Best Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing in Minnesota

This list represents the most popular flatwater kayaking & canoeing in Minnesota. Use this list to plan your next Minnesota flatwater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Minneapolis Chain of Lakes

    0 Reviews

    Minneapolis, MN

    Four of the lakes in south Minneapolis provide a chain perfectly suited to canoeing. Launch at the access at the northeast shore of Lake Calhoun. Paddle around a bit on Calhoun, dodging the ...
    •  Day trip
    •  Guide

    Four of the lakes in south Minneapolis provide a chain perfectly suited to canoeing. Launch at the access at the northeast ...

  • #2 Cannon River: Cannon Falls to Mississippi River

    1 Reviews

    Cannon Falls, MN

    The Cannon races through a series of easy rapids and passes tall, rocky bluffs on its way to the Mississippi River. Less than a mile below the put-in, the Cannon runs through the largest rapids ...
    •  9 - 13 hours
    •  28 miles
    •  Guide

    The Cannon races through a series of easy rapids and passes tall, rocky bluffs on its way to the Mississippi River. Less ...

  • #3 Mudro Lake Loop

    1 Reviews

    Ely, MN

    Put in at Mudro Lake and paddle down the Horse River to the Basswood River. Follow the Basswood River to Crooked Lake, turn south at Friday Bay, and negotiate a series of small lakes back to ...
    •  4 to 8 days, with fishing and sightseeing
    •  35 miles
    •  Guide

    Put in at Mudro Lake and paddle down the Horse River to the Basswood River. Follow the Basswood River to Crooked Lake, turn ...

  • #4 Minnehaha Creek

    0 Reviews

    Minneapolis, MN

    Quick and winding for much of its length, Minnehaha's often natural character belies its urban setting. Watch for downed trees, low culverts, and dams at Browndale Avenue, Lake Nokomis, and Lake ...
    •  7 - 10 hours
    •  22 miles
    •  Guide

    Quick and winding for much of its length, Minnehaha's often natural character belies its urban setting. Watch for downed ...

  • #5 Brule Lake

    1 Reviews

    Grand Marais, MN

    This trip heads north from gigantic Brule Lake through two chains of lakes and one river, before returning to the put-in point. A variety of lakes and one river are encountered. Tall, scenic ...
    •  4 to 8 days, with time spent fishing
    •  32 miles
    •  Guide

    This trip heads north from gigantic Brule Lake through two chains of lakes and one river, before returning to the put-in ...

  • #6 Kettle River: Minnesota Highway 48 to St. Croix River

    0 Reviews

    Hinckley, MN

    With mile after mile of long, easy rapids, wooded bluffs, and good fishing, the final section of the Kettle River is one of the finest day-long canoe runs in Minnesota. The river is more than ...
    •  6 - 9 hours
    •  18.5 miles
    •  Guide

    With mile after mile of long, easy rapids, wooded bluffs, and good fishing, the final section of the Kettle River is one ...

  • #7 Angleworm Lake to Basswood Lake Loop

    1 Reviews

    Ely, MN

    Two of the longest portages in the BWCAW are negotiated on this trip. Several beautiful, small lakes are utilized, and the largest lake in the BWCAW is visited. Two rivers form part of the journey. ...
    •  5 to 7 days
    •  33 miles
    •  Guide

    Two of the longest portages in the BWCAW are negotiated on this trip. Several beautiful, small lakes are utilized, and the ...

  • #8 Voyageurs National Park

    1 Reviews

    International Falls, MN

    With all their islands and campsites, the large, interconnected lakes of Voyageurs National Park provide fascinating exploration for boaters, especially sea kayakers. Unlike wide-open Lake Superior, ...
    •  Day to several day trips
    •  Guide

    With all their islands and campsites, the large, interconnected lakes of Voyageurs National Park provide fascinating exploration ...

  • #9 Crane Lake and Sand Point Lake

    1 Reviews

    International Falls, MN

    Launch the boat outside Voyageurs National Park, at Crane Lake. Head north to Sand Point Lake, the smallest of the four large lakes in the park. It is about 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide ...
    •  4 days, longer with fishing and sightseeing
    •  30 miles
    •  Guide

    Launch the boat outside Voyageurs National Park, at Crane Lake. Head north to Sand Point Lake, the smallest of the four large ...

  • #10 Elk River

    1 Reviews

    Big Lake, MN

    The Elk is a quiet woodland river, tailor-made for a day's paddle or fishing trip. It glides through shallow, rocky rapids and sandy swifts as it passes marshes, rolling hills, forested bluffs, ...
    •  3 - 5 hours
    •  6 miles
    •  Guide

    The Elk is a quiet woodland river, tailor-made for a day's paddle or fishing trip. It glides through shallow, rocky rapids ...

