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Best Portsmouth, New Hampshire Kayaking


Portsmouth is a port city on the Piscataqua River in New Hampshire. It’s located about an hour north of Boston. Portsmouth is one of New England’s most popular port towns with its interesting shops, wonderful places to eat, and a rich history to explore. And being located right on the Piscataqua River, the city is also a very attractive paddling destination for both local kayakers and visitors.

Portsmouth offers a very scenic coastal nature and harbor views with an abundance of nearby rivers, lakes, creeks and bays to paddle. The Piscataqua River itself tends to make for a rougher kayaking with its fast current and eddies that should only be attempted by experienced kayakers. However, Portsmouth is still surrounded by water ways that make excellent kayaking destinations for kayakers of all skill levels. Here are a few of the most popular paddling places near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Kayaking Destinations Near Portsmouth

Sagamore Creek, Portsmouth, NH

Sagamore Creek in Portsmouth is a very attractive paddling destination for both local kayakers and toursists. It offers excellent views of the area’s coastal nature and harbors and provides a tidal kayaking experience. The big draw to Sagamore Creek is BG’s Boathouse Restaurant. The very popular seafood restaurant offers a soft landing area for kayaks so you can enjoy lunch or dinner on the deck while keeping an eye on your kayak and the tide.

Odiorne Point State Park, Rye, NH

Odiorne Point State Park provides a good introduction to harbor kayaking. Launch just north of the park’s main entrance at a wooden bridge. There is a put in on both sides of the bridge, one is part of park with a restroom and small fee, the other is just a parking area.  From the bridge, you can head right into a harbor where you’ll spot sailboats and some nice sandy stopping points to explore. In the distance you can see the refurbished Wentworth hotel and another bridge. Past that bridge, there are channels to explore with some good rock jumping points. Just keep an eye on the tide and watch for power boats under the bridge as you’ll share the same path.

Cocheco River, Dover, NH

The Cocheco is a great calm water experience for beginner kayakers. The river runs through Farmington, Rochester, and Dover just north of Portsmouth. There is a new public dock with a kayak launch right in downtown Dover. The river through Dover provides for excellent flatwater kayaking with views of varying landscapes. The upper section has about five miles of mostly undeveloped winding riverfront and the middle section flows right through the heart of Dover. It offers a “backdoor” view of the city that can’t be seen any other way.

Lampry River, Newmarket, NH

The Lampry River is 50 miles long and it winds through several seacoast towns including Raymond, Epping, Lee, Durham, and Newmarket. Because of its calm waters, excelling fishing and beautiful wooded shore, Lampry River is a very a popular kayaking destination. Piscassic Park Boat Launch in Newmarket is a great starting place. Parking is free but limited.

Great Bay, NH

The Great Bay is a large estuary with a mix of salt and fresh water. It could however be easily classified as ocean kayaking thanks to its tides. It has over 150 miles of shoreline to explore with two dozen or so different access sites to launch from. You’ll enjoy wide open water with forests, fields, and march grasses along the shore with the opportunity to see lots of wildlife including deer and a number of different birds. Even when the water is smooth it offers a tougher paddle due to the current produced by the tide.

Storing Your Kayak after Your Portsmouth, NH Trip

Portsmouth and the neighboring seashore towns provide many excellent places for kayaking. At the end of your adventure, make sure you’re giving your kayak a good home. Store it properly and keep it safe with a hand-crafted kayak rack from Log Kayak Racks. Our attractive, hand-crafted kayak racks are made from norther cedar logs and will keep your shoreline neat and orderly and your kayak at the ready. The durable frames are naturally weather-resistant and can store up to eight kayaks each. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your New Hampshire kayak storage needs.