Paddle boarding is one of the best water sports activities you can do on a lake. For those that are not located on a coastline, a lake might be the closest body of water to you. Lakes are great for paddle boarding because the water is usually very calm and there are no waves, unlike a beach. If you are using your paddle board for anything other than SUP surfing, then a lake is an ideal place to paddle board. We have curated a list of the 10 best lakes to paddle board on! Some are recommendations we’ve received from customers and other are lakes that we have personally taken our Tower boards too.
1. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a California gem. Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is renowned for world class skiing and snowboarding during the winter and water sports activities during the summer. With pristine clear waters and massive boulders that line the lake, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful paddle boarding lake. In fact, Lake Tahoe was featured as one of our 10 best places to paddle board in the US.
2. Lake Shasta
Lake Shasta is nestled in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest just outside of Redding in northern California. Lake paddle boarding was meant for places like this. Beautiful evergreen trees line the entire lake making for stunning scenery. If you happen to be paddling on this lake on a sunny day, you may be able to get a great view of Mount Shasta in the background. Lake Shasta should be on every paddle boarders list.
3. Lake Itasca
We couldn’t make this without including at least one lake from the State of 10,000 lakes. Located in Clearwater County, Minnesota this small lake is perfect for SUP fishing. Although lake paddle boarding is not possible during the winter months, ice fishing is very popular to pass the time when you can’t paddle. Northern pike, panfish, and bass are all prevalent in Lake Itasca so there is no better place to fish off your paddle board.
4. Lake Josephine
Lake Josephine is located in the Big Sky state of Montana in one of the nation's most beautiful national parks. As one of the more popular recreational lakes within Glacier National Park, Lake Josephine is a great spot to paddle board. With the backdrop of Allen Mountain at the head of the lake, your paddle boarding views will be absolutely breathtaking. If you love hiking as well, check out the North Shore Lake Josephine trail. This trail takes you along the west shore of the lake and is only 1.4 so it is a fairly easy trek.
5. Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan is located within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in north-central Washington State. It is a 50 mile long natural lake that has crystal clear waters. A great spot for lake paddle boarding, Lake Chelan provides stunning views of the surrounding wilderness and cavernous mountains. Besides paddle boarding there are many activities nearby to partake in. With a plethora of wineries in the local, Lake Chelan is a great place for a weekend getaway.
6. Lake Powell
Lake Powell, located on the border of Arizona and Utah, is a popular vacation spot for people in the southwest US. One of the main attractions isn’t the lake itself but the famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument which is a sandstone bridge that juts out of the red bedrock canyon. One of the cool parts about this lake is the huge sandstone cliffs that encompass the lake making it look like something on Mars. Be sure to put Lake Powell on your paddling bucket list.
7. Lake Superior
We couldn’t make this list without including at least one of the Great Lakes. Lake Superior is the largest of the five and is also the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. Although you may only be able to paddle board on it during the warmer months, Lake Superior offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. With occasional rough and windy conditions, make sure you take proper safety precautions and check the weather before venturing out to SUP.
8. Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake is a 25,000 acre lake and reservoir on the border of Texas and Louisiana.A bit different than the other lakes on this list, Lake Caddo is swamp like and is a maze of bayous, wetlands, and backwaters. Pine, oak, and hickory trees just out of the water with layers of moss hanging off the branches making an eerie yet fascinating scenery. Caddo lake is also home to some dangerous creatures. Alligators and water snakes roam freely in the water so heed caution and paddle with a group when going.
9. Moosehead Lake
For those who call New England home, Moosehead Lake is a great place to SUP. The largest lake in the state of Maine, Moosehead lake is also the largest mountain lake in the entire country. Moosehead is home to lots of trout and bass so bring your SUP fishing gear along. With cabins that border the lake, this is an awesome place for a long weekend. Overall, Moosehead Lake is one of the best lakes in the country to paddle board.
10. Lake Norman
Lake Norman is located in North Carolina and is the largest man-made body of freshwater in the state. Renowned for the many water sports activities that take place on the lake, Lake Norman is a paddle boarding paradise. Whether you are boating, fishing, camping, or hiking, Lake Norman has something to offer for everyone. During the summer months the beaches can get a bit crowded however so keep that in mind. Overall, Lake Norman is a beautiful lake with great space to do all of your favorite water sports.