Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

Lake Aeroflex
Andover, NJ
by Betty Wiest

Sunday, September 13, 2015

It’s been said many times that big things come in little packages. And that’s the way I felt at the end of this trip. Because of a personal commitment in the late afternoon, paddling was limited to the morning and early afternoon. Hmmmm, where to go? What were my options? When someone mentioned Lake Aeroflex on a recent trip, I could not get that body of water out of my head.

Lake Aeroflex is not a big lake by any stretch. It’s a 119-acre glacial lake with a depth of 110’. It is part of Kittatiny State Park. It is interesting to note that Aeroflex Andover Airport is located right next to the park.

Joining me on this paddle were Peter W., Naomi G., Skip H. and Katherine ?.

We started out with a slow, casual effort, winding our way around the lily pads that had accumulated on the sides of the lake. They were not too thick though that prevented us from paddling far from shore. Clearly, there was a lot of nature to be seen closer to land. We were not disappointed. A beautiful swan took flight from the middle of the lake. At one point we saw cormorants diving beneath the water; later we saw a dozen or so perched in two dead trees grooming themselves. Two turkey vultures sailed in airspace into a tree. But the best was yet to come, and how did I initially miss it? Peter called out, “There’s a heron back there.” Back paddling, I saw the heron and started taking some pictures. We wound up being so close to the bird—no less than 20 feet—with two fishermen also within 20 feet. At one point we thought the heron would go for the fisherman’s catch! It was startling to see it pose for us for so many moments! I saw a turtle on a log before it skittered off. Skip told me later he had seen an otter.

Almost back to the launch, but still on the water, I heard the drone of an airplane in the distance. How exciting! A biplane! The small single-engine airport did not disappoint. While we were there about six planes took off or landed.

We had time for a snack at the picnic table nearby. Naomi comment, “We missed Manfred’s goodies”.

We were rewarded in so many ways…a beautiful day, calm water, lots of wildlife and airplane activity. Like I said….good things come in small packages.


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