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Online  Kayaking  Resources for NJ Paddlers



Sunset Paddling on the Barnegat Bay at Herring Island

In NJ, you can paddle a quiet stream or lake, take on the mild whitewater of the Delaware River, or brave the choppy and windy conditions of the sea or bay.  Miles of beaches from Sandy Hook to Cape May are also where  many paddlers kayak in the surf.  NJ offers a wide variety of paddling environments from the natural areas of the Pine Barrens and Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to the hustle and bustle of the NY Harbor, the Meadowlands marshlands and around the Statue of Liberty, alongside freighters, ferries and the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.   In addition to the breathtaking natural areas, this is the state where, while paddling many  places, you will also experience the stark contrast of "Man meets Nature".  




Members of Jersey Shore Sea Kayakers Association continue to work diligently to provide local and visiting paddlers with an online directory of kayak launch sites.  Check out the  KAYAK LAUNCH SITE DIRECTORY  for a diverse listing of places to launch your kayak in NJ.  Start planning your trip today! 

In addition, you can read and post NJ paddle trip reports on the  JSSKA Trip Reports and  paddling.net.

I've also compiled a list of books you may find interesting and informative.  If you have time to do some reading, check out my Amazon list of Books for NJ Paddlers.

NJ Kayak Beaches - check out these hot NJ surf kayak spots!


Patriotic Paddling on Barnegat Bay at Island Beach State Park




Garden State Kayak/Surfski Racing  - New Jersey's source for all things surfski and kayak racing


Delaware & Hudson River Canoe & Kayak Club  -  Kayaking in the NY, NJ and PA area. Great info about circumnavigating NYC by kayak. Also includes trip reports and  a schedule of their  paddling events. Piney Paddlers  - A host of informative links to paddling in the Pine Barrens, kayak instruction and accident reports.
Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club  - Encourages the sports of canoeing & kayaking and is open to paddlers of any level of experience and would-be paddlers alike. Outdoor Club of South Jersey  - Listing of canoeing & kayaking activities
Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association  ( JSSKA )  A very active paddling group with 400+ members from throughout the entire state of NJ and parts of PA, NY, DE and MD.  JSSKA is notorious for their Paddlers Express Message Board listing paddling trips & reports, places to paddle and paddling partners.  Paddling Bares Canoe Club   -  Paddle Naked!  No lie....but watch for ticks! .... and bring some extra tanning lotion!
Mohawk Canoe Club  - Canoeing on the Delaware, and streams in the NJ Pine Barrens, NY & PA. South Jersey Canoe Club  - Schedule of South Jersey canoe & kayak trips.
New York/New Jersey Endangered Rivers Canoe & Kayak Squad ( NYNJERCKS )  -  A group of paddlers from the  metropolitan area who attempt to raise awareness for  threatened rivers of the region.  The group includes biologists, educators, artists, and environmental specialists from Federal, State and county governments and local non-profit organizations who paddle the entire length of rivers that are impaired or underappreciated. South Jersey Canoe & Kayak Club - For those interested in paddling Southern NJ's rivers, lakes and shore.


Beautiful white sand beaches at Island Beach State Park near the Barnegat Lighthouse



