Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

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Manasquan River / Treasure Island
by Monica Orso

Saturday, September 22, 2018

This time of year can be a little sketchy with the weather, but we managed to luck out with blue skies and mild temps. A perfect day for exploring the Manasquan.

The dirt road to the put-in was in better shape than expected, driving slowly posed no problems. Nestled in the Manasquan River Wildlife Management Area, it's an easy albeit cramped entrance to the marshlands. We had 7 sturdy paddlers on kayaks...Al G., Sumonnat K., Joe M., Herta D., Lois S., Phil B. and myself.

The tide was going out as we wove through the marshes observing cormorants, gulls, great blue heron, egrets, misc. shorebirds, king birds, and hundreds of scuttling crabs on the muddy shoreline. On a very tall tree we were treated to what appeared to be either an immature bald eagle or perhaps even a golden eagle. He/she watched quietly as we paddled by...boy, I need a better zoom lens for situations like this!

Soon the marshes gave way to the more open waters of the Manasquan River. This section is pretty shallow at this stage of the tide cycle so we had to stay close to, or in the channel to avoid getting stuck in the mud. The wind was pretty strong and gusty and I gave a quick attempt (very quick) at using my new kayak sail. But it turned out to be too gusty for my sailing skill level (which is very low). As I had to do some very quick braces, I decided to not tempt fate so early in the trip, so down went the sail for now.

With the wind mostly at our back we cruised quickly past marinas and fancy homes towards our final destination: Osborn Island, aka Treasure Island. There was just enough chop to make it interesting. We were surprised there were not more pleasure boats out on such a nice day and didn't have to share much of Treasure Island with others...a few power boats and folks sitting about, some Boy Scouts and tents on the far end, plus one way cute Labrador Retriever.

After lunch on the beach, we hiked around the small island, killing a bit of time before heading back. The plan was to paddle past the put-in and explore a bit more in the Wildlife Management Area, something that can't be done at lower tide. Being such a small island, it didn't kill enough time by walking around, so a vote was taken to stop at a local establishment at one of the marinas for a refresher and pit stop.

We crossed the narrow channel to the other side of the river pretty easily, even with more pleasure boaters and jet skis showing up. Once at the marina, we were greeted by a lovely gentleman who helped us getting out on the floating dock and haul our boats up...Harbormaster? The place was packed and we chose to stand out by the Tiki Bar for our refreshments. Luckily Phil brought some cash as they wouldn't take credit cards!

Once back on the docks, Lois noticed a paddle floating in the water just inches (and seconds) away from being swept under the restaurant and lost forever. Somehow Herta's paddle had gone overboard, but Lois was able to grab it before it was too late. Meanwhile at the other end of the dock, a power boat had pulled in and tied up, and Al couldn't make an easy entry back into the river, instead winding up wedged under the dock trying to k-turn his way out of there. Not too easy with a long boat. I managed to talk him into an angle that finally worked with some ducking and grabbing (photo documenting at the same time of course).

Off we went back to the put-in with a higher incoming tide to help us and wind in our face to slow us a tad. Getting back into the marshy area, we noticed a wild looking contraption at one of the riverside houses...appeared to be some sort of elevator or motorized contraption to get you to the house. The retaining walls at this house were most impressive!

Back at the put-in, most of us decided to continue on a bit as there was enough water by now to explore further into the Wildlife Area. The marshes quickly gave way to woodlands and a completely different ambiance. We went as far as we could, passing a few other kayaks and SUP's. On the way back Herta spotted what had to be the biggest caterpillar I've ever seen...it bordered on “small snake” in my book. Hanging directly above, it was hard to get a good shot. (I've included a googled pic in the photo album so you can get the full effect of the size) I later determined with the help of Ms. Google that it was called a Hickory Horned Devil (aptly named!), which eventually turned into a Regal Moth. Quite an imposing beast indeed! Al got some pics of some hops growing close by too...hmmm...might be worth another paddle back there...

All in all, a fun paddle with fun people!

> Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/d8LH9X3gjhsXsrJE6



  • Sun, May 19: Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sat, May 25: South Branch, Raritan River - Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Sun, May 26: Rockaway River 
  • Sat, June 1: Farmington River - Riverton to New Hartford, CT
  • Fri, June 7: Cedar Creek, NJ – Ore Pond to Dudley Park
  • Sat, June 15: Meadowlands Secaucus Paddle
  • Mon, June 17: Greenwood Lake Launch & Lunch
  • Wed, June 19: (a Wednesday afternoon), Lackawaxen River - Pike Co., PA
  • Fri, June 21: Full Moon Paddle on Monksville Reservoir
  • Sat, June 22: Pompton River clean-up
  • Sun, June 30: Lake Hopatcong Canal
  • July ? TBD: Fireworks on the Raritan
  • Fri, July 12: Lackawaxen River - Pike Co., PA
  • Sat-Mon, July 13-15: Sedge Island, Barnegat Bay
  • Sun, July 21: Full Moon Paddle on Monksville Reservoir
  • Sat, July 27: South Branch, Raritan River
  • Sat, August 10: D&R Canal - Griggstown to Blackwell’s Mill, NJ
  • Sat, August 17: Passaic River Clean-up
  • Sun, August 25: Hackensack River & Picnic
  • Tue, August 27: Annual Summer Picnic (CLC)
  • Fri, September 6: Manasquan River
  • Fri, September 13: Cedar Creek
  • Sun, September 22: Donaldson Park in Highland Park, NJ Paddle & Picnic
  • Tue, October 1: Membership Meeting & Presentation (CLC)
  • Sat, October 19: Delaware River…Upper Delaware Rec. Area
  • Sat-Sun, October 26-27: Halloween Trip on the Mullica River
  • Sat, November 16: Musconetcong River - Warren Co., NJ
  • Fri, November 29: (Friday after Thanksgiving) Musconetcong River - Warren Co. see above.


  • Sat, May 11: South Branch Raritan River, Hunterdon County, NJ
  • Tue, May 7: Spring "Siete de Mayo" meeting (CLC)
  • Sat-Sun, May 4-5: Cinco de Mayo Delaware River Camping Trip
  • Sun, April 21: Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge nature hike
  • Sat, April 20: Watchung Hike
  • Sat, April 13: Paulinskill - Blairstown to Knowlton Twp.
  • Tuesday, April 2: Membership Meeting & Presentation (CLC)
  • Sunday, March 31: Hike - Route of Benedict Arnold’s Great Betrayal (part 3 of 4): Trial and Execution of Major John Andre
  • Friday, March 29 (Good Friday): FLAT BROOK - SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ
  • Sunday, March 24 at 4 PM: Trip Leader Planning Dinner
  • Saturday, March 16: NORTH BRANCH, RARITAN RIVER, Far Hills to North Branch, NJ
  • Tuesday, March 5: Membership Meeting & Pizza/Salad Party
  • Sunday, February 4: Annual holiday party
  • Tuesday, December 5: Zoom Meeting/Election
  • Saturday, November 18: Bike ride - Rockland County, NY
  • Sat, November 11: South Branch of the Raritan
  • Sat, November 4: Musconetcong Series - Part 3: Beattystown to Hampton
  • Thursday, November 2: Zoom Membership Meeting 
  • Sat-Sun, Oct. 28-29: 28th Annual Mullica River Halloween Camping Trip
  • Wednesday, October 25: Overpeck Park, Leonia, NJ
  • Sunday, October 22: Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge hiking
  • Sat, October 7: Musconetcong Series - Part 2: Penwell to Asbury
  • Sat, September 30: Musconetcong Series - Part 1: Hackettstown to Mansfield Twp or Pt. Mountain
  • Fri, September 22: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Fri-Sun, September 8-10: Sedge Island Weekend
  • Thu, August 31: Fireworks Paddle on the Raritan
  • Tue, August 29: Picnic/BBQ (Cedar Grove, NJ)
  •  Wed, August 16: Splitrock Reservoir, NJ
  • Sat, August 5: Delaware River - Milford, PA to Dingman’s Ferry, PA
  • Sat, July 29: South Branch & Balloon Festival, NJ
  • Saturday, July 22: Cheesequake State Park Guided Paddle
  • Mon, July 3: Monksville Reservoir Full Moon Paddle
  • Fri-Sun, June 16-18: Vermont Weekend
  • Saturday, June 17: Cedar Creek, NJ
  • Tuesday, June 6: Pizza Farewell Meeting (CUC)
  • Sun, June 4: Full Moon Monksville Reservoir
  • Sat, May 27: Farmington River, CT
  • Sat, May 20: Split Rock Reservoir, NJ
  • Fri, May 19: Paddle and Hike in Warren County, NJ
    (White Lake Natural Resource Area & Gnome Hollow Preserve)
  • Mon, May 15: Belcher’s Creek