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Discover New Jersey

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Discover the Best Places to Kayak in New Jersey: Top Spots for Adventure and Relaxation

New Jersey, with its diverse landscape, offers a plethora of kayaking spots that cater to all levels of paddlers. From serene lakes and winding rivers to challenging whitewater sections, the Garden State is a kayaker's paradise. Here are some of the best places to kayak in New Jersey:


Kayaking on the serene waters of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey's largest freshwater lake, surrounded by picturesque mountain views. Perfect for a relaxing adventure in the heart of nature!

1. Delaware River

The Delaware River is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in New Jersey. It offers a mix of tranquil paddling and more challenging sections, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced kayakers. The river runs along the western border of the state, providing scenic views and abundant wildlife sightings.


2. Wawayanda Lake

Located in Wawayanda State Park, this glacially formed lake is perfect for a peaceful paddling experience. Surrounded by dense forests and wetlands, Wawayanda Lake is home to diverse wildlife, including the endangered red-shouldered hawk. The lake's calm waters are ideal for beginners and families​​.



3. Lake Hopatcong

As the largest freshwater body in New Jersey, Lake Hopatcong is a prime spot for kayaking. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and offers various amenities, including kayak rentals and waterfront dining. It’s a great location for both recreational paddling and exploring the scenic shoreline​. Click here to view Kayak Rentals.


4. Manasquan Reservoir

This reservoir in Monmouth County is known for its clear waters and scenic beauty. The reservoir is surrounded by trails and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for a full day of outdoor activities. Kayak rentals are available on-site, and the area is popular for birdwatching​​. You can rent kayaks from may to cotober for just around $15 an hour.


5. Mullica River

Flowing through the Pine Barrens, the Mullica River offers a serene and scenic kayaking experience. The river winds through Wharton State Forest, providing paddlers with views of lush pine forests and diverse wildlife. This spot is ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in nature​.



6. Raritan River

The Raritan River provides a mix of urban and natural paddling environments. Starting in western New Jersey, it flows past historic towns and scenic parks. The river is suitable for all skill levels and offers various access points along its course​​.


7. Sandy Hook

Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook is a barrier beach with calm waters perfect for kayaking. The area also features historical landmarks like the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and offers stunning views of the New York City skyline. It’s an excellent spot for combining paddling with sightseeing​.


8. Overpeck Creek

Located in Overpeck County Park, this creek is great for beginners and families. The calm waters make it easy to navigate, and the surrounding park offers plenty of amenities and activities. Kayak rentals are available at the park, making it a convenient option for a day out​​.



9. Rancocas Creek

This historic waterway offers a tranquil paddling experience through the Pinelands. The creek flows through Rancocas State Park, providing opportunities to see a variety of birds and wildlife. The calm waters and scenic surroundings make it a favorite among nature lovers​.


10. Merrill Creek Reservoir

Located near the Pennsylvania border, Merrill Creek Reservoir is known for its pristine waters and stunning natural setting. The reservoir is surrounded by protected land, making it a great spot for wildlife viewing. It’s ideal for experienced paddlers, especially when the waters are choppy​​.


Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a novice looking to explore the waterways, New Jersey offers a diverse range of kayaking destinations to suit all preferences. Pack your gear, grab your paddle, and explore the natural beauty of the Garden State!


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