When many people think of the East Coast of the United States, they seem to think it is one homogenous landscape full of thick forests and rolling hills.
Truth be told – that isn’t far off.
But what most people don’t know is there are places hidden within these areas full of beauty, wildlife, and the perfect place to spend a weekend camping under the stars and paddleboarding when the sun rises.
These places exist in states from Maine down to Florida. From mountains to sandy beaches. And they should be taken advantage of any time you get the opportunity to do so.
Follow along with us as we discuss our Top 5 Places to SUP and Camp On the East Coast. Of course, these are just five spots and we know there are plenty of places to explore so make sure you do your own research before heading out!
Check them out below!
5. Acadia National Park, ME
Number five happens to be the most northern campsite on our list. So, needless to say, visit here when the weather is warm. Unless you’re crazy and love cold-water paddling. Hey, some people do. We get it.
Acadia National Park is known for its rocky, rugged, mountain landscapes, plenty of hiking trails, bike paths, and disguised roads built naturally into the landscapes.
But what attracted us to the park was the ability to hike into and paddle Jordan Pond.
Don’t let the name confuse you, Jordan Pond is not your average small, swampy pond full of bullfrogs and dragonflies.
Jordan Pond is big. And it is beautiful.
We’re talking 187 acres with 3.6 miles of shoreline and a max depth of 150 feet. Combine that with a view of rolling mountains and you have the makings of a perfect place to paddle for the day.
We recommend heading to the National Parks Website for information about neighboring campgrounds or where to stay during your visit. There you will be able to reserve your spot and check out additional places you’ll be able to explore on your Atoll iSUP for an adventurous time in the wilds of Maine.
4. Hammocks Beach State Park, NC
Hammocks Beach is described on the North Carolina Parks page as, “a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry, or by paddling a canoe or kayak. A wide beach between massive dunes and the ocean is interrupted only by primitive campsites and a modest concession/picnic complex. The park’s mainland gateway offers a full-service visitor center and is the launch site for ferry service, canoes, paddleboards, or kayaks.”
Hammocks comes in at number four on our list due to their private camping sites and wide open waters to paddle. This is truly the place to go to relax, unwind, spend time in the sun, and have an abundance of fun. The fact that you also have to take a ferry or paddle to your campsite also makes it a unique visit for the paddling adventurer that is at the heart of Atoll boards.
For camping information check it out HERE.
3. Assateague Island, MD
If you have been following along with our articles over the past few months you might be familiar with our third spot – Assateague Island.
We’ve mentioned before how paddlers can post their tents up on the beach, see the sunrise from the shore, inflate their paddleboard and walk to either the beach or the bay, and paddle next to wild ponies grazing on the shore.
These are all reasons enough to head to Assateague on your next vacation.
But what makes it onto another of our Top 5 list is the fact that it is still relatively unknown!
It’s true, each year there does seem to be an increase in visitors to the shores, but the number of people visiting is nothing compared to the rest of our list
All of these attributes combine to make Assateuage a staple for any of our East Coast paddling articles.
Information on campsites HERE.
2. Huntington Beach State Park, SC
Beautiful beaches, hiking trails, camping spots, and…a castle?
That’s right. Huntington Beach in South Carolina is one of the few state-sanctioned parks on the East Coast to include a castle on its grounds.
After a night sleeping near the beach and a lively open ocean paddle, take a self-guided tour through the Moorish-style castle and winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.
In addition, there are plenty of places to paddle in the bay or the ocean as well as bring your family and friends to enjoy a picnic or other outdoor activities.
For camping information click HERE.
1. Everglades National Park, FL
Number one takes us to the “largest subtropical wilderness in the United States” with Everglades National Park.
The National Parks website describes it as, “Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.”
While that sounds cool enough for a visit, what makes Everglades special is the amount of paddling adventurers can do inside the park.
On any given day you can paddle through freshwater marsh, mangrove forests, the 10,000 Islands, and the open waters of Florida Bay.
And on top of that, the park also offers wilderness camping sites. The site goes on to explain, “There are a number of ground sites, beach sites, and elevated camping platforms (“chickees”) available in various locations in the park. Most wilderness camping sites are accessible by canoe, kayak, or motorboat, though a few may be reached by hikers.”
Everglades offers a total immersion experience for the hiking and SUP enthusiast. Make sure you add this to your must-visit list!
Information on campsites can be found HERE.
The East Coast has a ton to offer the adventure paddler. From the mountainous landscapes in Maine to the wild everglades in Florida, to the roaming bands of ponies in Maryland, there is plenty to see and experience from the standing position on top of your SUP. We hope this short list of campsites inspired you to check them out and start your own research exploring the unknown on the eastern side of the United States. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop us a line at any time! Until next time Atoll family, remember to adventure on!