Paddling Adventures: Best Kayaking Spots Near Natural Bridge, VA

Virginia’s beautiful landscapes, coupled with its numerous rivers and lakes, make it an ideal destination for kayaking enthusiasts. In particular, the area around Natural Bridge offers some exceptional opportunities for both seasoned paddlers and beginners. Here’s a guide to the best kayaking spots near Natural Bridge, VA.

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7 Kayak Spots Near Natural Bridge

1. Wilderness Canoe Company

Located just a short drive from Natural Bridge, the Wilderness Canoe Company offers a variety of kayaking trips down the scenic James River. With options ranging from half-day trips to overnight adventures, you can choose the experience that suits your skill level and schedule. They also offer kid-friendly options, making it a great choice for families.

2. Twin River Outfitters

Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan offers guided kayak tours on the Upper James River Water Trail. These tours take you through the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, offering stunning views and ample wildlife sighting opportunities. Their trips vary in length and difficulty, catering to a wide range of kayakers from novices to experienced paddlers.

3. Alleghany Outdoors

Situated in the Alleghany Highlands, this outfitter provides kayak rentals for self-guided trips on the Jackson River. The river’s gentle flow makes it an excellent choice for families and beginners. Alleghany Outdoors also offers shuttle services, so you can paddle downstream at your own pace without worrying about the return trip.

4. Tangent Outfitters

For a more adventurous kayaking experience, consider Tangent Outfitters. Located in Pembroke, they offer guided trips on the New River, which is renowned for its Class I and II rapids. This thrilling ride is best suited for older children and adults with previous kayaking experience.

5. New River’s Edge, Inc.

New River’s Edge in Pearisburg offers a unique “Boil and Float” adventure. This experience combines a leisurely kayak trip on the New River with a riverside seafood boil. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy Virginia’s natural beauty while indulging in some delicious local cuisine.

6. Douthat State Park

If you prefer lake kayaking, head to Douthat State Park. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, this park features a 50-acre lake perfect for a relaxing paddle. Kayak rentals are available at the park’s boat house, and the calm waters make it a safe option for kids.

7. Smith Mountain Lake State Park

Another excellent spot for lake kayaking is Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Known as the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains”, this large lake offers plenty of room to explore. The park provides kayak rentals and also hosts guided moonlight paddles during the summer months.

Stay at the Natural Bridge Hotel The Natural Bridge Hotel during the daytime with no clouds from the front

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil paddle on a peaceful lake or a thrilling ride down a flowing river, the area around Natural Bridge, VA, has something to offer every kayaker.

Our historic hotel is located just 15 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, so the adventure can resume in the morning! Or, stay a while longer and explore with the Natural Bridge Two-Night Adventure Package. This vacation package includes two nights in accommodation for two adults and two children, complimentary breakfast each morning, and four tickets to The Caverns at Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge State Park, and Dinosaur Kingdom II.  

Natural Bridge Hotel offers a variety of rooms, including Main Inn RoomsSecond-Floor Premium Balcony RoomsGuest Rooms on Cottage Hill, and Veranda Rooms.    

Check our availability to start planning your Blue Ridge Mountains vacation!