National Park Service - What About the Water?


The National Park Service (NPS) offers a wide variety of water recreational activities in addition to the camping and hiking that we’ve been discussing.  Whether you want to relax by flat water by walking along the bank or paddling in a canoe or kayak or long for the excitement of whitewater rapids NPS has you covered.  Relax, refresh and renew yourself by seeking the quiet contemplation or high adventure of our national waterways.

Paddle Sports and Boating

Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards allow you to access areas that are too narrow or shallow for larger boats. They give you the opportunity to see wildlife that can be scared away by motorized vessels. Weather and wind conditions change quickly in ways that challenge boat stability.


Some national parks have lifeguards and they will post where and when they will be present. Some parks have swimming locations that are particularly susceptible to changing environmental and weather conditions. In all events, you need to be qualified and alert before entering the water and to be aware of the safety precautions of NPS as well as the particular park you are visiting.

Photo Courtesy of NPS

Find a River Near You

Canoeing, kayaking and rafting are popular seasonal activities at the 45-mile Obed Wild and Scenic River in Tennessee. The river system includes whitewater runs from Class II to Class IV.

Photo courtesy of NPS

Other activities along this rivertrail include rock climbing, hiking, camping and picnicking areas with benches and grills at the Nemo Picnic Area.

Interactive maps, paddling and access information, as well as local managers for rivers are easily available to help you plan your outdoor adventure. The names of the national park river recreation locations and activities can be found at:

It’s important to check the local rules, regulations and safety advisories before taking party in any river recreation activity.

Fishing In Our National Waterways

There is an abundance of opportunities for fishing in boats and shoreline.  We offer some suggestions below and encourage you to get ready for some unforgettable fishing adventures.

In the northern parts of the Mighty Mississippi River in Minnesota is the East Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park where you can cast your line for Pike, Carp, Smallmouth Bass, Freshwater Drum, Catfish, Walleyes and Panfish.

 Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska is home to over 30 species although most are not usually considered recreational game 

Photo Courtesy of NPS

fish.  Early Homesteaders and Native Americans are known to have used the Niobrara as a source for food.  Channel catfish, common carp and trout (in some of the cold-water tributaries) are sometimes pursued.

For a great place to float or fish on a sunny afternoon, it’s hard to beat the Chattahoochee River in Georgia. The Cochran Shoals unit with its multi-use trails is just one part of the 48 miles of river and 15 land units that make up the park. 

Photo courtesy of NPS

The cool year-round temperatures of the river make it a great place to fish for trout, bass, catfish and others. catfish and others.  

Anglers need to follow Georgia fishing regulations which are available for your perusal at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.

We have so many nostalgic moments from our lives to keep our hearts warm that we believe it is a life well-lived when we add to them by being certain to always ...

Remember the Great Outdoors!!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published