Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Passaic River & Pot Luck
by Melody Wenger

Saturday September 19, 2015

Two Saturdays ago, a group of thirteen kayakers met at Pia Costa in Fairfield and lowered their boats (and I mean really lowered them) onto the mighty Passaic River. The River was low, very low… but our brave group paddled upstream with determination to reach to Roseland Environmental Center. The weather was unseasonably warm for a September paddle with blue skies above. Included on the trip was Lori B, Annett F, Tina A, Robyn L, Carolyn G, Naomi G, Peter W, Janet K, Phil B, Ted C, Chris K, myself and my son, David.

We meandered from Fairfield, touching upon Montville, East Hanover, and West Caldwell. But sadly, we did not make it to Roseland. Too low water, too deep mud, too much poison ivy and two in-a-row blow-downs had our too merry group retreat back down river. But we were a brave group and did not let that deter us from having a wonderful paddle. So when we reached the fork where the Passaic River met the heavier flowing Rockaway River, we turned the bend and started our paddle up-stream again.

We ducked under some blow downs and were pulled through the deep mud by others. We actually made it close enough to route 280 to hear the traffic. With another big pile of blow-downs ahead, the group decided it was time to let the current take us back to Fairfield with a relaxing paddle.

Once all kayaks were loaded on car tops, most of us headed to my townhome for a late lunch where we continued to enjoy the heat of the sun and the laughter of friends. Thank you to all my fellow paddlers who shared food and refreshments. Next year let us try again, but in the spring, when the water level will have hopefully returned.