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17 Locations to Go Kayaking in New Jersey

There’s no arguing that summer season days are finest spent on the water. In New Jersey, kayaking is a good way to get out and discover our state’s landscapes from a brand new perspective. Don’t simply take our phrase for it. A few of NJ’s coolest sights are finest taken in from the realm’s lakes and rivers. Wish to paddle previous Batsto Village? How about alongside the Manhattan skyline? With the water flowing beneath you and sunshine throughout, take this as a possibility to reconnect with nature. While you’re able to enterprise outdoor, head to those New Jersey areas first in your kayaking tour.

1. Batsto River – Burlington County, NJ

In case you’re set on a Pine Barrens expedition, head to Batsto River. This waterway flows from Quaker Bridge to Batsto Lake and thru Wharton State Forest. The journey takes three to 4 hours, relying on talent degree and the river circumstances. The route options loads of bends and twisting turns. Skilled kayakers shouldn’t have any downside traversing this slim run. Nonetheless, newcomers would possibly benefit from the mild present when touring upriver. 

Alongside the way in which, there are many calm sceneries to absorb and bridges to cross below. Within the shallow marshy areas, anticipate to see turtles, deer, inexperienced snakes and extra. Benefit from your journey by stopping off for a leisurely picnic.

2. Cranberry Lake – Sussex County, NJ

The scale (180 acres) and shallow waters of Cranberry Lake make it a wonderful possibility for newbie paddlers. It averages about eight toes deep and options 55 miles of shoreline, with nearly the identical quantity of designated campsites. As beforehand talked about, should you’re searching for a straightforward trip or a extra intimate kayaking journey, Cranberry Lake is your spot. The world is dotted with scenic lake cottages and the close by Allamuchy State Park gives coves and inlets for exploring. 

Cranberry Lake, NJ

3. Delaware Water Hole Nationwide Recreation Space – Sussex County and Warren County, NJ

On the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania is the place you could find among the best kayaking spots within the state. Whether or not you’re in want of an adrenaline rush or need a leisurely paddle, The Delaware Water Hole is a well-liked vacation spot for all sorts of water actions. As the biggest free-flowing river on the East Coast, there are completely different sections to discover and every has its personal traits.

Those that enterprise by way of the Nationwide Recreation Space can anticipate a straightforward trip with loads of wildlife and tenting alternatives. That’s if you wish to make it greater than a day journey. Cease off at any of the “islands” alongside the stretch of river. This consists of Minisink, Namanock, Dingmans, Shapanack and Bucks Bar.


4. Hackensack River Water Path – Bergen County, NJ

With 45 miles of river, the Hackensack River Water Path has a number of launch websites all through Bergen County. Relying on the place you depart, there are alternatives for fowl watching, catch-and-release fishing and naturally, kayaking.

Contemplating it is a tidal waterway, it’s an ideal route for knowledgeable kayakers. One possibility is to even take a guided moonlight tour by way of the Meadowlands. For novices or these with youngsters, Overpeck Park options calmer waters for daytime paddling. The park runs by way of Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park and Teaneck.

Overpeck Park

5. Lake Absegami – Bass River State Forest, NJ

Positioned in Bass River State Forest, Lake Absegami is the creation of two streams that had been dammed collectively. The lake options 67 acres of the picturesque Pinelands Nationwide Reserve, an space that may be a haven for uncommon species of wildlife and vegetation– together with the uncommon dwarf pines.  In case you’re visiting this South Jersey gem, you’ll benefit from the sights of the cedar swamp beside 12 miles of mountain climbing trails. Contact Flatwater Paddle Co. in Lake Absegami for leases.


6. Lake Hopatcong – Sussex County, NJ

Able to tackle the biggest freshwater lake in New Jersey? Don’t be intimidated. Lake Hopatcong has a repute of being among the best kayaking areas in New Jersey for a motive. The circumstances cater to each journey seekers and novices with areas of waves and coves. Historically, the water is the calmest throughout the early morning or night. Nonetheless, waves can attain as much as three toes. 

The journey itself is price it for the historic properties that sit on the shoreline, which make for a beautiful backdrop. Different much less explored areas of the lake embrace Liffy Island and “the canals,” which prolong below Route 15 and alongside Fireman’s Discipline. Through the summer season months when the lake is most crowded, kayakers should take boat site visitors into consideration. 

lake hopatcong

7. Manasquan Reservoir – Monmouth County, NJ

Paddling across the Manasquan Reservoir affords one of the best of each worlds. To begin, there are many cedar timber and marshland to absorb. The views of that are accompanied by pure wildlife together with ​​bald eagles and nice blue herons. As you make your method towards the ocean, you’ll be accompanied by marinas and seaside properties. 

The reservoir itself, which spans 770 acres, is house to 1,200 acres of woods, wetlands and lots of nature trails. It sees about a million guests yearly. Together with kayaking, it’s additionally a well-liked fishing and boating spot. 

Manasquan reservoir

8. Monksville Reservoir – Passaic County, NJ

Each fishing and kayaking lovers ought to pay a go to to the Monksville Reservoir. This artifical lake is house to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and extra species of fish. The world itself is open 24/7. Kayaks could be rented each day between 9:30 a.m. and three p.m. and there are two ramps on the north and south ends. The reservoir spans 505 acres and is a couple of three-mile journey. Goers shall be surrounded by woods and trek by way of sunken forests within the water. There’s additionally mountain climbing out there close by at Lengthy Pond Ironworks State Park.


