Columbia Lake

Polkville, New Jersey

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Colorful wildflowers and marsh grasses, abundant wildlife, and a paddle up a scenic river are yours to enjoy at this lake. From the I-80 ramps, you get a magnificent view of the Delaware River Water Gap. Once a continuous east–west mountain ridge holding back a large inland sea, erosion worked on a weak spot, gradually etching its way through until the waters started to escape. Once the outflow started, erosion accelerated, eventually creating a channel that would later become part of the Delaware River. At the Delaware River Water Gap, Mount Tammany is on the New Jersey side and Mount Minsi on the Pennsylvania side. Long, narrow, and somewhat shallow, Columbia Lake is a fine place for birdwatching around the marsh island and adjacent wetlands. The only drawback is the proximity to noisy I-80, but once you’re on the water, you’re in another world. Pond lily islands and hammocks offer abundant shelter for waterfowl and provide an interesting trip as you weave in and out of the serpentine maze. A superb variety of colorful wildflowers and marsh grasses can be found in and around the marshy hammocks and adjacent wetlands.
Quiet Water New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Quiet Water New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

by Kathy Kenley (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Colorful wildflowers and marsh grasses, abundant wildlife, and a paddle up a scenic river are yours to enjoy at this lake. From the I-80 ramps, you get a magnificent view of the Delaware River Water Gap. Once a continuous east–west mountain ridge holding back a large inland sea, erosion worked on a weak spot, gradually etching its way through until the waters started to escape. Once the outflow started, erosion accelerated, eventually creating a channel that would later become part of the Delaware River. At the Delaware River Water Gap, Mount Tammany is on the New Jersey side and Mount Minsi on the Pennsylvania side. Long, narrow, and somewhat shallow, Columbia Lake is a fine place for birdwatching around the marsh island and adjacent wetlands. The only drawback is the proximity to noisy I-80, but once you’re on the water, you’re in another world. Pond lily islands and hammocks offer abundant shelter for waterfowl and provide an interesting trip as you weave in and out of the serpentine maze. A superb variety of colorful wildflowers and marsh grasses can be found in and around the marshy hammocks and adjacent wetlands.

©  Kathy Kenley/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Polkville
Duration: 1.5 hours
Local Maps: New Jersey Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 22; USGS Portland
Driving Directions: Directions to Columbia Lake

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Apr 2018