Paddlesports include canoeing, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and rafting. Paddling is a great way to enjoy many Kansas waterways, as these crafts are maneuverable in shallow waters and easily transported. And, there are plenty of opportunities! Kansas offers some of the finest water recreation in the U.S. including:

  • 359,000 acres of permanent standing and flowing waters
  • 24 large federal reservoirs covering from 1,200 to 16,000 surface acres
  • 43 state fishing lakes owned and operated by KDWP covering 50 to 300 acres
  • 230 community lakes owned by local governments (some may restrict boating and paddle sports)
  • Three navigable rivers open to the public (Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas – permission is needed to access the rivers through private land). The rest of our streams are privately owned, but some portions are leased for public use by KDWP and other portions are in public ownership when flowing through federal, state or local jurisdictions.  
  • 24 of the state’s 28 state parks offer easy access to lakes or the Kansas River.       

Paddle Sports Safety - (View Safety Information)

Training offers a free online Paddle Sports Safety Course. Completing this course does NOT satisfy the Kansas boater education requirement for operating a power boat, personal watercraft or sailboat.

Life Jackets

Under Kansas law, anyone 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times when on board a boat and everyone else must have a life jacket readily accessible. Sailboards, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are considered boats. KDWP strongly recommends that everyone wear a life jacket at all times when enjoying a paddle sport.

State Parks Canoe and Kayak Availability

The following state parks have canoes and kayaks available for rent or loan. 

Tuttle Creek State Park

Cross Timbers State Park

Eisenhower State Park

Meade State Park

Historic Lake Scott State Park

Water Trails

Marked water trails can enhance your paddle sport experience.

Kansas River National Water Trail

Arkansas River National Water Trail

Blue Water Trail, Cross Timbers State Park

Helpful Resources

Paddle Sports Calendar