Kayaking or canoeing is a great way to explore some of New Jersey’s rivers and lakes, and just a great way to get out on the water and experience nature first hand. There’s also tubing and whitewater rafting, but if you want to relax and take a laid back ride on the water, this is a great opportunity. If you don’t own your own gear, and don’t want to make that big of an investment until you know you love it, you can either rent your kayaks and canoes, or even take a guided tour to teach you and the family how to paddle. Here are some of our favorite spots in and around New Jersey to go kayaking or canoeing to get you started.
Cranford Canoe Club
250 Springfield Ave, Cranford NJ
If you are looking for a relaxing paddle, Cranford Canoe Club is the place for you! The club is located right along the Rahway river and is the place for any family. They also offer hot dogs and ice cream, which was voted a Best Of by New Jersey in 2010 & 2011. Canoe rentals are $25 for 2 hours and kayaks for $25. Tandem kayaks are also available for $35.
Flatwater Paddle Co. – Monksville
1081 Greenwood Lake Turnpike, Ringwood NJ
Monksville Reservoir has a surface area of 505 acres and Flatwater Paddle Company takes full advantage! While Flatwater is popular for its kayak rentals and lessons, they also offer stand-up paddle boards and dragon boards for big groups. If you are interested in lessons, they have guided sessions for kayaks and paddle boards. If you’re a yoga aficionado or maybe just adventurous, they have paddle board yoga and welcomes beginners. Starting at 1 hour, single kayaks or boards are $20 and tandem kayaks are $35. 1.5 hour lessons are $75 per person with an extra charge for life jackets at $10.
Run by Hackensack Riverkeeper, Laurel Hill offers rentals for the river, the Meadowlands, and Overpeck Lake. Every rental goes towards maintenance of the river and the county park. To spice things up, several guided tours are offered; Moonlight paddles, High Tide exploration, and Bird & Wildlife Watch. For 4 hours, canoe rentals are $25 per paddler and $15 per passenger. Kayaks are $25 per paddler. Registration is required for guided paddles.
Hudson River Recreation – Tarrytown
Tarrytown Lakes Park, Old Saw Mill Rd, Tarrytown, NY
Hudson River Recreation is the business to go for Hudson River exploration and learning how to kayak. They offer different launch sites, but Tarrytown is their lesson site for beginners. For two hours, they go over all kinds of paddling techniques and everything about kayaking! Their other launch points, Sleepy Hollow and Croton River and many more, offer two hour guided tours down the river for all levels of kayaking. Their season goes from Memorial Day Weekend to June 30th and July 1st to Labor Day. For individual rentals, kayaks are rented for 1.5 hours at $35. Their beginner lessons are priced at $89 per person. Reservations are required.
Jersey Paddle Boards
622 Jersey Ave, Greenwood Lake, NY
Family-owned, Jersey Paddle Boards is a popular feature of the Greenwood Village lake, with rentals for kayaks and paddle-boards. Offering all sorts of events every week, the store is a recommendation for everyone. While they do not offer lessons for kayaks, they have standing-up paddle board lessons for all kinds of paddlers. Check their calendar for all of their classes and events. Some include ladies night paddle & bonfire, paddlefit classes, lunch on liquid, or coed night paddle & bonfire. Their rentals start at one hour for $25 for paddle boards and kayaks. If you’re interested in other kinds of paddle boards and kayaks, they have various prices. For private groups looking to learn about paddle boards, it is $60 for smaller groups and $50 for larger groups. Reservations are required.
15 Paradise Ave, Piermont, NY
Come on down to travel down Hudson River’s 1000 acre salt marsh and enjoy Piermont’s wonderful water. Paradise Boats offer all sorts for beginner paddlers, from canoes to row boats and kayak lessons to sailing lessons! Rentals are for 2 hours. Rowboats for 2 are $50; kayaks for 2 are $60 and $50 for canoes. Lessons and guided tours are only available by appointments.
Bucks County River Country
2 Walters Lane, Point Pleasant, PA
Down from Delaware Water Gap, River Country allows families to do everything from tubing to kayaking. They recently celebrated their 54th anniversary and are excited to let people back onto the river. Come relax at the river and experience the spectacular views of the forest. River Country also has their own restaurant, The Red Mushroom Cafe, which serves hot dogs and burgers! This is the place for any young paddler. For tubing rentals, they start at $28 per person or $22 for groups. Kayaks are $48 (2 hours) or $44 for groups of over 20. Canoes are $35 per person or $31. If you are looking to raft, it is $38 per person for groups of 3-4 or $28 per person for over 20 people. Reservations are required and the cafe takes orders all-online.
Delaware Water Gap National Park
1978 River Rd., Bushkill, PA
Offers Different Livery Businesses
With over 100 miles of hiking trails following a beautiful river, the Delaware Water Gap is a perfect place to go with the flow and enjoy the water. The park does not offer equipment rentals, but has many different livery services that do. All of them operate on the Pennsylvania side of the park. Kayaks East offers guided tours of the park for families to learn and enjoy everything about the water gap!