kayak berks countyBerks County is home to a lot of varied terrain as well as natural water sources. As such, there is some fantastic kayaking and canoeing to be had. If you’re a water adventurer, be sure to check out some of these spots.

When prepping for your excursion, be sure to take the proper precautions. A few obvious things to mark off the checklist include bringing a well fitted life jacket as well as leaving proper documentation as to your location and predicted float time. Also, make yourself aware of the natural wildlife in the area of your intended trip. Knowing what snakes to watch out for, as well as other potentially poisonous creatures, can help you avoid a bad outing.

Once ready, do some background investigation on the following areas. Knowing how long to plan your trip and what kind of water turbulence you will experience is to a fun afternoon filled with excitement or leisure.

  • Blue Marsh Lake – Located extremely close to DAK Self Storage, Blue Marsh Lake is a beautiful area filled with boating opportunities. One of the best rides extends from the Stilling Basin down to Gring’s Mill. Be aware that an Unpowered Boat Launch Permit is requested at state parks.
  • Maiden Creek – Most sections provide a very flat and pleasant trip. Good for beginning paddlers.
  • Little Schuylkill – This actually begins in Schuylkill County but provides an exciting ride. Be mindful of the water levels as high water can provide a fun ride while low water often requires certain sections to be walked.
  • French Creek State Park – Lots of water to be had and a well run park system. Also requests an Unpowered Boat Launch Permit.
  • Tulpehocken Creek – Located conveniently near Penn State Berks. The speed of the water is dictated by the let-outs of Blue Marsh Lake.
  • Chambers Lake – Located in nearby Chester county, this lake provides serene paddling on still water. Perfect for beginners. An Unpowered Boat Launch Permit is encouraged when on the lake.

To learn more about good paddling spots and how to get the most out of them, consider contacting the Keystone Canoe Club. They are a Berks based group with a lot of knowledge that can improve your safety and optimal paddling times.

If you need to acquire some canoeing gear, there are multiple athletic outfitters in the area. Dick’s Sporting Goods is located in Wyomissing, right off of 422 near the Spring Ridge Exit. You can also arrange for rentals from the Reading River Tribe located on Canal Street, as well as Kelly’s Canoe and Kayak Center located in Gilbertsville..