Group Trip Advice in North East

-- Last Updated: Mar-07-11 9:42 PM EST --

I was hoping to gain some information on group tripping in the North East. Perhaps a few hours drive max out of NYC.

It would be for a church men's group in the spring. The only location I know of is the Delaware River.

Obviously it would be for a bunch of novices, and I'd like to plan a canoeing and/or kayaking overnighter.

Is there any outfitters you would recommend?
I know there are primitive campsites along some rivers, which is fine. However, to hook more guys I was wondering if there are any rivers that have cabins that you paddle to, spend the night, and paddle out the next morning.


Try this outfit…

Pine Barrens
The Pine Barrens of central Jersey make wonderful overnight trips, with tiny little rivers that novices can bump their way down, but that reward the more skilled with lots of opportunities to make tight turns.

Both the Mullica River and the Batsto River have overnight camping areas. I consider them a step up from “primitive,” because you have a water pump and an outhouse. But you have to bring a tent and cooking gear. There are car-camping opportunities elsewhere in Wharton State Forest, so you could do an overnight trip but always be near your car, and there are small commercial resorts that I think have cabins (never researched this), but I don’t know of a paddle-in, paddle-out place with cabins anywhere in the Pine Barrens.

I have used the services of Adams Canoe Rental for years. They are conveniently located a quarter mile from the ranger station (Atsion) where you pick up your permit. The rivers in the Pine Barrens are a one-way trip unless you are really gung-ho about paddling against current, so you will need to either set up your own car shuttle or pay for one from Adams or another outfitter.

Get the book by Robert Parnes for lots of color and details (not necessarily up to date and not overly quantitative). Adams and the rangers are your best source of recent information, like water levels. Or post questions here; there are several Pine Barrens fans on this board.

Other options: Hudson River (big commercial waterway but some wonderful views), Adirondacks (six hours’ drive but every kind of paddling experience you could want), upper Chesapeake Bay (three+ hours drive and maybe more for sea kayakers than canoeists).


Mills-Norrie State Park
Not sure how wildernessy of a trip you envision. 1.65 hours from Manhattan near Hyde Park, NY. Mills-Norrie State Park in Staatsburg camp sites and cabins.

Hudson River Watertrail Guide will be a great resource in planning your paddle trips from there.

Drop me a line for more info if this sounds like am option.

Time for more coffee.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc

Hyde Park, NY

Hey I’m a pastor up here on the Delaware
River, close to Narrowsburg. I can show you guys spots that will have you praising God all the way home. The glorious beauty of our Father’s creation in all it’s splender. Just let me know…I am at your service. Cell 570 352 8806 Dennis

Pine Barrens

– Last Updated: Mar-08-11 9:14 AM EST –

As mentioned above the Pine Barrens has 4 beautiful rivers in Wharton state forest NJ. About 2 hours south of NYC, 1/2 hour north of Atlantic City.

BelHaven is another outfitter in that area.

2 great books on this and other areas in NJ:

Pine Barrens, but…

– Last Updated: Mar-08-11 9:40 AM EST –

Fer rank beginners paddlin' Piney Rivers might be a bit frooztratin' an' will probably become intimate wit de river bank shrubbery until dem's git a bit o' boat control under dem's belt. Yer surely ("And don't call me Shirley") will git plenty o' experience on dem tight an' twisty rivers). :>)

Hawkin's Bridge, Batona, Goshen Pond an' Bodines Field aar drive-in semi-primitive campgrounds on de Wading River. Atsion Lake on de Mullica gots cabins.


fishers race, long island sound…
friend of mine owns kayak waveology…he’s one of the fella’s that helps organize and put on the rough water symposium off of fishers island each year and is very familiar with the water surrounding fishers island and heading on up to block island and points north.

greg’s site is
They may have a site at Norrie as mentioned by marshall , But I can’t say anything as far as their programs having never taken any . But I have co-guided with a few of their guides and they were good .

Agree with Andy.

If you need an outfitter check out Kayak East. They give tours, lessions and provide boats if needed. John Pagani is a great guy and will set you up based on you’re groups level of experience and needs.


Poor Experience
My fiance and I rented a cabin in Mills-Norrie. We drove two hours to get there, only to find that there was a vehicle parked next to our cabin (about 8-10 ft. away). I thought perhaps the park had made a mistake and given our cabin to someone else. Turns out, the vehicle belonged to the cabin down the hill. I asked them to move it. They claimed that they were allowed to park there because they weren’t able to get their vehicle, a truck, down their own driveway because there were trees (there weren’t) and rocks (there weren’t) in the way. Both parties went to speak to the park worker, Sheryl, and in an effort to resolve this petty dispute at 10pm on a Friday of their last weekend open, I offered a myriad of alternatives to placate everyone involved. For example, I suggested they move their truck to the cabin next door that appeared empty, and that if someone else came to that cabin that night we could once again resolve the issue. I offered that we both park our cars near the office, again, to be fair and to resolve the issue. Sheryl stated that that was their park policy and had always been that way. She claimed there was no where else they could park (except I guess she forgot they had a driveway made for their cabin, or about the parking area near the front office) despite the availability of space on the grounds.

Furthermore, it was clear to me that she and the other party knew each other as she was talking with them about their children, and I also heard her give them personal information about us.

Needless to say, we left, and drove two hours home. I spoke with Frank Bolger, the park manager, who also became hostile to me on the phone, and he said he would not issue a refund. I am in the process of pursuing my $175 refund from the General Parks manager. I will not be charged that amount of money without being provided the service.

In my mind, if a cabin is inaccessible by truck, then it’s certainly inaccessible by ambulance, and should therefore not be open to the public. I should also not have to think that at night there is someone creeping around my cabin because their vehicle is right behind my window. What if they came in and out all night? What if they wanted to hang out by their truck? What if I have to wonder if they are doing something to my vehicle, or otherwise? I shouldn’t have to wonder, and I shouldn’t have my money taken because of it. They falsely advertised their service because I certainly wouldn’t have paid nearly $200 for a cabin whose grounds are used as a common space. This park has violated my Right to Be Informed, and has acted poorly in remedying the situation.

When I originally looked into this location, I was disappointed learning that the cabins have no bathrooms or fireplaces for ~$85 a night, but I booked anyway because I knew they offered beautiful views of the Hudson. What a headache, and I’ll be sure never to go back to this backwards, locally nepotistic place that readily stole my money