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Where to Kayak

Where To Paddle Near Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA

Where to paddle near Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA

There are several excellent paddling opportunities for kayaks and canoes near Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA. See the Delaware River Water Trail guide for a detailed map.

Delaware River, Delaware & Raritan Canal

There are 5 launch ramps on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River along the Delaware & Raritan Canal:

There are additional access points further up and down the river. See the Delaware River Water Trail map for more details on access points.

Big Bear Gear is located directly across from the Fireman’s Eddy access and it is easy to access the river here.

You can also paddle in the Delaware & Raritan canal, though portage around various locks and bridges is required at times.

You can paddle downstream on the Delaware River then portage to the canal and paddle back upstream for a round-trip that does not require two vehicles.

Bike & Paddle Adventure

It's easy to combine a bike and paddle outing. 

  • Rent a bike and bike rack from Big Bear Gear, and install on your car.
  • Drive down to either the Titusville Boat Ramp or Washington's Crossing and leave your car.
  • Cycle back to Big Bear Gear and return your bikes.
  • Rent a kayak from Big Bear Gear and launch at Fireman's Eddy across the road.
  • Paddle down to your car.
  • Load the kayaks in/on car and return to Big Bear Gear.
  • Return Kayaks and bike rack.

New Jersey Permits

If using one of the boat ramps above (other than Lambertville), a Launch Ramp permit is required.

According to the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission web site:  “A Launch Ramp fee is in effect from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.   Canoes, kayaks, boats, vessels and personal watercraft (e.g. jet-skis) that are transported in any manner are subject to launch ramp fees. Required daily or annual permits can be purchased at the Bulls Island Main Office at 2185 Daniel Bray Highway, Stockton, NJ 08859.  For further information call the Bulls Island Office at 609-397-2949.”

The key word in the above requirement is “transported”. If you use a vehicle to transport your kayak or canoe to the boat launch parking lot, then a permit is required. A permit is not required if you do not “transport” your watercraft. If you carry it in or wheel it in on a carrier then a permit would not be required. If you paddle in the canal then portage over to the river not using a launch ramp, a permit would not be required. You may have to explain this to a park ranger if you are asked.

Delaware Canal State Park

You can canoe or kayak on the Delaware Canal in Delaware Canal State Park on the Pennsylvania side of the river, which runs from Easton to Bristol, or access the Delaware River from various access sites on the Pennsylvania side. The Virginia Forest Recreation Area in Solebury, PA has carry-down stairs to access the river, while Yardley, PA has a paved boat ramp. Here is a list of kayak or canoe access points to the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania side.

You can also paddle in The Giving Pond recreation area, a 90 acre artificial lake.

Tyler State Park

Neshaminy Creek offers calm, easy boating at Tyler State Park.

Permits PENNSYLVANIA STATE PARKS

Non-powered boats launching must display one of the following:

    • Boat registration
    • Launch permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania state parks — available at most state park offices
    • Launch permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission