5 Best Rivers for Beginner Paddleboarding in the US

One of the best ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature is to go paddleboarding. And the United States has some of the most beautiful rivers. We can’t imagine only paddling five rivers across the entire US.but if you’re going to choose just a handful, these are at the top of our list for best rivers for beginner Paddleboarding in the US


Deerfield River, MA

The Deerfield is one of the most famous rivers in the Northeast. The Zoar Picnic Area to East Charlemont is the perfect section for beginners. The water moves, but there is not a steep gradient so the water is fairly flat.

We recommend paddling the Hala Gear Carbon Straight Up stretch. 


James River, VA

The James River has many accessible stretches on it perfect for paddleboarding. The Eagle Rock (Route 43) to Springwood (Route 630) section is mellow with some small ledges. There are also several spots to camp.

We recommend paddling the Carbon Hoss on this section.



Fox River, IL

On this tributary of the Illinois River there is a very small park and play whitewater course. The Marge Cline Park in Yorkville offers a few play spots for those who want to learn how to SUP surf.

We recommend bringing a Hala Milligram to surf some of the smaller pocket waves.



Colorado River, UT

The Colorado is fairly big and travels through a lot of Utah but we specifically love the Moab Daily for beginner paddlers. There are several put ins and take outs between Cisco and Moab. Find the best section for you and enjoy some magical Utah canyon scenery.

We recommend a Hala Radito for this section. 


Big Hole River, MT

Located in the heart of Big Sky country, the Dewey to Divide Bridge section of the Big Hole River is a short fun run for beginner to intermediate paddleboarders. There are many access points so we like to consider this stretch a “choose your own adventure” run.

We recommend padding a Hala Atcha 86 for this section. 


Originally published on November 18, 2020.

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