 NJ Weather

NJ Marine Forecast NJ Tide Charts


Mullica River near Lower Bank, NJ



A number of environmental organizations, state agencies, and county/municipal park systems are developing self-guided paddling trails, guides and maps.  These maps and guides help raise awareness to the importance of our valuable eco-systems and also enhance recreational opportunities and the quality of life for NJ residents.  Be sure to support these organizations, and when paddling in these areas, be sure to respect these wonderful natural ecosystems.  Donate time, make a monetary donation, or volunteer for a clean-up of your local waterway.    Happy Trails!
If you would like to find out more about NJ Trails development, check out the The New Jersey Trails Plan .  This plan analyzes key issues related to trails development and the State Trails System, establishes a vision for New Jersey’s trails, and recommends strategies and actions required to move toward that vision. The visioning process engaged the trails community and the general public through surveys, focus groups, open houses and workshops. Be an advocate in your community for NJ Paddle Trails!
Hamilton-Trenton-Bordentown Marsh -  A printable brochure which describes The Hamilton-Trenton-Bordentown Marsh and includes a self-guided water trail map of  Watson's Creek & Crosswicks Creek.   "A Ride with the Tide Through the Marsh"  was another original brochure which included a map of the marsh and richly described the history, fauna and flora of the paddle trails. It was supported, in part by the D&R Greenway Land Trust Sedge Islands Kayak Trail -  A canoe &  kayak guide to a unique tidal marsh ecosystem.  This self-guided paddling map outlines two kayak trails in the Sedge Islands Conservation Zone at Island Beach State Park and  is a result of state funding and the laborious efforts of Save Barnegat Bay.  This is a wonderful resource which should serve as a model for other organizations planning to develop and promote a NJ paddling trail.
Tuckerton/Great Bay Kayak Trails  -  Seven paddle trails in this portion of the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area make this a true "Paddlers' Paradise". Rancocas Creek Canoe & Kayak Trail  Description of trail and self-guided kayak trail map developed by the Burlington County Division of Parks.
Meadowlands Marshland  Two trails, Mill Creek Marsh and Sawmill Creek, offer spectacular paddling opportunities. It's the wilderness on the edge of the city! Contact the Hackensack Riverkeeper on how to obtain a self-guided paddling map or for their guided eco-tours of the area. Tidal Delaware Water Trail - Still in the proposal stage, this trail spans about 56 miles of the Delaware River from Morrisville/Trenton to Marcus Hook for both PA and NJ sides of the river.  The Water Trail Map will include access points for paddlers, in addition to information about river safety and points of interest, including historical, cultural, recreational, ecological sites and amenities along the river.
Cape May Blueway  - A series of interconnected, back-bay paddling trails from Ocean City, NJ all the way south to Cape May and the Delaware Bay.  These routes were outlined by kayakers from a number of paddling clubs and organizations. Maps are being developed and will soon be posted online. Stay tuned!


Graveyard of Ships, Arthur Kill



New York City Water Trail   This link includes an interactive map, and helpful resources for paddling in NYC.  If you're looking for a few hours of tranquil paddling or a full-day expedition, you'll find it here. The NYC Water Trail connects 160 square miles of rivers, bays, creeks, inlets and ocean in the five boroughs suitable for kayaks, canoes, and open water rowing craft. Novice and experience paddlers alike can enjoy skyline panoramas, riverside parks, bird sanctuaries, tidal marshlands, and boundless vistas of one of the world‘s premier harbors, all from a prime sea-level vantage.

Kayak & Canoe Permit Application (PDF)   A permit is required to operate a kayak or canoe in NYC Parks waterways.  Included in the application are rules and helpful recommendations.

Rules and Regulations for NYC Kayaks and Canoes


Pelicans at Barnegat Light



Cape May Beach  Kayaking  - Your paddling link to South Jersey and the Delaware Bay area sponsored by capemaybeach.com.  Includes area paddling events and trip reports. NJ Wildlife Management Areas    - A listing of preserved areas in the state, some of which offer great paddling.
NJ Coastal Heritage Trail   The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route extends south for nearly 300 miles from Perth Amboy to Cape May and westward along the Delaware Bay to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Take a virtual tour by visiting each region of the Trail or by following one of the five theme trails. NJ Division of Parks & Forestry  - A guide to all the state parks by activity including canoeing/kayaking & camping.
JSSKA Kayak Launch Site Directory  A comprehensive listing of places to launch your kayak in NJ and surrounding areas. Sponsored by Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association (JSSKA) NJPineBarrens.com  - A wealth of information related to the NJ Pine Barrens, including aerial maps, topos, articles, forums, and photos.
Monmouth County Parks System   They offer a series of annual canoe and kayak trips and instructional paddling programs. New York City Downtown Boathouse -  FREE kayaking and kayak launch in the Big Apple. This is the "Grand Central Station" of  NYC paddling.
NJ Paddling Location Table - A local paddler has organized this listing of most NJ waterways which includes county of location, size of the area, water quality and comments. Ocean County Parks System  -  This park system also offers a number of annual canoe and kayak trips and instructional paddling programs.
NJ Ponds, Lakes & Reservoirs  -  developed for fishermen but also a site of great value to paddlers.  Includes listing by county. Tuckerton Seaport - Paddle over to their floating dock and experience the rich maritime history of the Jersey Shore. The Tuckerton Seaport is also the host of the The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNERR) & Visitor Center.


