Float and Explore: The Best Places to Paddle Board Near Columbus, Ohio

Columbus doesn’t have exotic beaches where you can paddleboard, but the upside is that you get to enjoy calmer waters and less intense currents, making this fun summertime activity perfect for people of all ages and skill levels.

Despite what some might think, Central Ohio has some great areas for water sports. For a low-impact, full-body workout that has the added benefit of reducing stress while soaking up some sunshine, check out this list of the best places to paddle board near Columbus.

Hoover Reservoir

Hoover Reservoir spans about 2,800 acres and can contain a whopping 20 billion gallons of water. Impressive! It supplies much of the clean water to Columbus and its suburbs, but it is also an awesome destination for all kinds of activities like fishing, boating, and of course, paddle boarding.

Look in the water, and you might even see various species of fish, including bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. And don’t forget to look up too; you might spot some birds of prey and waterfowl!

Check out SUP Columbus if you’re looking for paddle-boarding classes, rentals, and more. And if you’re a beginner, don’t worry! Boats aren’t allowed to go beyond 10 miles an hour, making this spot one of the best places to paddle board near Columbus.

Address: 7701 Sunbury Road Westerville, OH 43081 • 132 S. Sunbury Road, Westerville, OH 43081 for SUP Columbus Hoover Reservoir Paddle Board Launch Info

Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Scioto River in Dublin and Powell

Fans of water sports, you will love the Scioto River. It is one of the top destinations in the Dublin and Powell areas for fishing, kayaking, hiking, and paddle boarding. It is also a popular spot for anglers because of its healthy fish population.

If you need help getting started, Get Out Adventures can help you out with affordable packages that also happen to be free for veterans. For a different change of pace, Aqua Flow Fit offers standup paddle yoga sessions and paddle retreats.

Address: 7377 Riverside Dr, Dublin, OH 43017 • (614) 410-4550

Photo Credit: for Wikimedia Commons

Alum Creek Reservoir

Alum Creek Reservoir also comes off the Scioto River, with a capacity of over 44 billion gallons of water. It was built to store water for the Columbus metropolitan area and help prevent floods but is also a great place for all kinds of water sports. And, it is also surrounded by parks and trails for those in your group who prefer to stay on dry land.

Watch out for the boats and jet skis, which make Alum Creek maybe a bit more challenging than other areas, but you can easily avoid them by limiting yourself to the shallow areas of the reservoir, earning it a spot on our list of the best places to paddle board near Columbus. Don’t forget to check out the beach on the South side!

Address: 5940 Howard Rd, Delaware, OH 43015

Photo Credit: Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Scioto River O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

Located less than 10 miles northwest of Columbus, the Scioto River O’Shaughnessy Reservoir provides drinking water to the city and is known as one of the best places to paddle board near Columbus, especially near the zoo at the south end.

Address: 1 Glick Rd, Dublin, OH 43017

Photo Credit: Delaware Ohio History for Wikimedia Commons

Olentangy River

The best place to start paddle boarding on the Olentangy River is by Broadmeadows Bridge, although there are several access points as well. You can also go down for miles with a canoe or kayak with Olentangy Paddle. There’s definitely a lot to love about Olentangy River if you’re into water spots, and it has long been considered one of the best places to paddle board near Columbus because of it.

Address: • (937) 642-6442

Photo Credit: James St. John for Wikimedia Commons

Scioto Mile

Scioto Mile is one of the best places to paddle board near Columbus in part because of companies like Windrose Outdoors which provides kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and more. If you choose this spot for your sunny day adventures, get ready to see stunning views of downtown Columbus and bask in the many scenic views along your path. And don’t forget the Scioto Mile Fountain and its 1,000 water jets and colored lights!

Address: 233 S Civic Center Dr, Columbus, OH 43215

Photo Credit: levlaz for Wikimedia Commons

Buckeye Lake

Bring your paddle board or rent one from Buckeye Lake Boat Rental, and get ready for hours of fun on Buckeye Lake. This shallow lake, which is only about 7 feet deep, is a great spot for those just beginning and who might be a bit nervous. It won’t take you long to enjoy yourself and get the hang of paddle boarding!

Address: •

Photo Credit: Dan Keck for Wikimedia Commons

Joanna Steven