Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Non-Trip to Wawayanda State Park
by Jim Mc Loone

June 26, 2008

It was 8:45 on Thursday morning and I had just gotten a couple of hours sleep after driving a group of High School graduates to and from their last trip together. I got up and out of the house as quickly as possible, threw my Grumman on tip of the truck and left hurriedly to meet John’s group at Wawayanda. His email earlier in the week called for the group to meet at Monksville and car pool to Wawayanda, but I needed to save as much time as I could to be on time. I ran out the door without checking for John’s email which cancelled the trip.

I arrived at the boat ramp just about on time and waited a while. I spent a little more time watching a group of mothers with young children doing a work out and bonding with their three wheeled stroller riding children wandered the parking lots for a bit, and finally decided that the group had bagged the trip because of threatening weather. As I waited through a few light showers I decided to get my boat thoroughly wet and launched at the boat ramp. I’m glad I did.

The solo paddling in solitude after a bus load of wild teens was worth the trip in itself. I did not go more than a mile or so from the put in for fear of rain, but the weather gradually cleared. I chased a Heron around the lake for a while and when I got tired of that I browsed the shore line. I spotted a frog, a deer and another Heron.

The area would make a perfect spot for a kiddy trip for youngsters on their first paddle trip. We could put in at the boat launch, paddle around the island(s) for about 20 minutes or until the kids start getting bored and then head back to the beach at the picnic area. I checked with the staff and that is allowed. Afterwards the kids could beach, sand, boat or play in the playground.

After about an hour and a half of drifting and looking around I decided to come in, load the car, eat my lunch and head home. While I was having lunch the wind kicked up from a gentle breeze to about 20 mph. My timing was perfect and I returned home still sleepy, but refreshed.



The fleet arrives


A canny structure


Jim in tin boat


Jim in part of tin boat


An IFO - I identified it as a Heron


Still a few flowers on the Rhododendron


My swim pal


Looking toward the boat launch/rental


Lilly Pad


Flower on Lilly Pad


Looking toward the swim beach


An island


Just a rock, a tree and some flowers


A rocky shore is typical of the area


Lots of wildlife seen


I swear this Heron lured me down the lake