Canoeing & Kayaking

Come paddle with us! Since 1999 and continuing today, Hackensack Riverkeeper remains the only operator of canoe/kayak liveries in our watershed. Now fielding a fleet of more than fifty canoes and kayaks, we look forward to giving you, your family & friends opportunities to enjoy and explore the river, the Meadowlands and Overpeck Lake at your own pace or on one of our Laurel Hill moonlight paddles.

Please note that our paddling activities are donation-based, as opposed to fee-based and all funds raised help support the ongoing mission of Hackensack Riverkeeper.

 

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You can hit the water at either of our two paddling center locations:

Laurel Hill Paddling Center

Laurel Hill County Park
End of New County Road
Secaucus, NJ

Phone: 201-920-4746

Hours:

Effective Saturday, April 27th, our hours are as follows:

  • Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
  • Monday, Memorial Day, May 27th, 10 am – 6 pm
  • Thursday, July 4th, 10 am – 6 pm
  • Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 2nd, 10 am – 6 pm

Note: Last boats out 4 hours before closing. 

Donation: $25 per paddler; $15 per canoe passenger (NO kayak passengers)

Our Paddling Center at Laurel Hill County Park (which also serves as Hackensack Riverkeeper’s field office) is located at the end of New County Road in Secaucus, NJ. It is easily accessible from NJ Turnpike (Eastern Spur) Exit 15X, Route 3 to Meadowlands Parkway, or via NJ Transit buses and trains to Secaucus Junction. The park is located on the east bank of the Hackensack River at the southern end of the New Jersey Meadowlands directly across from the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Download printable directions.

*The Paddling Center’s season typically runs from the first weekend after Earth Day (April 22) until the last weekend before Halloween (October 31), The center will be OPEN (weather permitting) on Saturdays and Sundays, and on the following Monday holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The center will be CLOSED for EarthFest Overpeck, Reservoir Paddles, and offsite SPLASH events.

Here’s how to enjoy independent paddling out of Laurel Hill:

  • We use the buddy system- NO SOLO PADDLERS
  • Paddlers must be over 16 and be accompanied by an adult at all times
  • After a short paddling lesson and river orientation, each paddler will be provided with a whistle, paddle and laminated map and US Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Paddlers MUST wear their PFDs at all times while on the water.
  • Be sure to bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and a charged cellphone.
  • Consider bringing a hat, sunglasses, binoculars, camera, field guide, snacks and anything else that will make your on-water time more enjoyable.
  • Carry your gear in a waterproof bag.

CANOE Donation RATES (per four hours):
$25 per paddler
$15 per passenger

  • You must have two paddlers per canoe.
  • At least one (preferably experienced) paddler must be a legal adult.
  • Teens 16 and older may substitute for the 2nd adult paddler.
  • Up to three adults, or two adults with one or two children is a comfortable fit.

KAYAK Donation RATES (per four hours):
$25 per paddler
No passengers.

  • You must have at least one (preferably experienced) legal adult paddler per kayak.
  • Teens may paddle in a tandem kayak if the other paddler is an experienced legal adult.
  • We have single and tandem kayaks.
  • NO solo paddling is permitted, so if you want to paddle a single kayak, bring a buddy for a second boat.

PLEASE NOTE the following safety requirements / restrictions for Laurel Hill:

  • We use the buddy system – SOLO PADDLING IS NOT PERMITTED.
  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are NOT PERMITTED in our boats or in the park.
  • All paddlers must be 16 years or older.
  • All boats must have one legal adult (18+ years of age) aboard.
  • Up to three adults, or two adults with one or two children are permitted in canoes.

Here’s how to enjoy Moonlight Paddles out of Laurel Hill

Moonlight Paddles are a great way to explore and experience the real Meadowlands. Enjoy a leisurely, two-hour paddle through the marshes of the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area with an experienced guide.

See the full schedule of this year’s Moonlight Paddles.

Program donation: $30 per paddler / $15 per paddler with own boat

  • Reservations are required for all Moonlight Paddles. Click on preferred date, listed below, to register.
  • Moonlight paddles are ADULTS ONLY events.
  • For more information, please contact our office at 201-968-0808. For your convenience, directions and required waivers are available on the registration page.

