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Ticket to Glide: The Twin Cities' 50 Best Spots for Kayaking

Written by Bob Shaw
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Tried and Tested Kayak Launch-Points

Lakes and rivers surround the Twin Cities, but navigating the hundreds of options for muscle-powered boating can be challenging. Ticket to Glide opens the door to soul-satisfying fitness in your neighborhood.


This book delivers:

  • Realistic daily workouts, from 30 to 40 minutes long
  • Round-trip outings for solo kayakers
  • Convenience ratings for parking, getting your kayak in the water, and directions to each site
  • Unique ratings for scenery
  • How-to guidance for buying, renting, transporting, and paddling kayaks

Listing the 50 best kayaking spots – after testing 300 locations

A guide to convenient outings that can be done by a single person in less than an hour.

Discover the ultimate guide to kayaking adventures in the picturesque Twin Cities. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner looking to embark on a thrilling aquatic journey, this comprehensive book will be your go-to resource for exploring the most captivating kayaking spots in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

Author of the book, Bob Shaw, kayaking

About the Author

Bob Shaw spent 47 years as an investigative reporter and editor at various newspapers before retiring from the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 2022. A Stanford University Knight Fellow, Shaw was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In retirement, he continues his 20-year obsession with kayaking and is struggling to write his first novel.

Headshot of author, Bob Shaw

Kayaking in the Twin Cities

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the Twin Cities’ abundant waterways.

Lake Jane

Lake Elmo, MN

Mississippi River

Minneapolis, MN

St. Croix River

Hudson, WI


My ‘field trips’ around the Twin Cities to enjoy nautre have all been on foot. This guide has inspired me to explore nature from a kayak. It is much easier to get started and to have an outing that isn’t a big production than I thought it would be. I immediately ordered a copy as a gift for a friend who loves nature and does a lot of biking, running and skiing. Time to get off the land!

-Karen S

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to be experienced to go to these spots?

No! This guide was made for all experience levels and includes tips for buying, renting, transporting, and paddling kayaks.


How are the spots organized in the book?

Launch sites are listed alphabetically by city within each region, then by ranking.


Is each spot easily accessed?

Each spot is ranked for ease of access. Some locations you may need to walk farther to than others.


How do I buy the book?

The book is available for purchase on Amazon, find the book here.

Bob’s Kayaking Gallery

Ready to start exploring the Twin Cities on your kayak?