Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

  • IMG_3869.jpg
  • lisarockaway1.jpg
  • rock2.jpg
  • rock3.jpg
  • rock4.jpg
  • rock6.jpg
  • rock7.jpg
  • rock8.jpg
  • rock9.jpg
  • rock10_1.jpg

South Branch Raritan River
by Monica Orso

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Weather conditions looked great and 24 paddlers met up by the Clinton Twp Water Treatment Plant in anticipation of a great day on the water followed by a picnic and hot air balloon show. There were new members, old members, canoes, and kayaks of every shape and form including an inflatable and an origami "Oru" kayak.

The shuttle, normally pretty straight forward, was derailed when we were forced to reverse course due to an accident ahead. Nothing like a 14 car caravan  making a simultaneous K-turn on a 2-lane road. Fortunately, our fearless leader knew the alternate route via the highway so we were able to make it to the  take-out with minimal confusion. A big thanks to Dave M. who came along to help keep the large shuttle together even though he wasn't able to paddle.

Water levels were low at 2.90 at the Stanton Gauge, so we were in for some scratchy stuff. The river did not disappoint in that regard. It was not uncommon to  hear someone shouting "Don't go here!" as they were rocking on the riverbed. But overall, still very doable if you kept your eyes tuned to what was ahead and  listened to those in front of you. There were a few mishaps along the way producing rather damp paddlers. We made it to the lunch stop where many people  chose to get wet and cool off with a little fast floating and throw rope practice. With some muddy spots around and slippery rocks, it was not hard to lose your  footing and our fearless leader took a little tumble. His ankle was promptly tended to by well-prepared paddlers in the group. We continued on to the finish of  the roughly 11-mile paddle, weaving through a very beautiful part of the state.

Wildlife is always a treat on the South Branch. Aside from the standard variety of birds, a fox was spotted early on. There was also an unusually large number  of Belted Kingfishers darting about.

The takeout went smoothly with everyone helping one another get up a slope to load their cars. Then it was off to the park on Rt 22 to set up our picnic and  hopefully catch a glimpse of the balloons from the NJ Festival of Ballooning happening in Readington. If conditions were perfect they would float right over us.  But as the clock ticked away and it was already an hour past launch time with no balloons, we found out that the pilots meeting determined there was too  much wind up there and cancelled the launch. That being said, we enjoyed a lot of good food that folks brought to share along with good company, and left  content from a full day of nature and nurture.

> Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ec9shwq7kb9rB3Un8



  • Friday, July 8: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Saturday, July 9: Cheesequake State Park Paddle, NJ
  • Saturday, July 16: Swim With Your Boat Day (tentative)
  • Sunday, July 24: Passaic River
  • Saturday, July 30: South Branch Raritan, NJ Balloonfest
  • Saturday, August 6: Delaware River - Dingmans
  • Monday, August 15: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 30: Picnic
  • Saturday, September 10: Lackawaxen River, Pike County, PA
  • Sunday, September 18: Passaic River
  • Friday-Monday, October 7-10: Adirondack Long Weekend
  • Saturday, October 22: Fall Foliage...Paulinskill or Upper Delaware
  • Saturday, November 19: Musconetcong River


  • Friday-Sunday, June 24-26: VT weekend - Chittendon Reservoir
  • Tuesday, June 7: Membership Meeting & Presentation (CUC)
  • Monday, June 6: Greenwood Lake Launch/Lunch
  • Saturday, June 4: Housatonic River, Litchfield County, CT
  • Monday, May 30: Pompton River
  • Sunday, May 29: Rockaway River
  • Monday, May 23: Belchers Creek, West Milford
  • Saturday, May 21: Great Swamp, Patterson, NY
  • Saturday, May 14: Housatonic River, Litchfield County, CT
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, April 30: South Branch Raritan River, Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Sunday, May 1: Spring excursion through the Wallkill River Wildlife Refuge
  • Sunday, April 24: Rockaway River
  • Friday, April 15: Paulinskill
  • Saturday, April 9: Shepaug River - Washington Depot to Roxbury, CT
  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Membership Meeting with Show & Tell (CUC)
  • Sunday, April 3: Wallkill
  • Saturday, March 26: North Branch, Raritan River, Somerset County, NJ
  • Sunday, March 27: High Mountain Hike 12 noon--
  • Sunday, March 20: Spring Fling 2022 (rescheduled holiday party)
  • Tuesday, March 1, 2022: Membership Meeting & Presentation (Zoom)
  • Saturday, Feb. 19: Winter Walk/Hike... River trail along Hudson from one of the NJ section Interstate Park's boat basins, either Englewood or Alpine
  • Saturday, Feb. 5: Driving and walking Tour...Westchester Bald Eagles
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1: Zoom Membership Meeting & Presentation - Caring for the National "Wild and Scenic" Musconetcong River
  • Saturday, January 22: Winter Walk...Top of the Palisades, Alpine, NJ
  • Tuesday, December 7: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Saturday, November 27: Musconetcong River
  • Sunday, November 14: Hackensack River
  • Saturday, November 13: Hike at Cheesequake State Park with Naturalist
  • Tuesday, November 9: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Sat & Sun, Nov 6-7: 2021 Mullica River Fall Paddle Camping
  • Sunday, October 31: Halloween excursion through the Wallkill National Wildlife Management Area in Sussex County, NJ
  • Saturday, October 16: Paulinskill
  • Tuesday, October 5: Membership Meeting & Presentation
  • Monday, September 13: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, August 24: Annual BBQ (6-9 pm)
  • SATURDAY, July 24: An upper branch of the mighty Raritan River
  • Tuesday, July 6: Membership Meeting & Presentation