Paddling from MI to NJ

My brother and I will be paddling from the Huron River in Michigan (putting in a bit north of Ann Arbor) to Avon by the Sea, NJ this coming summer. Our route will be the Huron to Lake Erie, then to the Erie Canal, down the Hudson, around Staten Island, and then down the NJ coast to Avon. Our main issue at the moment is figuring out where we’ll be camping on Lake Erie. We’re thinking of taking the northern shore along Ontario, as it is shorter in mileage and someone advised us that the northern shore is more protected weather-wise than the southern shore. However, we’re open to suggestions on that matter.

My main question for the moment (and there will definitely be more) is if anyone knows of good places to camp from the mouth of the Huron to Wheatley Provincial Park, as there are no official campsites in that span.

can’t help, but an eye out for…
i can’t help you, but I’ll try to keep an eye out for you…

if all goes well, I’ll be doing the Great Loop, starting this spring. I’ll be heading up the NJ coast, across the Erie Canal, to take advantage of doing the Mississippi downstream.

So maybe I’ll see ya on the water…

From what I’ve heard, and how fast I go, I’ll be a 4 hour car drive from home if I run into any problems during the first month and half.

Re: kayaking from MI to NJ
Sounds like a good trip.

Don’t forget your passport. :slight_smile:

Do you know if we need to check in when we’re staying on the shore, or are we good if we simply have our passports? I’ve never done a trip like this that involves paddling in international waters.

My understanding…

– Last Updated: Feb-04-10 1:21 AM EST –

I've never done it, but from everything I've seen in the last year or so is if you're in Canadian waters or land you need to have an entry permit and passport as well as check in at a customs entry point. Check a few of the outfitters that run trips out of the BWCA into Canada. They all have a pretty good writeup of the details. Also if you've had any arrests for things like DWI or drug possession, you will have a hard time getting a permit. Maybe somebody else here can fill in a few of the blanks.

It would sorta ruin your day if you get there and are denied entry, or get caught not registering. The world has changed a lot in the last couple of years.

p.s. Not sure about the requirements if you're just paddling through Canadian waters, but if you land, you will need an entry permit. Also, if you plan to do any fishing on a waterway that is a common border you will need a non-resident license if you're on the Canadian side of the border (that imaginary line that separates us from them).

camps on the big lake
not sure if this will help you but try Google Earth and the satillite images. I used this to find camps in Thailand where i kayaked the coast. You can zoom in and see the beaches and if there are house or anything near the camps. I could pick out all the beaches ahead of time to avoid people.

good luck on the paddle trip…sounds great

If you camp or step foot on the Canadian shoreline, you will have to go through Canadian customs. Here’s the lowdown: & the official Canadian site:

The Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permits used in the BWCA and on Lake Superior are NOT valid for Lake Huron or Erie or the seaway. They only work from the Soo locks to Lake of the Woods.

You could qualify for Nexus, but some of the reporting requirements may take you out of your way or be difficult in a paddlecraft:

Probably the easiest for you in to cross into Ontario via Grosse Isle and report in Amherstberg (I’m not sure if there are facilities there. You’ll need to call or find one on this list:

Personally, I’d do the 4-5 mile crossing from the mouth of the river to Ranta K Walter Memorial Park and Marina ( and use the telephone marine reporting site at the marina.

For camping, there are plenty of marinas to stay and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a backyard or hidden place to camp for the night.

The northshore of Erie is definately more protected, but you will have rough water unless you’re lucky. Drop me a message and I can help you will maps for Erie and marina and campsite locations.

Thanks for the tip about Google maps

Keep Us Informed
This sounds like an awesome trip and it would be great to hear more about it. This is the type of trip that inspires!

Sounds like a fantastic trip!
I can’t help with your question. And, i figure you may already know this, but there aren’t any camping options once you get down to the NYC metro area. Even the 20 miles or so of Jersey Coast you’ll be paddling is all spoken for, or Gov’t land.

Good luck!!

Small Concern
Sounds like a really cool trip, but have to register my own curiosity about where you’re going to stay for the last leg between Staten Island and Avon.

I live very close to Avon and know that there’s no camping on the beach at all between Sandy Hook and your final destination. Also, if you’re planning to land on the beach, have you made allowances that during lifeguard hours(9-5), you won’t be able to land on the beach? I’m almost certain Avon doesn’t have a dedicated kayak beach, and the closest one is 22nd Ave. Beach in Belmar.

Good luck planning the trip, and very interested in hearing how it goes.

camping etc
We’ve gotten in touch with a paddle club in Yonkers that is willing to put us up for the night. We’re still looking for one stop in between Yonkers and Sandy Hook, most likely on the east side of Staten Island (we modified our route so now we’re going to cross NY Harbor rather than going around Staten Island). We may have a connection to stay with on Staten Island, but we haven’t heard back from them yet. Our last stop will be on Sandy Hook, and then will paddle straight to Avon the following day (or when weather permits). And thanks for mentioning that about the life guards. We’ll certainly have to take that into account!

blog and map
And if anyone is interested, here’s a link to the blog we’ve started. There’s also a link in the first post to a map of our route.

check the charts
You need to cross NY Harbor to get to Staten Island.

There are ‘commando camping’ sites on the south shore of SI, nothing on the east shore.

Paddling from Yonkers to SI is a fairly long trip, you should consider overnighting in Manhattan. I know of only one good area to camp between SI and Sandy Hook. Email me back channel if you want more information.


Don’t forget to…
figure out how to get through niagra. I doubt you want to take the falls down. :slight_smile: