Jersey Shore Marsh Paddling?

Every time I head to the beach I drive past the marshes and want to paddle. I am a fairly novice upstate NY river, lake and stream solo canoer.

Any advice on how/where/what I would need to go for some serene morning paddles in the marshes near Atlantic City?

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Salt marshes are wildly varied. The brackish water isn’t the most pleasant, but you’ll be treated to the seasonal changes of plants, bird life, flowers, and the ultimate peace. Cstch them at thecrightbtime will carry you to the peak of navigation. Then if you time the flow, you can get to the reversal of the flow and ride it back. Keep logs of the seasonal changes, that way you lnpw when to visit for scents, blooms, weei g the wild rice mature.

Common signts are the red winged backbirds, ducks, bald eagles, cranes, and herrings. May features honeysuckle, then a fragrant white flower in June, along with tiger lilies, pickerell weed, yellow and purple irises, hibiscus, marsh mallows, swamp roses and more.

Find a safe point to launch and explore drifting with the tide helps with silent movement.

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You’ll need a spot to launch from, and there aren’t many public ones I know of.

You can go to a place that’s called dog beach (on of the few place in NJ you can have you pets. And launch from there. There is parking and it’s free.

from there it’s a short haul into the back bay marshes.

And across the inlet there is surf beach, where there is always nice waves if you want to kayak surf.

Now as a disclaimer I’ve never kayaked into the back bays, but I have zipped across the inlet for kayak surfing at surf beach.

Just make sure you have the following gear.

  1. Life Jacket and worn.
  2. Audible Signal device (whistle.)
  3. White light, required for nautical twilight and later.
  4. Visual Signal (flares or flashing strobe.)

Now I would recommend a VHF Marine Radio, but It’s not required.

So it sounds like… It is legal to paddle the marshes, hard to find access, I need a few safety tools and understanding the tide will help. Thanks for the tips!


I have boated in a 14ft Boston Whaler in the back bay before in some of the deeper channels, fishing so it is legal unless they changed the regs since I did that.

I paddle near Cape May/ Wildwood. The back bays are quiet, beautiful and varied. I have a favorite launch spot that’s very private and well off the beaten path. The marshes can be confusing because you typically can’t see over the reeds, so I usually bring some brightly colored yarn with me, and tie a piece to a reed at a junction area. It helps to get me back to my launch spot. Make sure to bring hydration and a way to communicate should you get lost- or end up someplace where you need to get picked up.