A great paddling town is more than the sum of its parts. It starts with water, of course, but what makes a paddling town special is the community that grows around those waterways. Here are 26 of our favorites.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Poulsbo, Wash.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Poulsbo, Wash.

Ride the tide to explore the wildlife and diversity of paddle-touring options along the Kitsap Water Trail near Poulsbo, Washington.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Pembroke, VA

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Pembroke, VA

The communities in Giles County, Virginia have worked hard to provide 11 public access points along the 37 miles of managed water trail on the New River.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Mobile, Ala.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Mobile, Ala.

Explore the country's second largest delta, paddling through estuarine marshes and cypress swamp near Mobile, Alabama, which also provides access to the Bartram Canoe Trail.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Lawrence, Kan.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Lawrence, Kan.

Balancing the easy access to downtown restaurants, bars and activities in Lawrence, Kansas with its access to the 173-mile Kansas River National Water Trail.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Conway, S.C.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Conway, S.C.

Explore the lazy, blackwater stretches of the Waccamaw River. The Waccamaw travels 140 miles through wetlands and cypress forests from Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina, snaking past Conway to Winyah Ba[...]

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Breaux Bridge, LA

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Breaux Bridge, LA

A closer look at Breaux Bridge, La., the jumping off point for Bayou Teche, a 135-mile water trail connecting 15 communities in Cajun country, which recently earned National Water Trail designation th[...]

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Squamish, B.C.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Squamish, B.C.

The assignment was pretty straightforward: Tap into the rich paddling scene of Squamish, British Columbia to showcase its best on-water offerings. The catch? I only had 24 hours.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Snow Hill, Md.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Snow Hill, Md.

Snow Hill is a picturesque town for paddlers of all abilities to embark on explorations of the Pocomoke and its tributaries, not to mention the endless paddling possibilities along the nearby Atlantic[...]

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Ann Arbor, Mich.

(Next) Best Paddling Towns: Ann Arbor, Mich.

A look at the 104-mile Huron River Water Trail from Milford, Mich., to Lake Erie, one of 18 designated National Water Trails, with Ann Arbor as the largest of the 24 cities, villages, and townships al[...]

Best Paddle Towns: Washington D.C.

Best Paddle Towns: Washington D.C.

It’s our nation’s capital and, possibly, the best paddling town in America. From scenic (monumental) flatwater to a burly Class V town run and everything in between, Washington D.C., (pop. 659,000[...]