Best Kayaking Spots in New Jersey

Best Kayaking Spots in New Jersey
New Jersey is a state that is rich with kayaking opportunities. There are many rivers and oceanfront waterways that provide ample opportunities for kayakers of various skill levels. From lazily drifting down river, to paddling against ferocious sea currents, New Jersey offers kayaking opportunities that range from pleasure trips to serious work outs. With such a diverse array of choices, the hardest part of going on a kayaking trip in the Garden State is in deciding which location is the best one to visit.

Hackensack River

The Hackensack River is one of the most popular kayaking locations for conservationists in New Jersey. Affectionately known as the "Hacky," this river runs through the states of New York and New Jersey and empties into Newark Bay. The lower portion of the river became highly industrialized and gained a reputation as being one of the most polluted waterways in America. That all changed due to the conservation efforts of groups such as the Hackensack River Canoe and Kayak Club, formed in 1985 to help preserve the river. Today, the river is a vastly different environment than it had been in past decades and the majority of the river is a scenic, natural setting that is conducive to camping, swimming, kayaking and other outdoor activities.


Delaware River

The Delaware River is one of the most prominent rivers in New Jersey. It serves as the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as being most of the border between New Jersey and Delaware. Stretching for hundreds of miles before reaching tidal waters in Trenton, the Delaware River offers an abundance of kayaking opportunities for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. For many people, the Hunterdon County and Bucks County portions of the river are the most ideally suited to kayaking. One way to enjoy the river in this area is to plan a river trip with Delaware River Tubing in Frenchtown, New Jersey. This company manages raft, tube and kayak trips down the river. Simply make a reservation and ride the shuttle bus upstream, then kayak your way back downstream to where your car is parked.

Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek is the premier camping getaway in New Jersey. Located in Ocean County, Cedar Creek is a short 10 miles from both the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay. Camping, hiking and fishing are popular activities in this campground, but many people come to the area for a world class kayaking experience. Don't let the name of Cedar Creek fool you. This is no small stream. Cedar Creek is actually a medium sized river that seems to be tailor-made for kayakers. The waterway transports you through the Double Trouble State Park and provides you with some of the most breathtaking scenery that New Jersey has to offer. Trips can be arranged from a one-hour (six mile) trip, up to a four-hour (17 mile) excursion. For additional information, contact Cedar Creek directly by calling (732) 269-1413.

Sterling Harbor

The town of Wildwood, New Jersey, is home to Sterling Harbor. This area takes you away from rivers and woodlands and places you in an area of open water. This location is particularly popular among those who like to joy ride in their kayak and watch boats, as well as those who kayak purely for the exercise that the sport provides. Another popular activity in Sterling Harbor is to use your kayak to go fishing in the deep water that the harbor provides. The most popular "put in" point for the harbor is the Sterling Harbor Bait & Tackle Shop that has a waterfront base located on the Richardson Channel. This business also rents kayaks to those who do not own one. If you live near Wildwood and would like to spend a few hours on the water, you can contact the kayak rental office at (609) 729-1425.

Shark River

If you are an experienced kayaker and are looking for the most challenging kayak location in New Jersey, you will be pleased with Shark River in Belmar, New Jersey. A particular favorite in this area is the Shark River Kayak Company that manages a number of unique kayak tours. Bird watchers will be fond of the Eco Tour that provides a glimpse of the ninety varieties of birds that live in the Shark River Basin Estuary. A popular favorite is the Tidal Tour that takes place during the last hour of the outgoing tide. The tour rides the tide out into the Atlantic Ocean and is then brought back to shore with the inbound tide. If you prefer a more relaxing kayak experience, the company also offers a Coastal Tour, during which a kayak train is attached to a 14 foot whaler that gives a tour of coastal New Jersey. More information can be obtained by calling the Shark River Kayak Company at (732) 556-1555.


Article Written By Wirnani Garner

Wirnani was born in the Philippines, where she had constant access to a rural jungle environment. In addition to exploring the island jungles, Wirnani spent much of her youth interacting with local wildlife, swimming in the Philippine Sea and rafting on the Davao River. She also routinely went on backpacking trips along the trails of Mount Apo, the highest peak of the Philippine Islands. Wirnani currently lives near the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas. The location provides an abundance of hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. When she's not spending time outdoors, Wirnani enjoys studying biology and human health sciences.

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