Paddling near tiny islands of OCNJ?

I’m looking at Ocean City New Jersey in Google Maps, and I see tiny islands like Cowpens Island, and Shooting Island. But in searching the web, I see few if any people talking about kayaking near/to these islands. Anyone here have any experience with that?

Kayaking out in the big open spaces of Great Egg Harbor Bay would surely be quite windy and there’d be lots of speedboats to contend with. But these tiny islands are barely one-tenth of a mile off the Ocean City mainland, so I think it’d be a much easier trip. Of course battling the wind and waves can be fun too, but at the moment I’m more interested in just exploring some of these islands.


Anthony DiSante

Bay Cats
Was curious about the islands and found that Bay Cats runs kayak tours to Cowpens Island, which apparently is a park. Perhaps they could answer your questions.

watch for private property
You have to make sure islands are not private property. I paddled some years ago with a friend out around the Thimbles, a cluster of small islands in Long Island Sound near Branford, Connecticut. We pulled up on the beach in a cove on one that looked uninhabited from the side we came in on, only to be approached within minutes by a security guard wearing a sidearm who informed us that the entire island was privately owned and off limits. There was a posted sign but it had apparently blown down.

It would be a rare island off the Atlantic coast that was not either a designated park or preserve or, more often, private property.

as you can see from the map
cowpens is public (marsh)land,(part of Corson inlet SP perhaps) there may be remnants of the old railway that crossed over enroute to OC. there is no beach to speak of, there may be some sandy spots on the south or west shore that you could land on.landing would likely be restricted in spring and early summer, as shorebirds nest there. In july and august the greenheads would do a good job of policing the area, so fall is the time to try it. Another really interesting area you might google is little beach island off the north beach of brigantine. you need a 4X4 truck with a permit to get up to wreck inlet, but once there it is an easy paddle across to the creeks behind the island. that place is part of brig NWR and landing is not allowed, but it is as remote a spot there is along the shore, again, fall is the time