Great Bay at Tuckerton, NJ



PADDLESPORT  -  March -  This is the biggest kayak, canoe & outdoor show on the East Coast (presented by Jersey Paddler of Brick, NJ).   Exhibits include manufacturers of kayaks, canoes, accessories & sportswear, paddling clubs, professional instruction and expeditions. Lectures and video/slide shows of exotic trips and expeditions, and paddling techniques will also be presented.  If you are thinking of buying a kayak or just interested in learning more about paddling, this is a great place to sit in some of the latest models of canoes and kayaks, talk to various kayak vendors and ask questions about their boats and gear.  It's also a great place to talk to other local  paddlers and learn more about NJ paddling groups, clubs and organizations.
SOUTH JERSEY CANOE & KAYAK CLASSIC   - June  - Ocean County Park, Route 88, Lakewood NJ  - This is a free summer event sponsored by The Jersey Paddler.  This event features over 100 models of canoes & kayaks, on-water demonstrations, canoe & kayak clubs, accessories and much more.
TUCKAHOE CANOE & KAYAK RACE  - August   - Tuckahoe, NJ - Southern NJ Event.   Canoes and kayaks will be launched from the Upper Township beach on Mosquito Landing Road. PADDLE ACROSS THE DELAWARE BAY  - September  - Annual Fall 19 mile kayak paddle from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, NJ.
TOMS RIVER CANOE & KAYAK RACE  - October  -  Toms River,  NJ -  Part of the NJ Triple Crown of Canoe and Kayak Racing, the event is held on the Toms River, from Riverwood Park to Huddy Park. MANASQUAN RIVER CANOE RACE -  May  - Sponsored by  Monmouth County Park Systems - Outdoor Recreation Call (732) 842-4000 ext. 4238 or email info@monmouthcountyparks.com for more info.


The Stillness of   Reedy Creek, Brick Twp                                       Forge Pond Landing, Brick Twp



