May 11, 2021 - News
Where you can kayak and paddleboard for free in Denver this summer
Stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers and canoes enjoy Sloan's Lake in Denver. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver allows hand-launched boats (kayaks, canoes and paddleboards) in five lakes — and this year, it's free after the city ended the requirement for a permit, which previously cost $25.

Why it matters: It's even easier to paddle close to home.

Where you can put in:

  • Sloan's Lake
  • Rocky Mountain Lake
  • Berkeley Lake
  • Smith Lake in Washington Park
  • Ferril Lake in City Park

The city also is extending a ban on motorized boats on Sloan's Lake into a second year, meaning you don't need to dodge wakeboarders and big waves.

My thought bubble: In the pandemic, I discovered a sunset paddle after work is a great escape, all without the travel to Cherry Creek or Chatfield reservoirs.


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