 

2019 Moonlight Paddles (weather permitting)

Fri, 5/17 @ 7 PM – Pre Full Moon

Sat, 5/18 @ 7 PM – Full Moon

Sat, 6/15 @ 7:30 PM – Pre Full Moon

Sun, 6/16 @ 7:30 PM – Full Moon

Tue, 7/16 @ 7:30 PM – Full Moon

Wed, 7/17 @ 7:30 PM – Post Full Moon

Fri, 8/16 @ 7 PM – Post Full Moon

Sat, 8/17 @ 7 PM – Post Full Moon

Sat, 9/14 @ 6:30 PM – Full Moon

Sun, 9/15 @ 6:30 PM – Post Full Moon

Sat, 10/12 @ 5:30 PM – Pre Full Moon

Sun, 10/13 @ 5:30 PM – Full Moon

Note: ALL “Mooners” take place on easy-to-paddle Incoming tides.

New to Laurel Hill – Guided Paddle Tours!!

High Tide Exploration Guided Paddle:

Hackensack Riverkeeper’s experienced paddling guides on a two-hour exploration of the Sawmill Creek marsh. Timed to the high tide, kayakers will be able to get into creeks and channels that are inaccessible – and often dry – during low tide.  An added bonus is the opportunity to view both the Newark skyline and the entire Manhattan skyline from the Upper West Side to Lower Manhattan from a unique perspective: with a thousand acres of protected wetlands in your foreground. This event is limited to the first ten paddlers who register.

Dates Available:

Sun, 8/4 @ Noon

Sun, 8/18 @ Noon

Sun, 9/1 @ 11 AM

Birding & Wildlife Watch Guided Paddle:

Join Hackensack Riverkeeper’s experienced paddling guides on a two-hour excursion to seek out some of the common (and not-so-common) wildlife species of the Meadowlands. Among the birds you can expect to see on this low-tide trip during fall migration are: herons, egrets, sandpipers, plovers, waterfowl, raptors and wrens. You’ll also have a good chance to spot muskrats in the creeks and Diamondback terrapins basking on the mudflats. Be sure to bring your binoculars and register early because this event is limited to just ten naturalist/paddlers.

Dates Available:

Sun, 8/11 @ Noon

Sun, 8/25 @ Noon

Sun, 9/8 @ 11 AM

 

Overpeck Park Kayak (and Canoe) Center

Overpeck County Park / Ridgefield Park Area
50 Fort Lee Road
Leonia, NJ 07605

Phone: 201-957-3085

Hours:

Effective Monday, June 17th, our hours are:

  • Monday THRU Friday, 10 am – 6 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm

Note: Last boats out 2 hours before closing.

CALL 201-968-0808 for the current current schedule or check our Facebook page.

Season: Late April through October – weather permitting*

Donation: $15.00 per paddler for UP TO two hours / $10.00 per paddler each additional hour; $25.00 per standup paddle board for two hours.The calm, non-tidal waters of Overpeck Lake are perfect for novice paddlers and paddlers with children. Our Overpeck Park Kayak Center is most easily accessible via the park entrance at 50 Fort Lee Road, Leonia. Enter the park at the light and turn right at the traffic circle. After crossing over two wooden bridges, you will see the center and parking lot on your left. The park can also be reached by NJ Transit buses.

Download printable directions

*The Kayak Center’s season typically runs from the first weekend after Earth Day (April 22) until the last weekend before Halloween (October 31). The center will be OPEN (weather permitting) on the standard dates/time of operation, and will also be OPEN on the following Monday holidays from 9AM to 6PM: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The center will be CLOSED for our Reservoir Challenge event, which takes place in early June.

Here’s how to enjoy independent paddling at Overpeck:

  • Reservations are required for groups of 8 or more. Boats are always subject to availability.
  • After a short paddling lesson and orientation, each paddler will be provided with a whistle, paddle, and US Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
    All paddlers MUST wear their PFD at all times while on the water.
  • Be sure to bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and a charged cellphone.
  • Consider bringing a hat, sunglasses, binoculars, camera, field guide, snacks and anything else that will make your on-water time more enjoyable.
  • Carry your gear in a waterproof bag.

Private group paddling events can be arranged to take place at Overpeck. Contact Program Manager Russ Wilke at 201-477-8127 or paddling@hackensackriverkeeper.org for info.

PLEASE NOTE the following safety requirements / restrictions for Overpeck:

  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are NOT PERMITTED in our boats or in the park.
  • Children 5 to 8 can ride as a passenger in a canoe with TWO adult paddlers.
  • Children 9-11 can paddle in a tandem kayak with one adult in the rear.
  • Children 12 & up can paddle a single kayak, but must be accompanied on the water by a parent or guardian over 18 at all times.

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