KAYAKERS UNITE! ....and get involved with an environmental  group in your area to help preserve our natural areas so our state doesn't become a series of polluted rivers, strip malls and shopping centers.  The Jersey Shore is home to some spectacular natural areas and we need to preserve and protect them from pollution and degradation. We also need to educate people to the environmental threats from urban sprawl and rampant overdevelopment.  There are plenty of organizations below to get involved with.   Let's make sure NJ continues to be the Garden State.  Keep it Clean ... and keep it Green!
Living with the Future in Mind: Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life  articulates the vision of a sustainable New Jersey with an efficient and vibrant economy and a healthy environment. Check it out!
ALLIANCE FOR A LIVING OCEAN    Promoting and maintaining clean water and a healthy coastal environment through education, research and active participation. "Everyone is part of the problem. We must all be part of the solution." NATURE CENTER OF CAPE MAY  provides quality environmental education experiences, encourages stewardship of the harbor area and other natural areas, and promotes volunteerism as a rewarding means of community involvement and service.
METROPOLITAN WATERFRONT ALLIANCE  A growing network of organizations and concerned individuals dedicated to helping the region reclaim and reconnect to its greatest natural resource--the harbor, rivers and estuaries of the New York and New Jersey waterfront.  Subscribe to their email newletter, WaterWire.
BARNEGAT BAY WATERSHED & ESTUARY FOUNDATION   is actively working to preserve the watershed, promote sound land-use practices and educate residents and visitors on how they can help keep our waters clean. \NY/NJ ENDANGERED RIVERS CANOE & KAYAK SQUAD ( NYNJERCKS )  A group of paddlers from the  metropolitan area who attempt to raise awareness for  threatened rivers of the region.  The group includes biologists, educators, artists, and environmental specialists from Federal, State and county governments and local non-profit organizations who paddle the entire length of rivers that are impaired or underappreciated.
BARNEGAT BAY NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM   is housed and sponsored locally by Ocean County College.  The BBNEP is a partnership of federal, state, municipal, academic, business and private organizations that work together with Ocean County and its communities to help restore, maintain, protect and enhance the natural resources of the Barnegat Bay Estuary and its contributing watershed through the 21st century. NJ CONSERVATION FOUNDATION  Protecting strategic lands through acquisition and stewardship, promoting strong land use policies and forging strategic partnerships to achieve conservation goals.
CITIZENS RIGHT TO ACCESS BEACHES (CRAB)   dedicated to educating the public on its rights to use and enjoy our beaches for a variety of recreational pursuits. NJ DEP DIVISION OF WATERSHED MANAGEMENT  The Division of Watershed Management administers a variety of programs aimed at protecting and restoring water quality, controlling water pollution and ensuring adequate water supplies.
CLEAN OCEAN ACTION  is working to improve the degraded water quality of the marine waters off the New Jersey/New York coast. Clean Ocean Action identifies the sources of pollution and works to resolve each source by using research, public education, and citizen action to convince our public officials to enact and enforce measures which will clean up and protect our ocean. NJ WATER WATCH  working to empower students and community members to address water quality problems in New Jersey through education and service.
D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST  This organization has actively promoted stewardship and protection and has led the development of interpretive nature trails and a self-guided canoe/kayak trail on Crosswicks and Watson Creeks of the Hamilton/Trenton Marsh. PALMYRA COVE NATURE PARK  (PCNP) is 250 acres of green in a highly developed area on the Delaware River, just south of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge.  The PCNP  woodlands, wetlands, tidal cove and wild river shore line serves as an important feeding site for migratory birds.
ENVIRONMENT NEW JERSEY   We all want clean air, clean water and open spaces.  This advocacy group is  focused exclusively on protecting New Jersey's air, water and open spaces.  Speaking out and taking action at the local, state and national levels to improve the quality of our environment and our lives. PINELANDS PRESERVATION ALLIANCE  Protecting and Preserving the Resources of the New Jersey Pinelands
FRIENDS OF THE MARSH  Supporting protection, advocacy, education and recreational opportunities involving the Hamilton/Trenton Marsh. RARITAN RIVERKEEPER  Protecting, preserving and restoring the ecological integrity of the Raritan River, its tributaries and watershed. Also working to stop polluters, champion public access and influence land use decisions.
GARDEN STATE GREENWAYS   Imagine a New Jersey where every resident can  walk out his or her door and access an interconnected system of parks, trails and protected natural areas, farmland, and historic places.  YOU can help make it happen. RECLAM THE BAY    Dedicated to providing education and awareness about the environmental benefit of  shellfish filtering, feeding  and cleaning our estuary.
GREAT EGG HARBOR WATERSHED ASSOCIATION  (GEHWA)  Formed to help educate the residents of New Jersey about The Great Egg Harbor River and protect its precious watershed. This river is the longest canoeable river listed on the National Wild and Scenic Rivers registry. SAVE BARNEGAT BAY  Working to conserve undeveloped natural land and clean water throughout the Barnegat Bay watershed.  They have been instrumental in the acquisition of land parcels for the Reedy Creek area of the Edwin B Forsyth National Wildlife Refuge.  These undeveloped natural bay areas offer some of the best paddling and wildlife viewing in the state.
HACKENSACK RIVERKEEPER  "working to save the Meadowlands, not pave the Meadowlands".  Their  Canoe Project offers guided canoe tours of the area. SHARK RIVER CLEANUP COALITION  Working to enhance the water quality of the Shark River Estuary and tributaries and to improve and protect habitats important to recreation and the conservation and abundance of wildlife.
JACQUES COUSTEAU NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE (JCNERR)  An educational facility at the  Tuckerton Seaport.   Programs provide a virtual experience through the Pineland, Great Bay, Barrier Island and Open Ocean ecosystems that make up this pristine natural reserve. SURFRIDER FOUNDATION   (NJ CHAPTER)  Dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the world's waves and beaches through conservation, local activism, research and education, the Surfrider Foundation's Jersey Shore Chapter is working hard to fight ocean pollution and open surfing beaches.
MARINE MAMMAL STRANDING CENTER  Brigantine, NJ,  responds to calls for stranded whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles that are found to be injured in our waters and on our coastline.  When possible, the center rescues the mammals, studies & rehabilitates them at the center and prepares them for release back into their natural environment.  In addition, the center educates the public about our precious marine mammals. THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND (NJ OFFICE)   "Conserving Land for the People"  This site is an excellent source of information about open land acquisition and  preservation efforts & projects in NJ.  Responsible for launching the River to Bay Greenway Initiative


