In case you ever considered kayaking and canoeing in NJ on a lake or river, make this the 12 months you strive it with the fam. Sure, our state is understood for the shore, however there are gentler waters like lakes, rivers, and reservoirs the place you’ll be able to lease a kayak or canoe (or deliver your individual) and paddle for scenic miles. Whether or not it’s the miles-long Lake Hopatcong in Northern NJ, the wildlife-rich Rahway River in Central NJ, or the historic Parvin Lake in Southern NJ, there are many spots to get out on the water with leases accessible on-site (or close by). Able to launch? Learn on for 13 locations to go kayaking and canoeing in NJ proper now. (featured picture credit score: Istock/MaxTopchij)
The place to Go Kayaking and Canoeing in NJ – Northern NJ
With sweeping views of Hoboken and Jersey Metropolis on one aspect, the New York Metropolis Skyline on the opposite, and the Statue of Liberty within the distant background, getting out in a ship on the long-lasting river provides you a novel vantage level. Although the panorama is extra city than most conventional kayaking and canoeing locations, you’ll be able to nonetheless paddle alongside and really feel miles away from town.
Launch level: Liberty State Park on the Harbor Marina at 11 Marin Blvd in Jersey Metropolis, and Hoboken Cove Neighborhood Boat Home at Maxwell Place and Frank Sinatra Drive in Hoboken.
Native Rental: Hoboken Cove Neighborhood Boat Home has free kayaks accessible, however you’ll must make a reservation 4 days upfront. City Paddle in Jersey Metropolis has leases and likewise works on a reservation system.
This scenic lake is within the heart of Wawayanda State Park. It’s appropriate for littles and freshmen, however should you’re planning on going, be sure you go early—it’s a highly regarded spot. Try the lily pads to the left of the launch spot and the southernmost a part of the lake. And ensure to cease over on one of many islands within the heart of the lake.
Launch level: Park within the lot subsequent to the boathouse (Wawayanda Boathouse, Boat Launch, Highland Lakes, NJ 07422). Then you will get in your kayak/canoe from the dock or straight from the shore.
Native rental: Rental facility close to Wawayanda State Park’s seaside and picnic areas
Because the state’s largest lake (9 miles lengthy and has 2,500 acres of freshwater), that is undoubtedly a boater’s paradise, so anticipate motorboats to share your area. However nonetheless, it’s value hopping in a canoe or kayak and exploring all of the completely different elements of the lake, together with just a few lakeside eating places the place you’ll be able to cease for a snack or lunch. Out of the water, there are different actions in Hopatcong State Park, resembling going for a hike or letting your youngsters play on one of many playgrounds.
Launch factors: Hopatcong State Park (on one finish of the parking zone at 260 Lakeside Blvd, Touchdown, NJ 07850) and Lee’s County Park Marina (east shore of Lake Hopatcong in Van Each Cove; 443 Howard Blvd, Mt Arlington, NJ 07856) has 100 boat slips and three boat launch ramps.
Native rental: None in Hopatcong State Park, however many non-public marinas across the lake supply kayak and canoe leases.
Get immersed in nature at this horseshoe-shaped reservoir surrounded by mountains. Go beneath the Route 511/Greenwood Lake Street bridge—whereas the world south of the bridge is the central a part of the reservoir, should you make a journey to the world north of the bridge, you’ll discover a submerged tree forest assured to thrill your youngsters.
Launch factors: North launch (cement ramp): Monksville Reservoir, North Boat Launch, Ringwood, NJ 07456, South launch (cement ramp): Monksville Reservoir, South Boat Launch, 1081 County Rd 511, Ringwood, NJ 07456, and Beech Street launch (dock): North of the bridge, park within the massive filth lot off of Beech Street.
Native rental: Flatwater Paddle Co.
Kayaking and Canoeing in NJ – Central NJ
With over 27,000 acres, you’ll discover loads of area and areas for kayaking and canoeing in NJ at Sandy Hook. The Gateway Nationwide Recreation Space is a barrier seaside, and for greater than 200 years, the location has been a federal reserve. Don’t miss the 250-year-old Sandy Hook Lighthouse, one in every of our favourite 11 NJ Lighthouses to Go to With the Youngsters. You’ll want permits for a number of Sandy Hook actions, so test earlier than you go.
Launch Level: You may launch leases and privately-owned boats at numerous websites all through the park—ask for a Sandy Hook Unit map on the information station on the lighthouse.
Native rental: Sandy Hook Kayaks
Mercer Lake, also called Lake Mercer, is a artifical lake in the course of Mercer County Park. Attempt to spot any wildlife—blue herons, beavers, turtles, Canadian geese, and dragonflies are all recognized to hold round this lake. Youngsters will need to head to the playgrounds and gazebo earlier than you allow. And in case your fam is up for a protracted hike, you’ll be able to discover just a few prolonged trails.
