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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – North Dakota 2021

Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – North Dakota 2021

North Dakota SUP

1: Harmon Lake

Harmon Lake SUP

Located just outside of Bismarck, Harmon Lake is one of the newest lakes in both the state and country, having been formed just a few years ago in 2009. This lake is extremely family-friendly, and while only 145 acres, its shallow waters make it well suited for beginner and younger paddlers.

Created in part to be a tourist spot, you can rent a paddleboard right on the beach to take out into the water, besides signing up for touring, racing, or yoga sessions with the local vendors. If you are a beginner to the sport but want to learn how to become a better paddler, Harmon Lake in North Dakota is one of the best places to visit.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 202
Distance to Major Cities: 15 Minutes to Bismarck
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Devils Lake

Devil Lake SUP
It may have a spooky name, but don’t let that scare you away: Devils Lake is one of the top paddleboarding locations in North Dakota, especially for anglers. Devils Lake is considered the Perch capital of the world, though you’ll also find tournaments for Walleye, Bass, and Pike.

Home to the Dakota Native American tribe, you’ll also find many Dakotan artifacts and relics dotting the shore, as Devils Lake is considered a holy site for the tribe. Many touring adventurers enjoy paddling the 3,810 square mile lake to see a few of these historical sites while also enjoying the typically calm waters. Just pay attention to the large shapes that may swim past you in the water, for the Dakota tribe believe that the great water serpent Unktehi made its home within this lake.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 200
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Carrington
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Little Missouri River

Little Missouri River SUP
Running over 550 miles long, the Little Missouri River is a great touring option for adventurous paddlers and an easy SUPing waterfront for others. Many different paddling companies are willing to rent out gear and lead you on adventures over the Little Missouri River for beginner and expert paddlers alike.

The Little Missouri River features Class I rapids for those new to whitewater paddling and features up to Class IV rapids if you are more experienced and daring. If you prefer to sit in one spot, you’ll be able to get some good fishing in, reeling large Bass, Catfish, and Bream if you have the proper skill and patience. For those who prefer rivers to lakes, you’ll have a great time exploring the Little Missouri River as you paddle through North Dakota.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 202
Distance to Major Cities: Varies by Spot, 1 Hour to Dickinson
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea SUP
The third-largest lake in the US by volume, Lake Sakakawea’s surface area is over 480 square miles, with 1,320 miles of shoreline to sunbathe, rest, or camp at. Due to its immense size, this lake is very suitable for all sorts of paddleboarding activities. Newcomers and younger paddlers still trying to get used to the sport will find very calm water paddling near the shore. If you paddle into deeper waters, you can often get enough wind to enjoy sailing and wind foiling, or even do some paddle surfing if you have the right paddleboard for it.

A wildlife refuge is located on the shoreline, and within it, you’ll find over 240 unique birds and over 30 unique mammal species. Additionally, 37 unique fish species can be caught, with Walleye the most popular gamefish due to their large abundance and larger than average growth rates. The state practically wants you to take home some Walleye, with fish populations reaching record highs in the last couple of years.

Located in the north-eastern portion of North Dakota, you’ll want to bring some warmer attire compared to the other state lakes. But with the right gear and attire, though, you’ll have a blast paddleboarding Lake Sakakawea.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 207
Distance to Major Cities: 2 Hours to Williston
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Lake Oahe

Lake Oahe SUP

Lake Oahe is another very large lake in North Dakota, with plenty of launch points to explore across the 370,000 square acre lake, and more than 2,250 miles of shoreline. More than 50 public recreation and camping spots dot the shore, and over 10 of them have paddleboarding vendors, guides, and yogis willing to teach you lessons or rent your gear.

Walleye, Pike, and Catfish are a few of the more popular catches, and if you have a bit of luck Chinook Salmon (typically found in the Pacific Northwest) can also be caught here. Pallid Sturgeon even live in this lake, though due to their endangered status, release them quickly if you accidentally catch one.

If you are touring along the shore, many artifacts and even a few camps from the Sioux tribe can still be found along the shoreline. The famed Sioux tribe leader, Sitting Bull, was even buried along Lake Oahe.

Fishers, touring enthusiasts, yogis, and sorts of other paddling enthusiasts will greatly enjoy paddling on Lake Oahe.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 202
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Bismarck
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you for reading our top paddleboarding destinations for North Dakota! If you’ve been to any of these places or have a few destinations of your own you would like to suggest, be sure to comment below or send us an email to help us grow our list.

We are hard at work developing lists for other states such as Ohio, but if you plan a trip, check out our top fifteen paddleboarding destinations for the entire United States! Be sure to check out our latest SUP reviews, informational tips and guides, and videos here at SUPBoardGuide.com.

So stay safe, have fun, and let us know what you think of paddleboarding in North Dakota!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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