Top Ten Canoe, Kayak, and Raft Camping Trips

The Other Boundary Waters: Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

The Kenai Canoe Trails have been called the "other Boundary Waters," being the only other federally designated wilderness canoe area. The Kenai Canoe Trails are divided into two systems: the Swan Lake and Swanson River Canoe Routes. The most popular of the two, the Swan Lake System travels through 30 lakes tied together by the Moose River. The complete route is about 60 miles. The Swanson River Canoe Route lies north of the Swan Lake System and connects 40 lakes with 46 miles of the Swanson River.

The wildlife is terrific, not surprising since this is on national wildlife refuge land. More than 200 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals have been spotted in the area. The rich salmon runs form the basis for this biological wealth. Fish-eating birds include several species of gulls and terns, cormorants, three species of loons, mergansers, grebes, kingfishers, ospreys, and bald eagles. Fish-eating mammals include mink, river otter, and black and brown bears. You'll probably spot moose while you're there, as well as a host of other Seward's Folly critters to be on the lookout for, including ducks, yellow legs, swans, snipes, owls, lynx, wolves, coyotes, fox, muskrats, beavers, various rodents, and bats.

Pack your field guides!

Just the Facts

For more information: Kenai NWR

Suitable craft: Canoe, sea kayak

More Alaska paddling: Glacier Bay, Alaska's Wild and Scenic Rivers

More GORP: Kicking Back on the Kenai Peninsula


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