Curious Harbor Seal in the Great Bay at Tuckerton                                             Fall Paddling on the Mullica River                                            


We are lucky to have a host of outfitters and retailers scattered throughout our state.  When visiting any of them,

be sure to tell them you saw their listing on NJ Paddle Zone.

Acme Surf Co. & Island Skates  Kayak, surfboard, bike and skate rentals on Long Beach Island (LBI) Jersey Paddler   Brick Township, NJ.  The largest selection of canoes & kayaks  in addition to paddling gear and clothing.   Boats available for demo, so go try one one out.  This retailer is also the sponsor of the NJ Paddle Sport Expo.
Aqua Trails   Guided kayak nature tours, sales & rentals in beautiful Cape May NJ. Kayak East - Offering coastal and inland kayaking tours and instruction in and around New Jersey.
Barrell Surf and Kayak  Kayaking & surfing equipment  & supplies in Brigantine, NJ.  Links, surf reports and home of the Kayak Fishing Secrets. KayakFishingStuff.com  - Everything you need to know about kayak fishing.
Bel Haven Canoe, Kayak & Tubes   Rental/Sales, paddling gear and camping/paddling trips on the Mullica, Oswego, Wading and Batsto Rivers. New Jersey Kayak   -  Located on beautiful Barnegat Bay in the Historic town of Barnegat NJ & the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve and the Barnegat Bay Watershed.  Offers full service kayak shop with sales, tours, and rentals.
Bobbies Boats  Barnegat Light, NJ.   Kayak rentals and eco-tours. PaddlersCove   Washington, NJ.  Kayak sales, rentals and gear with opportunities to demo on the Merrill Creek Reservoir.
Cedar Creek Campground   Camping, canoe and kayak rental /trips.  Located in Bayville, NJ. Paddle Shack   A full service canoe & kayak outfitter in Mays Landing, NJ offering sales/rentals, eco-tours and instruction/lessons.
First Bridge Marina   Kayak rental & sales and sunset ecotours on the Great Bay in Tuckerton, NJ. Pine Barrens Canoe & Kayak Rental   Chatsworth, NJ.  Day and overnight canoe/kayak trips through Wharton State Forest.
GreenWave Paddling Association   Providing new, beginner, and experienced kayakers with professional instruction, trips and special events in an environmentally-oriented fashion. Princeton Canoe & Kayak Rental   Princeton, NJ.  Launch from their dock at Princeton Turning Basin Park and paddle into the D&R Canal.
Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rental   Griggstown, NJ.   Located across from D&R Canal State Park. Reel Therapy Kayak Adventures & Sportfishing   Paddle the calm and protected backwaters of central NJ,  perfect for beginner paddlers and especially those interested in relaxation and wildlife.
H20 Outfitters   Kayaking Classes/Lessons/Instruction in NJ, NY, PA, SC, CT, ME and FL. Sea Ya Kayak Instruction  - Brick, NJ.   Learn kayaking skills from an ACA Certified Kayak Instructor.
Harbor Outfitters  Kayak Rentals with locations in Stone Harbor and Sea Isle City Yakkity Yaks Kayak Rental  Sit on top & surf kayaks delivered right to you (Point Pleasant to Seaside Park).
Island Surf & Sail   Kayak, windsurf, wakeboard and surfboard sales in Brant Beach (LBI), NJ.  


Sunset at Round Valley Reservoir, Lebanon, NJ



Tao of Paddling  © - More about my passion for paddling and more general paddling links Get in the Flow  -  "Life is a river and wisdom is knowing when to paddle and when to float."
The Kayak Chronicles  ©   - Personal paddling tales & pics from many of the places I've paddled over the  years. SynchronicitY  ©  - There is no 'coincidence' ...  it's all SynchronicitY

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