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Canoeing & Kayaking

190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ
908 722-1200 Ext. 5002   EEC Home Page

Kayaking

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration for June programs is available online beginning 9:00am on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the start of a program. Pending availability, enrollment may still be possible by calling 908-722-1200 ext.5002.

Masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. Do not attend a program if you are not feeling well, are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have traveled internationally in the last 14 days.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. For more information, contact Naturalist Monica Juhasz @ 908 722-1200 ext. 5328 or mjuhasz@scparks.org.

 

Canoeing and Kayaking Programs
The Somerset County Park Commission offers a variety of canoeing and kayaking opportunities to stimulate awareness and understanding of the environment, build an appreciation of New Jersey waterways, and promote interest in canoeing and kayaking.

Come enjoy fantastic times on the water with our enthusiastic, experienced Naturalist as your guide. Your paddling memories will be sure to last a lifetime!

All canoeing and kayaking programs are designed for adults and families. Children must be at least seven years old to participate in canoe programs and at least ten years old to participate in kayak programs. An adult must accompany children under the age of 15. Attendance of introductory programs is mandatory and required prior to participating in canoe or kayak trips. Participants must attend at least one river trip per season/calendar year to avoid retaking the introductory classes. All equipment will be provided.

CAN-U-CANNU?
(All Ages, 7 and older)
After a “splashing” time at this introductory canoe class, you will learn the basic paddling techniques, safety aspects of canoeing, and handling a canoe in and out of the water. Each canoe can accommodate two paddlers and a child passenger. Classes take place on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center.
$14 per person
Activity Number: 50350

Canoe-28     Wednesday, July 28
                    1:00pm-3:00pm
Canoe-29     Monday, August 9
                    1:30pm-3:30pm
Canoe-30     Tuesday, August 31
                    5:00pm-7:00pm

KAN-U-KAYAK?
(All Ages, 10 and older)
This introductory kayaking class will teach you the basic paddling techniques, safety aspects of kayaking, and handling a kayak in and out of the water. During the pool session, you will learn how to successfully wet exit your kayak and practice getting in and out of the kayak from the pool deck, as well as the water. Please wear a bathing suit, bring a towel, and be prepared to get completely wet at the pool. Participants will use solo kayaks. Pool classes will take place at Warrenbrook Pool (WBP) and pond classes will take place on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center (EEC).
$25 per person
Activity Number: 50448
Kayak-30    Sunday, August 15
                  7:30am-9:30am Pool session @ WBP
                  11:30am-1:30pm Pond session @ EEC

Kayak-31    Sunday, August 29
                  7:30am-9:30am Pool session @ WBP
                  11:30am-1:30pm Pond session @ EEC

PRIVATE CANOEING INSTRUCTION
(All Ages, 7 and older)
Would you like to learn how to canoe with a group of family and friends? Or maybe you would like to focus on a specific canoeing skill, paddling technique or learn something new? Private two-hour sessions can be arranged for a minimum of four participants and a maximum of 14 participants. Instruction will take place on Branta Pond at the Environmental Education Center. Please contact our group booking coordinator kbender@scparks.org or 908-722-1200 ext. 5332 to schedule a date.
$25 per person

CANOEING AND KAYAKING TRIPS
Trips will be for both canoes and kayaks together (Canyak). Trips are intended for beginner to intermediate paddlers. Prior participation in one of our CAN-U-CANNU or KAN-U-KAYAK classes is required. Boats, equipment, and leadership are provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own equipment, at their own risk; however, there is no reduction in price. A review of basic canoeing and/or kayaking techniques and river safety begins each trip, then onto the water for an exciting educational experience. All return times are approximate. Duration and degree of difficulty of the trips are listed in ascending order and river trips are also rated using the system below. Due to possible low water conditions, there may be cancellations. Trips will run unless dangerous or threatening weather occurs in which participants will be notified in a timely manner.


Please read and review the following considerations PRIOR to registering for a river trip:


Please wear appropriate paddling clothing that can get wet and/or dirty - non-cotton, synthetic, quick-drying fabrics are best. Please also wear proper foot attire – closed-toed shoes that are attached to your foot. Flip flops, clogs, slides, and slip-ons are NOT allowed!

We reserve the right to deny a participant entry into a program if we deem the participant is not physically fit, does not match the skill level of the program or is ill-prepared. A participant will be turned away the day of the trip if the criteria listed here are not met.

It is the participant’s responsibility to consult the ratings listed below for each trip and match their skills accordingly. Come expecting to get wet on all trips!


