26 Jul Places to Launch your Stand Up Paddle Board
With stand up paddle boarding becoming so popular we wanted to share places to launch your SUP.
Launch into Lake Washington from Mercer Island: it can be chippy and choppy but if you have time for a morning paddle you can get some calm water. Here’s the Mercer Island Parks Guide with addresses and features of each park and landing. The landings are convenient because you park near the water and have an easy launch. These are small spots with limited parking, no bathrooms, but during non-peak times you can get close to the water.
Non-motorized lakes offer great paddling without the choppy water. Here is a PDF showing King County non-motorized lakes. The guide includes a map and shows amenities for each location.
One of our favorites is Beaver Lake in Sammamish. It’s a 70-acre lake with a boat launch and a small park. Bring your Discover Pass for parking. This lake is quiet and calm. Make sure to explore the extra bit at the north end of the lake and the tiny Long Lake at the south tip. The Boat Launch is at: 2519 E Beaver Lake Drive SE.
For more lakes use this: Water Access List from Fish and Wildlife. Includes all counties, Google map to the point, and usually a small picture. Select your county and wait for the map to load. This is designed for fishing and shows the size of the lake, whether there’s a boat launch, map link, and sometimes “more info” links.
Juanita Park has a nice cove and park. Here’s a guide to Kirkland Parks with a list of swimming and which locations have a boat launch because sometimes it’s nice to drop your gear and then move the car depending on how many people you have going out.
Take a look at Paddling.com and their awesome pinpoint map. Zone into the area you want and you’ll see:
- Location info such as driving directions and GPS coordinates
- Body of water
- Safety Notes
- Comments from the paddling community
- Or download the Go Paddling app and have access to the map anywhere!
Make sure to have a doggie life jacket if you have your dog with you. We’ve seen a dog jump into the middle of a small lake. The owner jumped in with the dog, neither had a life jacket. The dog became confused and started swimming back home which was the far side of the lake. The owner and dog were guided into the beach by nearby kayakers.
This is just a short list for freshwater paddling but it’s easy to find top places to go nearby. It depends on what you want. Do you want a smooth and calm ride or a fun workout with chippy water and a lot of movement?
BOTE Flood Paddleboard
Other things to bring along:
- Life jacket (PFD)
- Rescue whistle
- Dry bag or backpack with sunglasses, water, phone, snacks.
- Sunscreen, hat, sun protective shirt or shorts.
- Insect repellant, a small towel, and a small first aid kit.
- Headlamp or flashlight are required if you’re out after sundown.
- Don’t forget your leash and fin/s
- Want to float? A retractable dog leash with a 3-5# dumbell works great as a makeshift anchor.
- If you have an inflatable, remember your hand pump or electric pump.