  • #11 Clearwater Lake Loop

    1 Reviews

    Grand Marais, MN

    This region is probably the most scenic of the entire BWCAW. Deep blue-water lakes stretch for miles between spectacular bluffs. All the customary game fish can be caught, and one lake even has ...
    •  5 to 7 days, with fishing and sightseeing. Allow for a "wind day." Anglers might want 8 days or more
    •  34 miles
    •  Guide

    This region is probably the most scenic of the entire BWCAW. Deep blue-water lakes stretch for miles between spectacular ...

  • #12 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness-Basswood Lake

    0 Reviews

    Ely, MN

    A trip to Basswood Lake doesn't require much portaging but puts the paddler into some of the best fishing in Minnesota. With hundreds of lakes and few serious anglers at work, the Boundary ...
    •  3 days to more than a week
    •  Guide

    A trip to Basswood Lake doesn't require much portaging but puts the paddler into some of the best fishing in Minnesota. With ...

  • #13 Rum River: St. Francis to Anoka

    1 Reviews

    Saint Francis, MN

    The Rum picks up its pace, running through class I rapids for several miles. It then settles down and flows quietly for its last few miles to the Mississippi. This section provides excellent ...
    •  7 - 10 hours
    •  21 miles
    •  Guide

    The Rum picks up its pace, running through class I rapids for several miles. It then settles down and flows quietly for its ...

  • #14 Shoepack Lake

    1 Reviews

    International Falls, MN

    This run will challenge your stamina and outdoor skills. Paddle across a short section of Kabetogama Lake, enter a bay, paddle to the end, and find a long portage. Portage and paddle to three ...
    •  3 to 4 days
    •  20 miles
    •  Guide

    This run will challenge your stamina and outdoor skills. Paddle across a short section of Kabetogama Lake, enter a bay, paddle ...

  • #15 Cloquet River-Island Lake Dam to St. Louis River

    0 Reviews

    Duluth, MN

    The Cloquet races through a series of pools and easy rapids to its confluence with the St. Louis. The lower Cloquet provides good fishing for smallmouth bass, brown trout, and other species. ...
    •  10-15 hours
    •  29.6 miles
    •  Guide

    The Cloquet races through a series of pools and easy rapids to its confluence with the St. Louis. The lower Cloquet provides ...

  • #16 Root River: Chatfield to Whalan

    1 Reviews

    Chatfield, MN

    Easy rapids, stunning scenery, several campsites, and good fishing make this stretch of the Root an excellent route for a day trip or overnight. The river here is small; paddling is best when ...
    •  2 days
    •  34.7 miles
    •  Guide

    Easy rapids, stunning scenery, several campsites, and good fishing make this stretch of the Root an excellent route for a ...

  • #17 St. Croix River: Taylors Falls to Stillwater

    0 Reviews

    Taylors Falls, MN

    The St. Croix enters a valley of dramatic outcrops and soaring bluffs. Overnight camping is limited, but the river is popular for day trips -- too popular, in fact, judging by canoe and boat ...
    •  9 - 14 hours
    •  27 miles
    •  Guide

    The St. Croix enters a valley of dramatic outcrops and soaring bluffs. Overnight camping is limited, but the river is popular ...

  • #18 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness-Crooked Lake-Basswood River

    1 Reviews

    Ely, MN

    Here's a trip that provides great fishing and backwoods travel - if you're ready to portage. Put in on the small creek leading to Mudro Lake. Paddle to the northern corner of the lake and ...
    •  2-5 days
    •  36 miles
    •  Guide

    Here's a trip that provides great fishing and backwoods travel - if you're ready to portage. Put in on the small creek ...

  • #19 Root River: South Branch from Preston to Whalan

    1 Reviews

    Preston, MN

    A swift trout stream with easy rapids, the South Branch makes a good one-day canoe trip when the water is fairly high. Clear and riffling, it cuts through a deep, wooded valley. At times the ...
    •  6 - 9 hours
    •  18 miles
    •  Guide

    A swift trout stream with easy rapids, the South Branch makes a good one-day canoe trip when the water is fairly high. Clear ...

  • #20 Big Fork River-Dora Lake to MN 6

    0 Reviews

    Dora Lake, MN

    The Big Fork provides the occasional wild ride as it flows past a mix of forest land and farms. With many developed campsites, it’s a good choice for an overnight trip. The trip down the upper ...
    •  4 days
    •  79.8 miles
    •  Guide

    The Big Fork provides the occasional wild ride as it flows past a mix of forest land and farms. With many developed campsites, ...