Best Places to Take a Kayak Camping Trip

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 14, 2021

Kayak camping spots that offer the perfect opportunities for low-key family vacations outdoors that include kayak fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and more

Kayak camping trips can be low-key adventures that give you the opportunity to relax, unwind, and spend time with your family outdoors. When you want to find a quiet spot to decompress in the midst of nature, away from the hustle and bustle, check out a few camping and kayaking vacation spots like these.

Brunet Island State Park, Northwest Wisconsin

Brunet Island State Park, on the Chippewa and Fisher rivers, consists of over 1,300 acres of picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities. Quiet freshwater lagoons and channels are excellent for kayak fishing and wildlife watching. The park has two campgrounds (one with electricity and one without), and links to the Old Abe State Trail which runs from Cornell to Chippewa Falls. Bring your kayak camping gear and target a variety of fish species including northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch.

Koreshan State Park, Southwest Florida

A peaceful refuge near Fort Myers, Koreshan State Park has 60 campsites with electricity and water, picnic tables, and fire rings. Kayak camping trips to Koreshan State Park give you a glimpse into the lives of a unique pioneer community that once made its home on the banks of the Estero River. Since the brackish tidal river leads to Estero Bay, its calm waters provide the ideal environment for relaxing kayak adventures.

Nancy’s Boat to Shore Campground, Central Pennsylvania

Nancy's Boat to Shore Campground, in the central region of Raystown Lake, fits the true definition of a secluded getaway camping and kayaking spot because it’s accessible only by boat. Located near the James Creek and Aitch Boat Launch areas, the primitive campground is situated on the shoreline with a maximum of two tents per campsite. You can kayak fish for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, muskellunge, striped bass, and brown trout.

Tomoka State Park, Northeast Florida

The waters of the Tomoka River are known for kayaking, canoeing, boating and fishing. Surveys by the Florida Marine Research Institute have identified 90 different species of fish in the river, including red drum, black drum, sheepshead, spotted sea trout, common snook and tarpon – making it a fantastic place to go fishing from a kayak. Each of the park's 100 campsites has a picnic table, grill, electric hook-up and water.

If you’re wondering about the best kayak for camping, the most important thing to consider is that your fishing kayak is properly suited to the conditions you’ll be paddling in. For example, shorter and wider kayaks are generally better for creek or river paddling since they offer more stability and storage space for camping gear.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.