Bayonne Nature Club
Appreciating, protecting and improving urban nature sites
Kayaking and Canoeing in Bergen/Passaic Counties!
On this page is listed two of our favorite places to kayak in Bergen/Passaic County. We think you will agree!
What to Consider When Paddling
the Pompton and Passiac Rivers:
Watch for debris.
1.Waters are affected by heavy rains. Consult the weather reports before kayaking. Sudden floods can be very dangerous. Rivers after rain storms can be very deep and swift with many fallen trees and branches. Always watch for the possibility of soon-to-fall trees. 2.Use Nature’s energy to your advantage: paddle up river and when you are tired, going back down river to your vehicle will be much easier.
Paddling the Pompton and Passaic Rivers - Great Piece Meadows:
Location of Launch: Off Route 80, Exit 52, Lincoln Park/Fairfield/The Caldwells. Stay right at fork off exit and at stop sign turn left onto Two Bridges Road. Go 0.2 miles to stop sign. Park across road in dirt lot.
Condition of Launch: The parking lot is just a cleared dirt space. At the entrance of the lot you can lower your boat down the steep launch path surrounded by Poison Ivy. If you can move your kayak/canoe to the back of the parking area, there's a path into the woods that leads gradually down to an easier launch site on the Pompton River. This is about 75 feet away from the parking lot. NOTE: You enter the Pompton River then go down stream only a few feet before you turn right onto the Passaic River.
What it's like: We visited this launch site on August 16, 2012 after two days of heavy rain. The water was deep, smooth, with a moderate current. At the point of launch, you are actually going into the Pompton River, you go down stream only a few feet and turn right to go up the Passaic River for a nice kayak experience. From the launch site, if you go up the Pompton River, it is more residential than the Passaic.
NOTE: We were advised by the local folks not to go down the Passaic river beyond the first bridge where the two rivers meet. There is a waterfalls and it is industrial and dangerous. From the launch, be sure to make the right turn after the first bridge (pictured) and go into the upper Passaic river, (current moving toward you).
Wildlife: We saw Great Blue Heron, Green Heron and lots of turtles. Deer wandered in the meadow along the shore. Grass was tall along the edges so a threat of ticks could exist. Word on the street is that this area is marked to become a National Park area in coming years. We think it is well worth protecting!
Below: Here's the closest launch site for the Pompton River--near the point where it meets the Passaic.
Below: Here's the view departing from the launch into the Pompton River, looking south, you see the bridge. Go under the bridge and turn RIGHT to enter the Passaic River that flows down from the Great Piece Meadow.
Right: A nice day on the Passaic River going upstream into Great Piece Meadow.
Below: The Two Bridges Road, coming into the parking area for the launch site.
If you don't own a kayak and want to do this trip, contact:
Phone: 1-866-kayak east
Kayak East LLC
PO Box 77
Columbia, NJ 07832-0077
Hackensack Riverkeeper operates the Overpeck Kayak Center located in Overpeck Park, Leonia. Take NJ Turnpike to Challenger Road and follow to the kayak center. You can rent kayaks there. See www.hackensackriverkeeper.org for schedule and prices.
If you have your own kayak, just go when the park is open and launch. The launch is a floating dock with hand rails. See pictures below. The lake is large, beautiful, full of wildlife and NOT tidal.