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8 of the Best Places to Paddleboard in Fall

A fantastic way to engage with the water and scenery, paddleboarding in the fall can be just as fun as it is in the summer. It’s a great way to glimpse fall leaves and beautiful scenery as the seasons change. If you’re worried you might be chilly, wear more clothes or a full or half wetsuit. Choose a stable board for fall paddling, check the weather conditions in advance, and always bring an extra change of clothes in case you do get wet.

Don’t pack up your paddle gear quite yet, here are eight places to keep paddling this fall. 

Best Places to Paddleboard in Fall

  • Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Torch Lake, MI 
  • Lake Chelan, WA 
  • Lake Powell, AZ
  • San Diego, California
  • Everglades National Park, Florida
  • Florida Keys, Florida
  • Caddo Lake, Texas and Louisiana

Lake Tahoe, CA

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Image by Ashanddebris/500 px

Lake Tahoe is an incredible alpine lake and one of the best places to paddleboard in general, including during the fall. Lake Tahoe is a water-sport destination, especially for SUP (stand-up paddleboarding). Glide across crystal-clear waters and gorgeous mountains towering behind the lake. Dip into Emerald Bay, Zephyr Cove, D.L Bliss State Park, and Sand Harbor for some of the best spots. Lake Tahoe offers many paddleboard rental shops, if you don’t want to travel with your board or don’t own one. Expect it to be a bit chilly, around 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit, but with some sunshine and the proper outerwear, you’ll have a great time.

Torch Lake, MI 

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Image by River North Photography

If you’re looking for bright turquoise waters, look no further than Torch Lake in Michigan. This popular paddleboard destination is a great choice, especially if you’re looking for calm waters in autumn. This lake was carved by a glacier and stretches for 19 miles, so it can offer an all-day SUP adventure. Temperatures can get low, around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to bundle up before, and after, to enjoy this incredible stand up paddle spot.

Lake Chelan, WA 

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Image by John Elk

Add this lake to your must-visit SUP bucket list. With multiple launch points, including Chelan City Park at the southern end and wilderness at the north launch point, Lake Chelan has it all. Use the Lady of the Lake ferry to cross and try a bit of everything this stunning lake has to offer. Since it’s a warmer destination for the fall, with temperatures reaching into the mid 70s, you may even be able to swim and paddleboard.

Lake Powell, AZ 

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Image by Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography

This unique destination in Arizona offers scenery unlike anywhere else. Head to Lake Powell for a special mix of crystal-clear waters and desert slot canyons. With over 150 miles of warm water and nearly 100 canyon sections to check out, the SUP opportunities are endless. This fall and winter paddleboard destination is perfect if you’re not ready for summer to be over—temps can reach as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit here during the fall. 

San Diego, CA

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Image by David Toussaint

This world-renowned paddleboarding destination offers arguably the best weather in the U.S., plus beaches for miles and gorgeous waters. Make a stop at La Jolla Cove to SUP in the autumn surrounded by rocky cliffs. Paddle the coastline and explore the sea caves or stick to the ocean for a bumpier fall paddleboard experience. Spot herons, egrets, and seagulls as you paddle away—and maybe some other wildlife too. For a longer trip, make a stop in Carlsbad Lagoon or Mission Bay in the heart of San Diego, a great place for beginning paddleboarders.

Everglades National Park, FL

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Image by Douglas Rissing

Paddleboarding in the Everglades is SUP unlike anywhere else. Navigate mangrove swamps and freshwater marshes among alligators, manatees, and birds. Florida is a popular fall and winter destination, as it holds on to warmer temps as the year comes to an end.

Going on a paddleboard tour with an experienced naturalist guide can add a special element to your tip. With narrow channels, shallow waters, and sometimes strong currents, this destination isn’t necessarily for beginners, so wear a life jacket and consider going with a guide. 

Duck Key, FL

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Image by Michael J. Cohen Photography

The Florida Keys are well known for the stunning views, incredible marine life, gorgeous white sands, and clear waters for miles. Duck Key is the perfect place to see tropical fish and even dolphins on your fall paddleboard adventure. Watch the sunset from your board or bring a friend and do some snorkeling along the way. This paddleboard destination truly can’t be beat. 

Caddo Lake, TX 

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Image by Martina Birnbaum

Thought to be one of Bigfoot’s homes, this paddleboard destination has got to be on your fall paddleboarding wish list. Venture into the bayou and embrace a truly southern experience. Caddo Lake is one of only a couple of natural lakes in Texas and has 25,000 acres of water to explore. Caddo Lake’s local wildlife includes owls, otters, and beavers—and you might even spot a bobcat, if you’re lucky. Head to this paddleboard destination in the fall if you want to wade through eerie cypress trees and spanish moss. This water isn’t clear, but the murky waters add to the adventure. While the waters are dark, the sky is usually clear, and there’s great weather at Caddo Lake for over 200 days of the year. 

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