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Bring your kayak or canoe and splash into New Mexico’s hidden gems

New Mexico is fortunate to have picturesque lakes and rivers. Many beautiful sites abound – often accessible only by paddlecraft.

If you haven’t experienced paddling at Heron Lake State Park, you are missing an exciting adventure. Journey to a shoreline campsite to watch osprey hunt for fish during the day, and at night enjoy clear night skies. No experience? No kayak? No problem! Heron Lake guides lead half-day or single-day trips and can provide boats.

Spring and early summer water releases allow for beach launching of kayaks and canoes from the campground below the dam at Elephant Butte Lake State Park for a fun run into Truth or Consequences. Local guides also provide shorter trips below the dam at Caballo Lake State Park to the takeout just above the dam at Percha Dam State Park, an exceptional state birding area. How much fun are you after? Just want to dip your paddle in for a bit or a lot? Paddleboarders, canoeists and kay k fishermen find no wake boat operations at Santa Rosa Lake State Park, a nice day drive from Albuquerque.

Clayton Lake State Park, on the other hand, is on the northeast border of the state and can be combined with Morphy Lake State Park and Eagle Nest State Lake Park for a three day kayak fishing journey.

Learning to paddle is easy and fun.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary provides classes on the fundamentals of kayak paddling. Visitors can also enjoy guided experiences at some State Parks.