Where to Kayak and Canoe in between Massachusetts and Delaware?
April 20, 2012 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Where is a good place to go canoeing/kayaking on Memorial Day weekend in between Western Massachusetts and Delaware?

A group of friends want to go kayaking/canoeing on Memorial Day weekend. About half of us live in Western MA, and the other half live in Delaware. Where is a good place for us to meet up and have a fun weekend of kayaking and canoeing? There's a mix of raw beginners and more experienced kayakers, so nothing too technical. Optimal placing would be somewhere kind of in the middle between the two areas, although things closer to Delaware than Mass would be fine. Personal stories/experiences are welcome.

posted by permiechickie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Perhaps the Delaware Water Gap in northeastern PA.
posted by exogenous at 9:52 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine (who's an American Canoe Association Level 4 or 5 Coastal Kayaking Instructor... he's good) really loves paddling in the NJ Pine Barrens, and has kayaked all over NJ and the northeast. I'll pop him an email and see if he has any more recommendations.
posted by The Michael The at 9:57 AM on April 20, 2012

Both Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Kent County, DE and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Milton DE are good options.
posted by lstanley at 11:54 AM on April 20, 2012

New Jersey is right in the middle with tons of options but it matters what kind of paddling you are looking for:
-The Delaware River is a lot of fun, especially when it is hot out. I like to call it being a "river potato" since the smart way to do it is get dropped off upstream packed with lots of supplies. You can even camp along the river but I am not sure how busy Memorial day is.

-Northern New Jersey Highlands and Hudson Highlands have a ton of great paddles on the reservoirs and on the Hudson River. My favorite is Splitrock Reservoir but it is where I usually go so I might just be partial. Closest to the southern edge of the highlands are Round Valley and Spruce Run, both easy to get to and lovely.

-All along the Jersey shore, although some of these spots might need different levels of experience. Sandy Hook is a great spot. I don't know the southern parts of the shore as well but there are a lot of ocean and bay paddling as well as marshes and inlets.

-I actually think the most interesting paddles in the area are in the urban areas if you are brave enough. If there is not much wind NY Harbor has some pretty amazing sights, just look out for the zippy ferry boats. THere is also the boat graveyard on the Arthur Kill.
posted by JayNolan at 11:56 AM on April 20, 2012

Whitewater or quiet water?
posted by SampleSize at 6:46 AM on April 22, 2012

Response by poster: Quiet water definitely. If anyone still looks at this, I was also wondering what states/parks/rivers are more amenable to small amounts of alcohol? It seems that it is technically illegal everywhere, but the severity of enforcement varies...

Thanks for the great answers!
posted by permiechickie at 9:20 AM on April 23, 2012

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