Launch level: Towards the park’s heart, close to the boathouse/marina (The Boathouse at Mercer Lake, 334 S Put up Rd, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550).
Native rental: Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rental
You’ll see College rowers on Princeton College’s 800-foot vast lake—it was the primary within the nation explicitly constructed as a aggressive rowing course, and fortuitously it’s open to the general public. (Observe: Crew workforce boats at all times have the right-of-way.) As you paddle alongside, search for hawks, owls, and native foxes. If you’ve completed exploring the lake, take a stroll round downtown Princeton, or go to some historic locations just like the close by Princeton Battlefield State Park.
Launch level: About two miles north of Princeton College, off Route 27 (Carnegie Lake Public Boat Launch, Princeton, NJ 08540).
Native rental: Leases accessible in Princeton Turning Basin Park
This river begins in Manville, the place two streams of the Raritan River come collectively and move into Lake Carnegie, simply above the general public boat launch. Hold a watch out for swans and different birds that populate the river.
Launch level: There’s a easy boat launch in the direction of the northern finish of the river, situated on the southern a part of Lincoln Avenue Park (Lincoln Avenue Park, 226 Boesel Ave, Manville, NJ 08835), across the Wilhousky Avenue/Manville Causeway bridge. It’s fairly underdeveloped, so it may be onerous to seek out.
Native rental: Griggstown Canoe and Rental
Spruce Run Reservoir
One other in style kayaking spot is this huge, irregularly-shaped reservoir. It has numerous wildlife—attempt to spot the osprey and deer—and a number of other coves to take a look at. And whereas the open areas could make for simple paddling with littles, take warning—it’s additionally simpler to get blown round by the occasional robust wind.
Launch level: Ramp and filth space off a big parking zone (Spruce Run Boat Launch, 12 Van Syckles Rd, Clinton, NJ 08809).
Native rental: Yellow Canine Paddle
This physique of water is a part of the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal. Youngsters should not have any hassle serving to you paddle right here—there’s nearly no present, which makes it excellent for newbies and households. Search for turtles (there are often quite a bit within the space), and should you get fortunate, you’ll have the ability to spot a Nice Blue Heron.
Launch level: West aspect of the Blackwell Mills bridge (the one in between the Blackwells Mills Park Parking Lot (Somerset, NJ 08873) and the Blackwells Mills Canal Home (598 Canal Rd, Somerset, NJ 08873). There’s no apparent dock or ramp—you simply set your kayak or canoe within the water and get in.
Native rental: You received’t discover a rental store within the space, so this feature is likely to be finest if you have already got a kayak/canoe.
This 24-mile river consists of two roads and 5 bridges to paddle beneath, with fairly foliage and native wildlife—the encompassing woods home nearly 700 completely different sorts of vegetation and animals. Alongside the best way, it’s not unusual to see turtles, birds, and fish. Enjoyable reality: The winding nature of Rahway River in Cranford is why the city’s nickname is the “Venice of New Jersey.”
Launch level: There are a number of locations alongside the river to launch a kayak, however for a extra clear-cut location, head to the favored stretch of the river financial institution a few block away from the Cranford Canoe Membership (250 Springfield Ave, Cranford, NJ 07016).
Native rental: Cranford Canoe Membership
Kayaking and Canoeing in NJ – Southern NJ
Situated in Scotland Run Park, this 80-acre waterway is appropriate for younger youngsters—the water is calm and vast open. Attempt to spot the hidden vegetation beneath the water, in addition to beaver dams and birds. Afterward, let your youngsters run round on the playground when you relaxation within the close by picnic space or pavilion. Launch level: Concrete boat ramp and dock subsequent to a parking zone off Fries Mill Street (across the nook from the primary parking zone (Scotland Run Parking Lot, Clayton, NJ 08312)).
Native rental: Free kayaks and canoes can be found in Scotland Run Park seaside space on Saturdays and Sundays solely from June 18- September 4.
Parvin State Park is house to Parvin Lake and ample vegetation and animals—together with the endangered swamp pink vegetation and the state-threatened barred owl. There’s additionally historical past right here—it served as the bottom for Civilian Conservation Corps and a POW camp for German prisoners (each within the mid-1900s). After spending time on the lake, go for a hike on any of the 15 miles of trails.
Launch level: There are a few kayak launch ramps across the lake. Fisherman’s Touchdown off Parvin Mill Street has a public boat ramp and cartop ramp. Test with the park workplace (Parvin State Park Workplace, Pittsgrove, NJ 08318) to see the place you’ll be able to launch your kayak.
Native rental: Al and Sam’s Canoe & Kayak Leases
What’s your favourite spot to go kayaking or canoeing in NJ?
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