, a short walk across London Bridge Road will put you right at the entrance of Lake Havasu State Park, which offers shoreline access for launching your kayaks. If you need to rent kayaks during your stay, Southwest Kayak Outfitters sits within a convenient distance of the river and just about a 5-minute drive from the park.
If you do have your own kayaks and possess a separate vehicle to get to and from the water, you should consider launching from Lake Havasu Marina and paddling north. This will set you up perfectly to paddle under Lake Havasu City’s famed London Bridge and get a view of it from all angles. This paddle should take you about 30 minutes in each direction, depending on how far you proceed past the bridge and how often you stop for photos!
When you’re not paddling on the Colorado River, you can be relaxing on one of the many beaches close by. Windsor Beach, London Bridge Beach, and Body Beach are just a few you should look into for a relaxing beach day. In Lake Havasu City’s Downtown District, you’ll be able to peruse a number of boutique shops selling antiques, art, and gifts. You’ll also find shops dedicated to gourmet food and spices, cigars and wines, and high-end jewelry. If you’re looking for a little nightlife, head on over to BJ’s Cabana Bar & Karaoke to see some folks sing their hearts out!
New Braunfels, Texas
Kayakers converge on Texas Hill Country for some of the Lone Star State’s best paddling. New Braunfels, about 35 miles northeast of San Antonio off Interstate 35, is an ideal launch point for adventures on the Guadalupe River. Choose from calm stretches of the waterway for leisurely exploration or launch at First Crossing for a dam-controlled whitewater ride that’s ideal for learning the basics of kayaking in rapids. Several outfitters in town will take paddlers on adventures for all skill levels. After drying off, relax in your campsite at River Ranch RV resort, located on the banks of the Guadalupe River, with kayaking available onsite. Sit back on your campsite’s patio and swap stories about ridin’ the rapids.
If kayaking sounds too extreme, you can always ride down the lazy current on an inner tube, a popular pastime in Texas. While in town, enjoy outstanding German cuisine at one of the restaurants that celebrate the town’s European founders. Belly up to a table at Krause’s Biergarten & Café for a tall glass of local, regional or international beer along with a hearty helping of Vienna schnitzel or schweinfest. Live entertainment adds to the festive atmosphere. Raise a stein to a fun day on the water.
We hope that these RV parks inspire your next RV/kayaking adventure! Many of them will take you to warmer climates, which can be a much-needed respite from the cold winters up north. Let us know via social media where you plan to head for your next RV trip.