Carmans River

Brookhaven, New York 11719

Carmans River

Carmans River Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Carmans River and its surrounding marsh represent one of the last undeveloped estuaries on Long Island. The wildest and most pristine of the island’s four major rivers—the others are Nissequogue, Connetquot, and Peconic—it offers fantastic paddling and wildlife observing.

We include here the lower section, a meandering 4.5-mile tidal flow from Route 27 to Bellport Bay through 2,550-acre Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. Habitat type: tidal estuary below Route 27, impounded river above; no development"

Carmans River Reviews

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This is a great paddle for all skill levels. Very little current through the entire length. Carmans River Canoe and Kayak rents vessels and will also allow you to launch your own from their dock for a nominal fee. (Free if you are a Brookhaven town resident) As you head south down the river passing under Montauk Hwy., watch for Eastern Painted Turtles sunning themselves on logs and branches along the shoreline. Between Montauk Hwy and the Long Island Railroad Bridge you will see Mallards, Mute swans and if you look up into the tree tops, the occasional Osprey. Since you will be paddling through the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, you can only get out of your boat in a couple of spots. The first is shortly after passing under the railroad bridge and the walking bridge. On the left bank of the river you will find the Wertheim Welcome Center dock where you can tie up and walk up to the center. The next opportunity to stretch your legs is about 3 miles away, at Indian Landing. All along this section of the river you will encounter Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Small Green Heron, ducks of various kinds along with Mute Swans, Cormorant and Osprey. If you keep a watch full eye you may get lucky enough to spot a Bald Eagle as there are a nesting pair with eaglets living down river across from Indian Landing. This trip is definitely a must do for Long Island paddlers.
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This is a beautiful stretch of river with some current only near the beginning of the paddle that can easily be paddled both ways. The bird life here is rich. We also saw quite a few large snapping turtles beneath the surface. If the tide is high, there is a side branch of the river on the east side that can be paddled with shallower water giving more opportunity to see these turtles underwater. But, also watch for their noses peaking above the water in the deeper sections. Note that you need not launch from the official state launch. On the west side of the river on Montauk Hwy is a dock formerly used by a canoe rental place that has since closed. This launch is now open to the public. There is only one place within the refuge to get out of your canoe, at Indian Landing near where the river opens into a large bay. An outhouse at this point would be a big improvement. But, there isn't one. There is however, a short loop walk to be done here, though tevas may not be best for the walk. A longer walk also reaches this point from the refuge visitor center. Beyond the end of the refuge is a marina and possibly other places to get out of the boat.

Carmans River Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Day Trip
Best spring through fall
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
Local Contacts
New York Atlas Map 27:B5, USGS Bellport
Local Maps