Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

The Hackensack River Near Its Headwaters In West Nyack
by Betty Wiest

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When I was first introduced to this site, I did not know what to expect except from what I was told—“It’s like paddling in the bayou of Louisiana with submerged trees, snapping turtles, carp and perhaps some additional wildlife.” It more than met my expectations. Thank you, Lee Reiser, for introducing me to this exquisite body of water so close to home and so close to one very busy shopping mall—the Palisades Center.

Over a period of three weeks, I visited this destination four times, introducing club members and other friends. I saw how the aquatic vegetation, almost non-existent during the first trip, was now becoming prolific (May 7th) in some areas of the water body. The time to visit is best in late April and the very beginning of May. You will see swans, egrets, redwing blackbirds, and perhaps a nest or two of Canada Goose eggs besides the snapping turtles, great blue herons, carp, painted turtles and probably some other wildlife I might have missed. You could hear me shriek “OMG” every time I heard the sound of a carp breaking water near my boat.

This is a slow, meandering paddle and well-suited to small groups willing to paddle almost motionless in order to enjoy the quiet and see the volume of wildlife. The launch is easily accessible from the local road, Western Highway, and has three launch points. Vehicles were able to park along the road without fear of being ticketed.

On April 26th, the following Club members participated: Andy A., Lori B., Janet L., Cory W., Joan V., Carol B., Lee R., Alice T., Steven G., Michael R., Manfred J., Bill M., Curt S., John B. and me.

Let’s plan on doing this again early next spring!