CANOE AND KAYAK RIVER TRIP RATINGS

A. Good for beginners and families
B. Must negotiate some easy river turns
C. A few portages
D. Continual paddling for several hours
E. Must negotiate many quick river turns
F. Must paddle in open water & be able to handle wind, waves, tide
G. Prior wet exit with a skirt required
H. Must handle easy whitewater rapids and negotiate rocks
I. Danger – cold water! Please bring a full change of clothes in a waterproof bag.
J. Half day or less trip – please bring snack, drink, towel and full change of clothes
    (including underwear, socks, shoes)
K. Full day trip – please bring lunch, snacks, drink, towel and full change of clothes
    (including underwear, socks, shoes)
L. Will stop for ice cream on our return to the EEC
M. Prior participation in at least two, 4-miles or less river trips
N. Prior participation in CAN-U-CANNU? or KAN-U-KAYAK? class

Paddle Practice
1 mile           Rating: A, F, J, N
Improve your paddling skills by practicing on Branta Pond – remember; practice makes perfect or at least progress! This will be a super fun session and you will be amazed at how much better and more comfortable you will feel after these two hours.
$20 per person
Activity Number: 51489

Canyak-21   Monday, July 19
                   5:00pm-7:00pm
Canyak-22   Wednesday, August 4
                   5:00pm-7:00pm
Canyak-23   Monday, August 23
                   2:00pm-4:00pm

Sunrise Paddle
2 miles        Rating: A, B, C, J, N
Rise and shine! Start your day with a quiet paddle on the Passaic River. See swamp sights before the day gets busy. This paddle will help you get centered for beginning your day! Participants will meet at Fisherman’s Parking Lot in Lord Stirling Park.
$20 per person
Activity Number: 51491

Canyak-36   Monday, July 26
                   6:30am-8:30am
Canyak-37   Tuesday, August 10
                   6:30am-8:30am
Canyak-38   Wednesday, August 18
                   6:30am-8:30am
Canyak-39   Monday, August 30
                   6:30am-8:30am

Moonlight Paddle
1 mile            Rating: A, F, J, N
Enjoy the EEC and Branta Pond after dark as we paddle our canoes or kayaks by the light of the full moon! Find out what the Great Swamp sounds and feels like once the sun has set. Perhaps we will hear owls or see bats. Bring a flashlight or headlamp if you have one.
$20 per person
Activity Number: 50407
(More Trips to come in September)

Passaic Paddle
3 miles         Rating: A, B, C, J, N
The Passaic River winds through the Great Swamp basin, flowing through floodplain forest, and many unique wetland habitats. Paddle this gentle river, home to turtles, herons, frogs, and fish. Participants will meet at Fisherman’s Parking Lot in Lord Stirling Park.
$30 per person
Activity Number: 50756

Canyak-21    Sunday, August 1
                    9:30am-12:30pm
Canyak-22    Monday, August 16
                    10:30am-1:30pm

Delaware & Raritan Canal Paddle
4 miles            Rating: A, D, J, N
Quiet, peaceful and still, the D & R Canal is an ideal place for a relaxing paddle. Cruising along, enjoy the sights and sounds the waterway has to offer. Participants will meet at Parking Lot F at Colonial Park.
$60 per person
Activity Number: 50757

Canyak-88     Sunday, July 25
                     10:00am-3:00pm
Canyak-89     Thursday, August 12
                     2:00pm-7:00pm
Canyak-90     Sunday, August 22
                     2:00pm-7:00pm





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Specialty Programs
    • Birding
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    • Canoe & Kayak
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    • Family Program Series
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    • Libraries, Senior Centers &
      Other Groups
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School Programs
    • Field Trips
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    • School Program Guide
Trips & Outings
    • Birding
    • Canoe & Kayak
    • Garden Discovery
    • Other Day Trips & Overnight Trips
Events
    • 1770s Festival
    • By the Light of the Moon
    • Live Animal Show
    • County Caper
    • Events
    • Family Program Series
    • Festival of Trees
    • Swamp Search
    • Temporary Exhibits
Program Calendars
Calendar (PDF)
Trails & Facilities
    • Room Rentals 
    • Auditorium
    • Biomimicry STEM Lab
    • Discovery Room
    • Pond View Room
    • The Tree House
    • EEC Brochure
    • Gift Shop/Library
    • The Great Swamp Experience
    • Temporary Exhibits
    • Trail Map
Volunteers

  Volunteers are needed and appreciated throughout the year. Please contact
Gretchen Rotondo at 908 722-1200 ext.5323 or email your completed application and waiver to grotondo@scparks.org.

Volunteer Application for Adult
Volunteer Application for Minor
   Volunteer Waiver for Adults
   Volunteer Waiver for Minors/Dependents

Corporate Volunteer Groups please contact Daniel Ross at 908 722-1200 ext.5336 or dross@scparks.org.

 

Hours & Directions
Building Hours: Sun. 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri. 1pm-5pm, Sat. closed
Exhibits close at 4:30pm.
Registration is accepted 9am-4:30pm daily
The building is closed on Holidays.
Trails are open dawn to dusk daily but closed on Deer Management days as scheduled.

 Click here for Directions
Donations & Sponsorship

Donations are gladly accepted.
Please make checks payable to:
The Somerset County Park Commission
and mail to Carrie Springer,
190 Lord Stirling Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Support Packet

Ask A Naturalist

Ask-A-Naturalist

Have a question about a plant or animal species you saw in Lord Stirling Park or northern New Jersey?

One of our naturalists can help you! Complete the form and an EEC staff member will do their best to solve your nature mysteries!

On-line Registration