Did you know you can go canoeing and kayaking on the beautiful Nissequogue River in Suffolk County? Recently, my husband, 3 children (ages 9, 5, 4 ½) and I rented one canoe for $50 from Nissequogue River Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Inc, and navigated this 5 ½ mile river in just about 2 ½ hours. The canoe, paddles and life jackets are included. Depending on the high tide schedule, you will start at one location and end 5 ½ miles down/up the river, then you will be driven back to your car by a van service. One location is “The Bull”– which can be accessed at Paul T. Givens County Park in Smithtown and the other location is “The Bluff” in Kings Park. Please call ahead for departure times and starting location on the day of your trip.
We packed a small cooler with drinks and snacks that fit perfectly on the canoe and also brought towels which we used as cushions on the seats on the canoe. To start the trip, my 9 year old sat in the front on a raised seat, I sat on the a cushion on the bottom of the canoe behind him, and my other 2 children sat side by side in the next section on a cushion, on the bottom of the canoe, then my husband sat on the back raised seat of the canoe. At our first stop my son and I changed positions because he was tired and the river was getting bigger and we needed more control of the canoe.
We made 2 stops along our journey; the first stop was at a public playground located along the river, we docked and the kids played for a few minutes; the second stop was at a small sanded beach where we sailed into the shore to rest, snack, skip some rocks and take a dip. This was a fun new adventure that we will definitely do again in October to see the changing colors of the foliage.
TIP: check the website for high tide information and starting locations, calling for reservation and any inquiries. the season runs through October and the woman who drove us back to our car said it is beautiful in the fall.
When I called for information the first time, I left a message and a woman called me back to a little later that same day to chat about the whole experience, reservation suggestions and directions. The canoes do get rented quickly, so it is a good idea to reserve one by phone or email: at least 3 days ahead of the day you want to sail.
Editor’s Note: Make sure all people (including children and babies) in your party are wearing life jackets, even if you are an experienced swimmer.
Contact: Linda Sandstedt
Nissequogue River Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Inc, (631) 979-8244;