Paddling Long Island and New York City  by Kevin Stiegelmaier

Paddling Long Island and New York City Guide Book

by Kevin Stiegelmaier (Menasha Ridge Press)
Paddling Long Island and New York City  by Kevin Stiegelmaier
Boasting more than 400 miles of coastline, beautiful sandy beaches, expansive salt marshes, and dozens of protected bays and harbors, Long Island is truly a paddler’s paradise. It offers something for everyone, from expert sea kayakers to families with young children. Amazing wildlife, ever-changing landscapes, charming history, and, on its western edge, a view of the setting sun behind the Manhattan skyline, what better way to explore it all than from the water?

© 2011 Kevin Stiegelmaier/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Paddling Long Island and New York City" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 51.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 51.

The beauty of Accabonac Harbor is obvious, even if you’re just sitting on the beach at the end of Landing Lane. From here, only a small cluster of homes is visible in the distance, with an amazingly vast salt marsh spreading out everywhere in between. Though breathtaking from the sand, this view should be enough to make you jump into your boat as quickly as possible and hit the water.
Amagansett, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 8.7
As you look out on the Arthur Kill from the ramp at Captain Carlson Park, the fi rst thing you’ll probably see is the collection of large oil tanks directly across the strait from you. Look to the right of them and you’ll also see a large stretch of green where a small salt marsh sits at the water’s edge. Follow the marsh and the lush woodland just behind it, a bit farther to the south, and something even more interesting should come into view: a small collection of ships, broken apart and left to rust and rot. Though nowhere near as extensive or exciting as the main ship graveyard farther north, this smaller version is worth an inspection and the 0.6 mile of paddling it will take to get there.
Woodbridge, NJ - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6.2
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The northernmost put-in on the Bronx River is at Shoelace Park on East 219th Street. The river is very shallow at this point and only about 25 feet wide. It also runs very close to the Bronx River Parkway here, creating a noisy and somewhat distracting environment. This noise will be forgotten after a few paddle strokes, though, as the beauty of the river becomes apparent. Amazingly, almost all signs of apartment buildings and city streets are easily hidden behind silver maple and sycamore trees, some wide enough to be at least 100 years old. You’ll feel as if you’ve left the city altogether.
Great River, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 5.5
Paddling around Captree Island is one of those trips that take a bit of extra work just to begin. The extra work in this case involves paddling a short distance to the north, past the state park’s popular fi shing pier and across a busy boat channel before fi nally reaching the island’s southern side. But ask anyone who’s ever paddled here if this small amount of effort is worth it, and they’ll answer with an emphatic “Yes!”
Captree State Park, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 5.8
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To reach the fi rst stop along the Coecles Harbor Marine Water Trail, head southeast from the Burns Road put-in and hug the shore for a few hundred feet until you reach a small white buoy with a green oak leaf—The Nature Conservancy’s logo—painted on top. Like the trail’s other buoys, this one fl oats just 20 feet offshore, making it quite easy to fi nd amid the harbor’s dark-green waters. Paddlers may fi nd this buoy’s location a bit odd at fi rst, considering its proximity to a well-developed shoreline.
Shelter Island, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 7.4
Launching from the town boat ramp puts you in just the right position to paddle north along Cold Spring Harbor’s eastern shore. But you have another option: directly across from the ramp sits Cold Spring Beach, a long, narrow strip of land that almost cuts off the southernmost part of the harbor from the rest. No paddle here would be complete without fi rst taking at least a quick tour around this small but protected part of the harbor.
Cold Spring Harbor, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 9.4
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The Connetquot is quite wide near the put-in at Timber Point, with both shores being extensively developed.
Great River, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6
Launch from the beach at the end of Pequash Avenue, and the first thing you’ll have to do is decide on a direction in which to head. The northern tip of Robins Island lies just 2 miles due south of the beach, and the Little Hog Neck peninsula sits on the opposite side of the horseshoe-shaped harbor even closer than that.
Mattituck, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6.3
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While not especially scenic, the fi rst few miles of a paddle down the East River are arguably unique.
East River, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 13
It’s hard to imagine just how pristine the area before you is when you stand near the put-in at the end of Pine Avenue
Riverhead, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 10.1
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As you look out from the beach at Osprey Park, the development that is so prevalent along the Forge River is quite hard to miss. There are houses almost everywhere you look, except for a small section of wooded shoreline directly across from the park, and the land of the William Floyd Estate just to the south.
Mastic, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6.4
Although Georgica Pond proper is an interesting paddle, its two coves and four creeks are the truly exciting parts to explore. Launching from the small lot on Montauk Highway puts you immediately on one of those creeks: 0.25-mile-long Tallmage’s Creek.
East Hampton, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 5.7
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Few would call the Gowanus Canal a pretty place to paddle, but they would surely call it interesting, to say the least. This fact should become obvious to you as you launch from the Gowanus Dredgers’ dock and begin heading north on its waters.
Hudson River, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 4.3
Because Greenport is a very active, working harbor throughout the year, you should take a great deal of caution and care when launching from the train-station beach, even during the off-season. You’ll notice a few fishing trawlers sitting at their docks almost straight ahead, with the Shelter Island North Ferry cruising back and forth just a few feet beyond.
Greenport, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 4.9
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Although the Orient Beach State Park kayak launch is actually just a small trail leading down the beach to the water, it is well situated almost midway, east to west, along Hallock Bay’s southern shore. Thus, you may choose to head in either direction upon launching your kayak from its beach: east toward the bay’s deepest reaches or west toward its mouth. Although you can travel in only one direction, there’s no need to worry about missing out on a portion of the bay. Because of its small size, you can easily paddle around the bay’s perimeter and enjoy its every nook and cranny.
Gardiners Bay, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 7
Because Tappen Beach is about midway down Hempstead Harbor’s eastern shore, you can head north or south after launching. If you’ve started paddling south, the fi rst thing you’ll notice is an incredibly large, formidable-looking bulkhead that protects a marina on your left. The marina’s entrance is somewhat hidden from view, with an opening in the bulkhead facing south. Because of this, you may not be able to see a boat coming out of the marina until it’s right on top of you, so pay attention to your surroundings as you paddle down the bulkhead’s length.
Sea Cliff, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6.6
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Launching from Goldstar Beach puts you on the water perfectly poised for a paddle west toward the harbor’s old mill
Halesite, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 4.6
As you leave the Sebago Canoe Club dock on the Paerdegat Basin, you may have trouble imagining that a wildlife refuge sits only a short paddle away. The neighborhood leading up to the club is decidedly urban: the basin is lined with marinas, and there’s quite a bit of boat traffic coming and going on its waters. Head just 0.5 mile to the southeast, though, and passing under the Belt Parkway Bridge will seem like passing through a gateway to another world. Once beyond its span, you will have a great view of Jamaica Bay and will learn just how vast and expansive the bay really is. You may even see some of the dozens of bird species that make the area a worldrenowned birding spot. In short, you’ll be very happy you came here.
Brooklyn, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 11.1
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Although the beach you’re launching from is dedicated for kayak use, it puts you on the water along an incredibly busy part of the state boat channel, quite near the even-busier Jones Inlet. For this reason, many paddlers opt to head north immediately from the beach, scooting quickly into the widespread collection of large marsh islands across the way. This decision can be a wise one in light of the boat traffi c and strong tidal currents that you may face closer to the state park. On the other hand, should you fi nd yourself paddling here on a calm day when the channel is relatively quiet, a trip toward the inlet and possibly out onto the Atlantic Ocean may defi nitely be in order.
Point Lookout, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 8.2
Although launching from the beach on East Lake Drive puts you in the water near the northern end of the harbor, there’s a lot of kayak-worthy water to the south. Follow the eastern shore in that direction, and one of the first things you’ll notice is the quiet. Sure, there are boats in the area. And Jet Skis.
Montauk, NY - Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 6.7
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