9. Navesink River – Monmouth County, NJ

Marine animals, a mild sea breeze, stunning waterfront properties. What extra might you need out of a Jersey Shore kayaking expertise? When paddling the Navesink River in Rumson, that is precisely what you’ll discover. (And perhaps even a dolphin.) This spot boasts wonderful views and is a fast eight-mile journey. So that you’ll be in for a reasonably tranquil trip. The water right here is sort of shallow however affords extra alternatives to discover Blackberry Bay Park or the close by Shrewsbury River.

Dolphins in the Navesink River

10. Passaic River – A number of NJ Counties

The Passaic River is a 90-mile waterway that stretches throughout Hudson, Essex, Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Union and Somerset Counties. Subsequently, there are many launch factors to depart relying on whether or not you need to paddle by way of an city or pure setting, upstream or downstream. You’ll be able to trip previous a well-known New Jersey Nationwide Park web site, the Paterson Nice Falls. Or, make a journey by way of the town of Newark and discover its parks and landscapes. Its gradual present is appropriate for newcomers and intermediate kayakers.

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11. Rancocas Creek – Burlington County, NJ

Rancocas Creek has an vital place in New Jersey’s early historical past as a waterway for Native People and European settlers. At the moment, it has continued to function a way of recreation for residents. Kayakers included. The 14-mile creek affords an array of surroundings from woodlands to closed-canopy forests. This journey is good for individuals who need to spot some Backyard State wildlife. Suppose ​​field turtles, painted turtles, beavers, white-tailed deer, wooden geese, mallards and extra.

Departing for Riverton

12. Spherical Valley Reservoir – Hunterdon County, NJ

The brilliant, crystal blue waters of Spherical Valley Reservoir make it some of the common kayaking spots in New Jersey. It’s the deepest freshwater lake within the state which is nice for individuals who need to catch some lake trout whereas they’re on the market. On the floor, there are greater than 2,000 acres to discover by boat. Through the summer season, Spherical Valley Reservoir can also be visited by a fair proportion of​​ swimmers, picnickers and campers.

scenic reservoir

13. Splitrock Reservoir – Morris County, NJ

Splitrock Reservoir is a little bit of a hidden gem. As in, the unspoiled views of the encompassing hills, cliffs and water would possibly simply make you overlook you’re in NJ. The 625-acre reservoir is open to the general public for paddling and fishing. The world can also be house to a few of the hardest mountain climbing trails. Solely non-motorized boats are allowed within the water so you possibly can anticipate a reasonably calm and quiet trip. There are additionally hidden coves and sandy islands the place you possibly can pull over for a picnic or picture op.


14. Spruce Run Reservoir – Hunterdon County, NJ

A day at Spruce Run Reservoir options pure magnificence so far as the attention can see. It’s a part of the bigger Spruce Run State Park. Whereas on the water, shorebirds are more likely to move overhead. Trout and bass traverse the shoreline, together with 29 different species of fish in complete. It’s the third-largest reservoir in New Jersey and the recreation space is a favourite amongst residents. On the 15-mile journey, you’ll discover your environment change from sandy seashores to woodlands. There are coves and islands to cease off at as nicely– simply pay attention to dangerous algae blooms in summer season.

Spruce Run Reservoir | Picture by Michael Scivoli

15. Wawayanda Lake – Sussex County and Passaic County, NJ

Some of the scenic kayaking locations on this record, Wawayanda Lake can also be some of the extremely visited. It sits on the NY/NJ border and is a glacially shaped, spring-fed lake. The world is named being the habitat for the red-shouldered hawk, barred owl and nice blue heron. Within the middle of the lake, there are a number of completely different islands of all sizes to discover. Wawayanda is a paddler’s paradise any time of yr however fall is an particularly stunning time to go to with the forested hills portray an autumnal backdrop.


16. Shepard’s Lake – Ringwood, NJ 

Positioned in Ringwood State Park just some minute’s drive from the Monksville Reservoir, Shepard’s Lake could look small, nevertheless it options 74 sprawling acres excellent for recreation. This spring-fed lake is the final word scenic backdrop for any day on the water. Shepard’s Lake is good for these trying to have a extra stress-free day on the water.

You’ll be able to lease kayaks and paddle boards at Shepard’s Lake with Flatwater Paddle Co.

kayaking areas in nj

Kayaking on Shepard’s Lake in Ringwood, NJ | Picture by Shepard Lake Boathouse

17. Hudson River – Hudson County, NJ 

These in North Jersey can spend the day taking in attractive skyline views proper from the Hudson River. This common vacation spot is a weekend hotspot for paddleboarding and kayaking alike. These within the latter can discover launch websites all through each Hoboken and Jersey Metropolis. Leases and excursions are provided by The Hoboken Cove Boathouse, Kayak Eco-Excursions in Liberty State Park and City Paddle in Jersey Metropolis should you dare to take a trip on the radioactive river (simply kidding, however probably not).

Kayaking on the Hudson River

What’s your favourite spot to go kayaking in New Jersey? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

In regards to the Writer/s

Abby is The Digest’s Managing Editor. She spends her time taking a look at canine on Instagram and consuming her method round Jersey Metropolis.